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Seattle Central Community College American Hegemonic Masculinity Values Discussion


For your second reflection, I would like you to consider the (re)presentational politics of masculinity while viewing 2019, 2016, and 2013 iterations of The National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition (https://portraitcompetition.si.edu/ (Links to an external site.)). This triennial competition features work from thousands of the nation’s finest visual artists, so don’t be surprised to find yourself a little overwhelmed by the buffet of sights they’ve served up over the last decade.

However, your task here requires more than uncritical adulation. For this second reflection, I would like you to seek out and analyze two pieces that you see as attempting to “re-present masculinity.” When approaching these works (and this reflection), please consider the following:

What is each of these pieces communicating about masculinity?

How does placing them side-by-side create a kind of dialogue about what masculinity means?

When viewing/thinking/writing, consider more generally how the art engages the popular narratives of hegemonic American masculinity. Does it support the dominant narratives, or do the pieces you’ve selected challenge what we’ve been provided within the official narrative? Are the pieces you’ve selected in agreement? If not, on what points do they disagree?

Your 2-3 page reflection should include an appendix containing each of the pieces under consideration. Though not required, I would like to encourage everyone to conduct a little background research on the artists responsible for these depictions, as this information is often helpful when attempting to discern what, exactly, they were attempting to do with the work. Pick two-piece from any of the years listed above and write about them.

Sample Rubric:

Area of Assessment





Analysis of Cultural Texts

Understanding of Course Concepts

Contextualization of Cultural Texts within Course Content


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