Guilty Pleasures 2

From Poldark to Partridge: masculinity and contemporary television


The second in our “Guilty Pleasures” conference series at Ulster University again sets out to examine the appeal, politics and impact of the television programmes we all love to watch but feel guilty about consuming: the popular, mainstream shows which are addictive yet not “highbrow”, enjoyable but not always intellectually demanding. This year’s event will be held at the Belfast Campus at Ulster University on Friday the 9th November, and focuses on the representation of masculinity on the small screen. From Poldark‘s confrontation with the politics of consent, to Love Island‘s showcasing of male insecurity about the body beautiful, contemporary television engages with all of the issues associated with being a man in the 21st century.

We are looking for papers which will discuss the ways in which contemporary television reflects, makes sense of, or even shapes, our current ideas and anxieties about the male gender.

Proposals for 20 min papers may include but are not limited to:

  • “Toxic” masculinity on screen
  • Masculinity in period drama
  • Men and social class
  • Fatherhood and/or domesticity on television
  • The television detective and/or criminal
  • Family (re)constructions in soap opera
  • Gender identity in reality television
  • The body beautiful on screen
  • Post-Trump masculinities
  • The politics of consent
  • Fluid and reworked masculinities


Please send abstracts of about 300 words and a brief bio to the conference organisers Ned and Kate at: or by the 3rd of September  2018.