Online Book Launch and Panel Discussion: Masculinities and Manhood in Contemporary Irish Drama: Acting the Man by Cormac O’Brien. Nov 14th, 1-2,30pm CET; 7-8.30pm Irish Time.

Hosted by Celtic Junction Irish Arts Centre, St Paul, MN, the online launch of Cormac O’Brien’s book, Masculinites and Manhood in Contemporary Irish Drama: Acting the Man (Palgrave Macmillan) will be held virtually and will take the form of a panel discussion on political economy and gendered performance in a colonized social context that had a national theatre even before it became a nation. 

We’ll hear from a wide array of Irish and diaspora perspectives, and, rooted in Cormac’s arguments about masculinities in Irish drama, explore the role of Irish arts and culture both in upholding colonial/neoliberal structures and in creating substantive change.

The discussion will focus on one of the book’s central premises: namely, that hegemonic masculinity should not be viewed as an identity but rather as the principle organizing element around which society and culture are structured. The goal is to engage community discussion around how gender, politics and performance intersect to shape our experience. 

The panel will be chaired by Professor Gerardine Meaney and include the author Dr. Cormac O’Brien, actor Derbhle Crotty, and panelists Dr. Conor McCabe, Emmanuel-Sathya Gray, Grace Odumosu, Loic Wright, and Dr. Lillis Ó Laoire.

You can register free for the event here:

Full details of the event here:

Click on the link below for a discount voucher:
Special offer / Get 20% off the printed book or eBook!

Praise for Masculinites and Manhood in Contemporary Irish Drama: Acting the Man

“Any residual claims to masculinity as a monolithic entity are swept away by Cormac O’Brien’s study of Irish drama and masculinities from the ‘Pathology of Patriarchy’ to ‘Acting Queer’. No concept of Irish manhood, whether forged in twentieth-century nationalism or enmeshed in decades of neoliberalism, evades critical scrutiny. And no patriarchal pillars are left standing by the close of the study as O’Brien sets his sights on illuminating new, non-hegemonic ways of ‘acting the man’. A critically rewarding read for Irish theatre scholars, students, enthusiasts, and all those for whom the scripting of masculinities on and off the stage is paramount.”
—- Prof Elaine Aston, University of Lancaster

“Cormac O’Brien’s Acting the Man is one of those books that manages the rare feat both of bringing new work into focus, and of transforming plays we thought we knew well.  Plays assumed to be familiar –by writers such as Tom Murphy, Brian Friel, Conor McPherson or Marina Carr – are reconfigured here in a new light.  This is partly due to the sheer originality and conviction of O’Brien’s understanding of Irish theatre, but is equally a product of the energy with which he draws attention to theatre work – particularly from Ireland’s developing queer dramaturgical tradition —  that has sometimes never been published or previously subjected to scholarly analysis, but whose presence here changes irrevocably our reading of contemporary Irish theatre as a whole.  In short, this is not a book that anyone interested in Irish theatre can afford to ignore.”
—- Prof. Chris Morash, Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing, Trinity College Dublin

“By analyzing Irish drama and performance from the middle of the twentieth century to the present day, Cormac O’Brien exposes the interplay between representations of masculinity and manhood on the Irish stage and the complex social, political, and economic contexts of our contemporary moment.  This study offers astute readings of canonical plays, as well as providing vivid and engaging accounts of lesser known, but crucially important, productions and performances from recent decades.  It demonstrates how queer dramaturgy can challenge entrenched patterns of thinking and behaving, showing readers how the possibilities and provocations of Irish theater spin out beyond the script or performance space.”
—- Prof Paige Reynolds, College of the Holy Cross.