Call for papers: Medicalized Intimacies and Masculinities Special issue Women, Gender & Research

Editors: Michael Nebeling Petersen (SDU), Karen Hvidtfeldt (SDU), Camilla Bruun Eriksen (SDU) and Kristian Møller (ITU). All are part of the research project Medicine Man: Media Assemblages of Medicalized Masculinity (DFF)

Deadline for abstracts (max 300-word + up to 100 word author bio): October 15, 2018

Deadline for articles: February 14, 2019 All

contributions must be in English and should be submitted to:


This special issue of Women, Gender & Research invites papers to investigate the medicalization of bodies from many different vantage points, disciplines, and theoretical and empirical settings. We are especially interested in understanding how medicalization can be theorized and analyzed as both a biotechnological and a cultural development that does not unequivocally disturb the body, but rather modifies it. This resembles the bodily extension of prostheses in a somatechnical or feminist posthumanist perspective, where bodies and technologies do not exist outside of, or separate from, one another; as Sullivan (2009, 7) states: bodily-being “is always already technologized, and technologies are always already enfleshed”. The special issue aims to challenge and expand already ready categorizations and assessments (healthy vs. ill, necessary vs. un- necessary, artificial vs. natural, body vs. culture, etc.) through empirical and theoretical investigations. More specifically, we are interested in the investigation of the intimate issue of medicalization in relation to masculinities and what is perceived as male bodies. Different gendered bodies have traditionally been the subject of medical interventions and beautyenhancing treatments of an intimate kind, not least female bodies in the reproductive age, young male bodies perceived as in need of regulation/discipline, or trans and intersex bodies perceived to challenge gendered norms of embodiment. In contrast, the (white) middle-aged (cis-)male body has largely escaped regulatory intervention from medical regimes. However, today the middle-aged male body is increasingly subjected to treatments and modifications, e.g. rejuvenating products and treatments, medicine and performance enhancing substances; thus still more gendered bodies are increasingly becoming medicalized. Within critical masculinity studies, masculinity is often viewed as a negotiated position derived from a variety of practices and positions established in relation to each other, rather than as solely deriving from the male body. Thus, the concept of masculinity is a dynamic and multifaceted phenomenon emerging from cultural, material and discursive frames and contexts. A body of scholarly literature is currently emerging, dealing with/investigating masculinities and medicalization, male middle age, ‘andropause’ and ‘sexual fitness’. Also, in a Western context, cosmetic surgery is no longer reserved for feminized, privileged or subcultural groups but is increasingly understood as an acceptable tool to ‘fix’ e.g. signs of aging or overweight, and thus to achieve a ’normal‘ (masculinized) body.


We especially welcome papers on topics such as:

 How are medicalization and bodily interventions taking shape in contemporary society?

 What are the gendered effects of medicalization?

 How are medicalized masculinities represented, mediatized and aestheticized in both traditional and new media and art?

 Are contemporary gay and/or trans masculinities medicalized in new ways? And what are the experiences of and possibilities found within these (new?) masculinities?

 In what ways are contemporary masculinities being transformed culturally and bodily?

 How does medicalization transform or reinstall hegemonic notions of masculinity?

 What are the histories and genealogies of medicalized masculinities?

 How does medicine enable masculinity, feminity and other scripts of gender to appear?

 How does medicalization challenge/queer bodily and gendered taxonomies and binarities?

 How does medicalization expand or challenge posthumanist theories in relation to e.g. hybridization, cyborg, and becoming?