The Invisible Boy Book

What does it mean to become a boy today? How does boyhood manifest itself in different contexts? How can we describe fathers and sons in contemporary society? And can we make the invisible boy visible in ways alternative to those of media?

This publication is the outcome of an international, multidisciplinary exploration of how boys become boys and how boys form identities today. The project was global in its scope and included 24 artists and academics from Sweden, USA, Turkey, UK, Finland, New Zealand, Croatia, Nigeria, Switzerland, India, Canada and Italy have contributed to the Invisible Boy. The publication with its 20 chapters includes academic papers, video, drawings, digital images, photography and music. Combining a variety of intellectual expressions the chapters forms a joint example of multimodal explorations to further understandings of complex matters such as gendered identity making.

The contributions are organised in four themes: Negotiating Identity, Bodily Existence, Boyhood Interrupted, and Gender and Contemporary Media.

The Invisible Boy Book can be downloaded free of charge:

To reference the book, please write:

Hällgren, Camilla, Dunkels, Elza & Frånberg, Gun-Marie, (Eds.) (2015) Invisible Boy: The making of contemporary masculinities. Umeå, Umeå University.

ISBN 978-91-7601-232-1

Call for participation

In June 2012 The Invisible Girl project was completed with the publication of the book Invisible Girl and a conference in Umeå, Sweden. It is now time to launch a new project, aiming at the publication of another book.

The Invisible Girl project was underpinned by the assumption that we live in a sexist society, where girls and women are underprivileged, stereotyped and discriminated. However, this does not mean that men in general suppress women or that men and boys in general are privileged. The sexist power structure seems to have negative consequences for both sexes. Men generally have a shorter life expectancy than women; boys can be noted to under-achieve in certain school subjects, boys who are sexually abused and boys with eating disorders are made invisible. So it was only natural for us to decide that our next project will be the Invisible Boy.

This is a call for participation in our multidisciplinary research project The Invisible Boy. What does it mean to become a boy today? How does boyhood manifest itself in different contexts? How can we describe fathers and sons in contemporary society? Can we make the invisible boy visible in ways alternative to those of media?

We invite researchers and artists to contribute with research papers, works of art or anything else providing critical perspectives to studies of boys and boyhood. Please send us your proposal, which should be no longer than the equivalent of one page of text, before October 1, 2013. The selection process will take place in October and November and all contributors will be notified before December 1. The authors selected for publication will be asked to send in their final contributions by March 1, 2014. Publication is estimated to take place in the winter of 2014.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions. We hope that you are interested in contributing to the Invisible Boy or that you know someone who might be. Please feel free to distribute this call widely.

Umeå in June 2013

Professor Gun-Marie Frånberg, gun-marie.franberg@edusci.umu.se
PhD Camilla Hällgren, camilla.hallgren@edusci.umu.se
Associate Professor Elza Dunkels, elza.dunkels@edusci.umu.se

Department of Applied Educational Science
Umeå University, Sweden