August: Boys at a Crossroads | News and Features


Researchers at the University of Bristol, in partnership with Bristol Young Men‘s Network, are inviting professionals working with boys and young men to contribute to a conference on masculinity, violence and mental health.

‘Boys at the Crossroads’ will take place at Bristol Station on October 14, 2022. Discussions will focus on how to end male violence and challenge harmful male norms and cultures that affect people of all genders .

Male violence is one of the greatest health risks faced by women, girls and gender-marginalized people. Meanwhile, suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40, and men and boys also experience violence, including sexual abuse, though mostly perpetrated by other men.

Men and boys are also more likely to be criminalized, homeless and drug dependent and are less likely to seek help than their peers raised as girls. For boys and young men of color, working class, trans boys, and gender non-conforming people, these harms and risks can be magnified.

This multi-disciplinary conference will be a space to share, showcase, troubleshoot and reflect on the inspiring work happening locally, regionally and nationally around this topic and provide a space to meet, network and connect with people engaged in this work. crucial.

Dr Nathan Eisenstadt, Senior Research Associate at the Center for Academic Primary Care at the University of Bristol, said: “With this conference, we very much hope to create conversations between and across practice, activism and research, and cover the often separated areas of work around the mental health and well-being of young men, and work geared more directly towards ending gender-based violence. We welcome contributions from people working with boys and young men in any field who have an interest in this endeavor. »

Expressions of interest are invited (a title and a proposal of 250 words maximum) for workshops, talks, panels and poster sessions around the following themes, reflecting on practice, activism and/or research :

  • Theorizing/rethinking/redoing/undoing masculinity(ies)
  • End gender-based violence
  • Activism: mental health/gender equality
  • Trans and queer masculinities/masculinity and transition
  • Intersections of race, racism, masculinity
  • Digital masculinities/Working with boys around/through technology
  • Men’s health, mental health, suicide and suicide prevention
  • Ritual and rites of passage
  • Sport – involving boys and young men through sport and movement
  • Intimacy, loneliness and anxiety
  • Sexuality
  • Sex and porn
  • Being a father / Parenting / Raising boys and being a young dad.

The organizers are interested in the challenges and insights of working with boys and young men in practice, and what this means for how we think about young masculinities.


  • Workshops: 30min – 1h. A chance for people to find out about the work you do. It can be practical, involving movement, music, art… let’s keep it interesting and off the beaten track.
  • Presentations: A 15 to 20 minute presentation with or without slides on the subject of your choice, whether theoretical or practical, reflecting past projects and/or proposing avenues for the future.
  • Poster: An A1 printed poster showcasing your work/idea. Poster sessions will be informal – the presenter will stay close to the poster while attendees walk around and stop to chat near a poster that piques their interest.
  • Panel Session – A grouping of 3 to 5 abstract presentations around a theme. You gather the team, the topic and the session host.
  • Booth – For organizations working with men and boys. For booksellers with books and zines on the subject.
  • Creative response: we welcome proposals of no more than 250 words from creators, artists, people with a cultural practice, who respond to the themes set out in this call for expression of interest. Depending on your practice, it can be a reading, a performance piece, an installation or a projection. Subject to negotiation and within the limits of the time available on the program and the place… surprise us.

Please submit your expressions of interest via this Google form.

Deadline (extended): August 7, 2022

Register for the conference.

More information

About Bristol Young Men’s Network:

The Bristol Young Men’s Network was established in 2020 to connect practitioners, academics and young people working with boys and young men. Straddling the grounds of young men’s mental health and engaging men and boys in violence prevention, they meet regularly to share and troubleshoot practice and research in an informal and supportive setting.

Members and conference organizers are: Off the Record Bristol, Kooth, TIGER Coop, Creative Youth Network, NYCE, University of Bristol Center for Academic Primary Care and The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

The conference was made possible by funding from the Brigstow Institute, Ideas Exchange Stream.

About the Center for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol:

The Center for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) at the University of Bristol is one of the UK’s leading primary care research centres, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. It is part of Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognized center of excellence for population health research and education.


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