Mayoral Masculinities? The Case of Delanoe and Wowereit



Johnston C (2012) Mayoral Masculinities? The Case of Delanoe and Wowereit. Contemporary French Civilization, 37 (2-3), pp. 237-253.

Perhaps most prominent among the many areas of scholarship to which Larry Schehr offered his insight, thoughtfulness and enthusiasm lie the fields of Queer Studies and French/Francophone Studies, and crucially their points of intersection. One such intersection charted by Schehr through numerous books and articles centres on representations of masculinities, tracing their development across boundaries historical, geographic, artistic and/or sexual. Drawing on Schehr's illuminating work in this domain, but also on his resolutely interdisciplinary approach, this paper will offer an analysis of two key figures, themselves positioned at the intersection of gay politics and culture: Bertrand Delanoë and Klaus Wowereit, openly gay mayors of Paris and Berlin respectively. Attention will be paid to the ways in which they describe their own embodied engagement with politics in discursive and/or visual form. Figureheads for cities which are perceived as playing a central role in the construction of a European gay body politic, we will examine the ways in which the depiction of the mayors' embodiment of masculinities has evolved through an engagement with questions of in/visibilities of the male subject; the public/private divide, and the influence of a contemporary urban backdrop.

Queer Studies; French and Francophone Studies; contemporary European politics; masculinity; public/private divide; Lawrence Schehr; Bertrand Delanoë; Klaus Wowereit.

Contemporary French Civilization: Volume 37, Issue 2-3

Publication date31/10/2012
PublisherLiverpool University Press

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Dr Cristina Johnston

Dr Cristina Johnston

Senior Lecturer, French