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Famed Author Michael Kimmel to Give Darden Lecture as Part of American Education Week at Old Dominion University

One of the leading voices in the academic study of young men and masculinity in the United States will give the keynote address during Old Dominion University's Darden College of Education's American Education Week symposium.

Michael Kimmel, sociologist and author of the bestseller "Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men," will give the Colgate and Constance Darden Lecture in Education during American Education Week, Nov. 16-20. Kimmel will speak at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, in the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building auditorium.

"The growing enrollment and performance gap between boys and girls is the unspoken crisis of American society," said William Graves, dean of the Darden College of Education.

"Few policymakers are addressing the impact of lower performance rates and enrollment rates among United States school-age males. Even fewer remedies have been proposed. It is our hope that Dr. Kimmel's presentation will stimulate students and faculty to consider this important social issue and become engaged in solutions."

With his pro-feminism approach, Kimmel, a professor at State University of New York at Stony Brook, has attempted to redefine what it means to be a man in America.

"Guyland," his most recent work, focuses on the unwillingness of young men to mature into responsible adults. The project concentrates on more than 400 interviews with young men, ages 16-26. The study has found that males who live in "Guyland" are generally white, middle-class, confused individuals who can't commit to their relationships, work or lives.

Graves said ODU is already attempting to tackle many of the challenges identified by Kimmel.

"ODU addresses many high-risk behaviors of school- and college-age students in research and instructional programs," he said.

"Several male-oriented groups on campus have studied Kimmel's book, and they are interested in pursuing solutions. Our work, as on many campuses, is beginning, and I hope that Dr. Kimmel's presentation will serve as a catalyst for many new efforts on our campus."

Highly respected in his field of study, Kimmel was asked to be a consultant on gender politics for the Emmy Award-winning show "Mad Men." He also spoke at the International Women's Day Lecture in Europe, was the Sociologists for Women in Society Feminist Lecturer in 1999 and regularly works with the Ministries for Gender Equality in Norway and Sweden.

Kimmel is a spokesman for NOMAS (National Organization for Men Against Sexism), and frequently contributes to the Huffington Post.

Kimmel's lecture is free, but seating is limited.

For information about American Education Week events at ODU, call the Darden College of Education at 683-3938.

This article was posted on: November 10, 2009

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