Jonathan A. Allan

Jonathan A. Allan is Canada Research Chair and Professor at Brandon University. He teaches in the Department of English and Creative Writing and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program. Dr. Allan is an editor for Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities, and Associate Editor of Journal of Popular Romance Studies.

During the course of his Canada Research Chair, Dr. Allan is working broadly at the intersection of critical studies of men and masculinities and health research. His current project, Men, Masculinity, and the Procreative Realm, seeks to study men’s experiences of infertility. One in six couples faces infertility, and in a third of cases, perhaps even more, male fertility is the cause for infertility. Men’s infertility has become a growing concern for men in light of repeated news reports and scientific studies about the declining quality and quantity of sperm and sperm production. This project will study men’s experiences of the procreative realm by focusing on two interrelated and interconnected fields of analysis: the threat and the experience of infertility. This study will draw on interdisciplinary research and will bring together the biomedical sciences, sociological and anthropological research, and cultural studies. One of the research outcomes from this project, Men, Masculinities, and Infertility (Routledge), is a book-length study of cultural representations of men’s infertility.

He is also a co-Investigator on a SSHRC-funded project called “Changing rural masculinities and mental wellness: a Prairie case study.” This project, led by Dr. Rachel Herron, seeks to understand men’s experience of mental wellness and stress in the changing Westman Region. The project will address growing mental health concerns in the Canadian Prairies, where rates of completed suicide are the highest outside of the territorial north and higher among men than women. In general, men are less likely to talk about, and seek support for, their mental health needs than women, and this is particularly the case in rural Canada. Addressing this issue requires a better understanding of how and where men experience stress, how they cope, and how they can express their mental health challenges.

Dr. Allan is the author of Men, Masculinity, and Popular Romance (Routledge, 2019), Reading from Behind (University of Regina Press, 2016), and Uncut (University of Regina Press, forthcoming).

Dr. Allan sits on the editorial/advisory boards of Feral Feminisms, Journal of Men’s Studies, Chasqui: Revista de literatura latinoamericana, Men and Masculinities, and Masculinities: A Journal of Identity and Culture

Research and Teaching Areas:

Research Funding: Canada Research Chairs (2014-2019), Brandon University Research Committee (2014-2016; 2016-2018; 2017-2019), Romance Writers of America (2015-2016), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2016-2018; 2018-2020; 2019-2023), Research Manitoba (2018-2020).

Upcoming Lectures

“Boys Don’t Swim: Men, Masculinities, and Infertility.” Faculty of Health Studies, Brandon University. September 18, 2018. 



Men, Masculinities, and Popular Romance. London: Routledge, 2019.

Reading from Behind: A Cultural Analysis of the Anus. Regina: University of Regina Press, 2016; and, London: Zed Books, 2016. (Japanese translation appeared in 2018)

Virgin Envy: The (In)Significance of the Hymen. Regina: University of Regina Press, 2016; and, London: Zed Books, 2016. (with Cristina Santos and Adriana Spahr)

Inversions of Power and Paradox: Studies of Monstrosity. Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press, 2012. (with Elizabeth Nelson).

Special Issues of Journals

Queer/ing Popular Romance, a special section in Journal of Popular Romance Studies, 2016. (with Andrea Wood)

Schools, Masculinity and Boyness in The War Against Boys, a special section in Boyhood Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 8.1 (2015). (with Chris Haywood and Máirtín Mac an Ghaill). Link.

Teaching the Twilight Saga, a special volume of Monsters and the Monstrous 2.2 (2012). (with Cristina Santos and Adriana Spahr).

The Poetics and Politics of Reading: Studies in Honour of University Professors Linda Hutcheon and J. Edward ChamberlinCanadian Review of Comparative Literature / Revue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée 38.4 (2011). (with Rachel F. Stapleton).

Select Publications (since 2017)

“The Lost Inches: Circumcision Debates in Gay Men’s Magazines.” Porn Studies. (forthcoming)

Gender and Sexuality in Popular Romance Fiction.” Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Romance Fiction, eds. Jayashree Kamblé, Eric Murphy Selinger, and Hsu-Ming Teo. (forthcoming)

“#NoHomo: Men’s Friendships, or ‘something else.’” Friendship as Ascesis: Michel Foucault, Queer Theory, and Education, eds. David Lee Carlson and Nelson Rodriguez. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. (forthcoming, co-authored with Frank G. Karioris)

“Queer Theory and Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities.” Routledge International Handbook of Masculinity Studies, eds. L. Gottzén, U. Mellström, T. Shefer. (forthcoming)

“‘And he absolutely fascinated me’: Masculinity and Virginity in Sherilee Gray’s Breaking Him.” Journal of Popular Romance Studies (forthcoming)

“The Foreskin Aesthetic, or Ugliness Reconsidered.” Men and Masculinities. (forthcoming).

“Is the Foreskin a Grave?” Sex at the Limit. Ed. Ricky Varghese. (University of Regina Press, forthcoming)

“Are rural Prairie masculinities hegemonic masculinities?” NORMA: International Journal for Masculinities Studies 14.1 (2019): 35-49. (co-authored with Candice M. Waddell, Rachel V. Herron, and Kerstin Roger).

“When Two Become One: Sexuality Studies and Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities.” Journal of Gender Studies 28.3 (2019): 247-256. (co-authored with Frank G. Karioris).

“Circumcision scars and aesthetic concerns.” Complications of Circumcision: An Illustrative Textbook. Ed. Mohamed A. Baky Fahmy. Elsevier, 2019. 135-144.

“Masculinity as Cruel Optimism.” NORMA: International Journal for Masculinities Studies 13.3-4 (2018): 175-190.

“‘The First Rip Off’: Anti-Circumcision Activism in Men’s Magazines.” Porn Studies 5.3 (2018): 305-319.

“The First Great Theoretician? Northrop Frye and Literary Theory.” Canadian Review of Comparative LiteratureRevue Canadienne de Littérature Comparée 44.1 (2017): 82-94.

“Grow a Pair! Critically Analyzing Masculinity and the Testicles.” Journal of Men’s Studies 25.3 (2017): 245-261. (Co-authored with Frank G. Karioris).

Public Lectures, Professional Conferences, etc.

Invited Lectures (since 2017)

“Masculinity as Cruel Optimism.” Masculinity and Affect Colloquium. University of Pittsburgh, April 6-7, 2017.

“Foreskin Questions and Answers: From the Joy of Pregnancy to the Joy of Sex.” Performing the Penis. Brunel University London, UK. March 3, 2017. [Keynote]

Select Presentations (since 2017)

“Mass Market Pornography: Romance Novels for Men are Different.” Popular Culture Association of America. Washington, D. C. April 17-20, 2019. 

“Self-Produced Sexual Material, Archives, and Research Ethics.” Faculty of Arts Speaker Series. Brandon University. November 23, 2018.

“Reading Foreskin Quarterly.” Popular Culture Association of the South. New Orleans, Louisiana. October 4-6, 2018.

“Circumcision Scars and Aesthetic Concerns.” Faculty of Health Studies Seminar Series. Brandon University. September 19, 2018.

“Obtaining the Unobtainable: Researcher and Librarian Collaborations for Enhancing Access to Unconventional Information Resources.” Community, Diversity, and Education: Academic Librarianship in Challenging Times. Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Regina. May 29-31, 2018. (Co-authored with Heather Tornblom, Brandon University)

“Fantasies of Masculinity in Popular Romance Novels.” Researching the Romance Conference. Bowling Green State University. April 13-14, 2018.

“The Purity of His Maleness: On Romance Novels, Masculinity, and Heroes.” Third Age Learning Co-operative. Brandon University. April 6, 2018.

“Romancing Masculinity.” Popular Culture Association of America. Indianapolis, Indiana. March 28-31, 2018.

“Anti-Circumcision Activism in Men’s Magazines.” American Men’s Studies Association. Minneapolis, Minnesota. March 22-25, 2018.