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.
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, for which he received a SSHRC Insight Grant, 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. Drawing on ideas of storytelling, this book explores popular fiction, canonical fiction, men’s memoirs of infertility, and film and television.
Following his work on infertility and the procreative realm, Dr. Allan will be working on two projects. The first will consider Latin American Cultural Production, with a particular focus on masculinities, sexualities, and bodies. This book will be invested in expanding the canon by considering alternate voices while also reading canonical voices anew. He will work with the novel, poetry, film, the graphic novel, and photography in this book. The second project will be a study of wilderness, green worlds, and the Edenic. This project is a comparative literary study that will draw on English, French, and Spanish literatures.
Dr. Allan 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 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 (2014-2024), Brandon University Research Committee (2014-2016; 2016-2018; 2017-2019, 2019-2021), Romance Writers of America (2015-2016), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2016-2018; 2018-2020; 2019-2023), Research Manitoba (2018-2020).
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)
Inversions of Power and Paradox: Studies of Monstrosity. Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press, 2012. (with Elizabeth Nelson).
“Going Wild and the Green World.” Panel-Northrop Frye: The Persistence of Criticism. Chair: Robert Tally. The Modern Language Association. January 10, 2021.
“Boys Don’t Swim: Men, Masculinities, and Infertility.” Faculty of Health Studies, Brandon University. September 18, 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).
“Anti-Circumcision Activism in Men’s Magazines.” American Men’s Studies Association. Minneapolis, Minnesota. March 22-25, 2018.