Jonathan A. Allan

Jonathan A. Allan is Canada Research Chair in Men and Masculinities and Professor in the Department of English, Drama, and Creative Writing and Gender and Women’s Studies at Brandon University. Dr. Allan is an editor for Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities, interim editor of Boyhood Studies, 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. His research oscillates around the body and sexuality, from sexual health and reproduction, whether it be infertility (see Men, Masculinities, and Infertilities) or vasectomy, to the underwear men wear, to the heroes of romance novels (see Men, Masculinities, and Popular Romance), and to our ideas about fatherhood.

In his current research, Dr. Allan is undertaking two projects. In the first, he is interested in the censorship and obscenity, particularly following the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Roth v. United States through to Miller v. California. This project brings together literary and cultural studies and legal studies to focus on questions of free speech, censorship, and obscenity. His course “Censorship and Obscenity” provides students an opportunity to engage with these questions in a historical fashion, while recognizing the ongoing debates that are unfolding around us. The goal of this project is a book length study of the debates as the unfolded from the 1950s through 1970s, with particular interest in the Warren Court. In his second project, “Fathers of the Homeland,” Dr. Allan is undertaking a study of the Latin American literary genre known as the “novela del dictator,” (dictator novel) and its treatment of masculinity, recognizing how often the figure of the dictator is a man, and how often (though not always) these novels are written by men. This project also has as a goal a book length study which will cover those novels that appeared across the twentieth century.

Dr. Allan’s most recent book, is called Uncut: A Cultural Analysis of the Foreskin (University of Regina Press, 2024). In this book, Dr. Allan provides an interdisciplinary study of the foreskin and circumcision. Instead of focusing on circumcision, Dr. Allan considers the foreskin, drawing on a wide-range of sources (from sex manuals and pregnancy books to policy documents and scientific studies), to understand how it is discussed, represented, and understood. He continues to undertake research on the foreskin and circumcision. His article, “Reading Anti-Circumcision Activism in Clothed with the Sun: The Quarterly Journal of Clothes-Optional Living,” which appeared in Journal of American Culture received the Carl Bode Award for Outstanding Article (Popular Culture Association). This paper is part of his ongoing interest in anti-circumcision activism, particularly its history, which is fascinatingly complex and nuanced.

Dr. Allan is currently finishing, Snip Snap (under contract with UBC Press), a book-length study of vasectomy. Over the course of this book he considers the history of vasectomy, including how it was punitive, then tied to eugenics, through to elective vasectomy, the mainstreaming of vasectomy, and the decline of vasectomy (and its resurgence following the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization). The goal is to provide a comprehensive study of the vasectomy that enables readers to think about what the vasectomy means and why it matters, while also understanding its complex and troubling history. Snip Snap asks timely questions about the vasectomy, access to vasectomy, and the challenges to vasectomy. This book thus contributes to the overarching goal of his research, which considers the role and responsibilities men have in the procreative realm.

Dr. Allan received his PhD from the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. He holds a Master of Arts in Studies in Comparative Literature and the Arts from Brock University, a Master of Arts in Spanish Language and Culture from Queen’s University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Spanish from Queen’s University.

Research Areas:

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).

Upcoming Lectures

None scheduled.


Books and Edited Collections

Uncut: A Cultural Analysis of the Foreskin. Regina: University of Regina Press (November 2024)

Men, Masculinities, and Infertilities. London: Routledge, 2022. Link.

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)

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).

Forthcoming Publications

Select Publications (since 2021)