This panel explores the intertwined topics of masculinity and morality in eastern Africa from 1800 to the present day at the intersection of history and anthropology. It aims to generate a discussion about the historical origins, transformations and contemporary fates of masculine moral lives.
This panel invites submissions on the intertwined topics of masculinity and morality in eastern Africa from 1800 to the present day. The emphasis of this panel is on the moral commitments, obligations, horizons and expectations connected to masculinity and manhood in this part of the world. We invite papers that engage with how these have changed and endured over time, and we invite papers that explore how individuals and communities have dealt with, contested, and sought to live up to these norms. The papers will interrogate masculinity and morality in eastern Africa from anthropological and historical perspectives. This is a task we believe is important and urgent in light of the current sense of a "crisis of masculinity" in the region, a crisis associated with social and economic disruptions and linked to rising unemployment, shrinking farm sizes, and changing gender norms. This panel proposes a more specific discussion about the historical origins, transformations and contemporary fates of such masculine ideals. Panellists are encouraged to think especially about the normative role of men as patriarchal figures capable of providing for their kin, and how past and present actors have challenged and reinforced this ideal. We are especially keen to receive submissions that engage with and renovate classic, time-honoured themes in the anthropological and historical literature such as masculinity in relation to: the household, labour, familial obligation, property, land-ownership, and notions of duty, restraint and discipline.