Jonathan A. Allan is Canada Research Chair and Professor in the Department of English, Drama, and Creative Writing at Brandon University. Dr. Allan is an editor for Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities and Vice-President of the American Men’s Studies Association.
During his Canada Research Chair, Dr. Allan is working on the critical study of men and masculinities in a variety of spaces in the social sciences and the humanities. Dr. Allan is interested in the ways in which masculinity is lived, enacted, and embodied in everyday life. He is undertaking three projects:
The first project is Men, Masculinity, and the Procreative Realm, for which he received a SSHRC Insight Grant. One of the research outcomes from this project, Men, Masculinities, and Infertility (Routledge 2022), is a book-length study of cultural representations of men’s infertility. Drawing on ideas of storytelling, this book explores how stories of infertility are told across popular fiction, canonical fiction, men’s memoirs of infertility, and film and television. A second project coming out of this research is a cultural study of vasectomy. Snip Snap will be an interdisciplinary study of the vasectomy, how it is represented in popular culture, and what the vasectomy means for sexuality and masculinity. This book will consider the history and the mainstreaming of vasectomy, as well as vasectomy reversal.
In the second project, “Fathers of the Homeland,” Dr. Allan is turning his attention to the figure of the dictator in the “novela del dictador” (dictator novel). In this project, Dr. Allan seeks to understand representations of masculinity in the “novela del dictador,” which is a novel written with a focus on the dictator rather than being a novel written under the conditions of dictatorship. This project brings together comparative literary studies of the “novela del dictador” and the critical study of men and masculinities. This project is genealogical insofar as it seeks to trace and understand the shifting dynamics of two key ideas that undoubtedly interdigitate: patriarchy and masculinity.
In the third project, “Dressing the Hero: Men’s Fashion, Style, and Clothing in Popular Romance Fiction,” Dr. Allan is expanding upon his work on masculinity and the popular romance novel with particular attention on the sartorial. In this book, clothing becomes symbolically important to the construction and representation of men and their bodies.
Dr. Allan continues to research a host of other topics coming out of earlier research projects, most especially masculinity and in/fertility; masculinity and circumcision.
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.
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 Infertilities. London: Routledge, 2022.
Men, Masculinities, and Popular Romance. London: Routledge, 2020.
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).