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Benjamin B. Roberts on his forthcoming book 'Becoming a Man. Masculinity and Youth Culture in the Early Seventeenth Century'

Detail Summary
Date 3 November 2011
Time 14:30 - 16:00
Location University Library
Amsterdam Centre for the Study of the Golden Age

Sex and Drugs Before the Rock ‘n’ Roll: Youth Culture and Masculinity during Holland’s Golden Age

Benjamin B. Roberts has just completed a manuscript 'Becoming a Man. Masculinity and Youth Culture in the Early Seventeenth Century' which addresses how young men in the early 1620s and 1630s dressed, what they did for recreational activities, and how they manifested their masculinity through drinking, violence, and sexuality.

Contrary to other works which usually address groups of young people over a long period of time, this study focuses on a generation of young men that were born around 1600 and who came of age during the 1620s and 1630s, at the zenith of Holland’s Golden Age. Well-known cohorts from the generation including Rembrandt van Rijn (born in 1606) are examined for how they expressed their youth culture and masculinity by upholding conservative norms and values or defying them. In this realm, the masculinity of young men is examined in the areas of appearance, drinking, the use of violence, sexuality, drugs, and recreational activities. This study reveals how the generation of young men from the 1620s and 1630s expressed masculinity and youth culture from the previous generation by letting their hair grow long, wearing colorful clothing, drinking excessively, challenging city guards, being promiscuous, and being the first generation to start smoking.

Voertaal: Engels

Benjamin B. Roberts

Benjamin B. Roberts is an historian with a Ph. D from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He worked as post-doctorate researcher at the Vrije Universiteit and has published extensively about the history of childhood and youth in the early modern period in academic journals including the Journal of Family History and Journal of the History of Sexuality. He currently is a freelance journalist writing about Dutch art, culture, sports, and lifestyle for Time Out Amsterdam, Amsterdam Magazine, and The Holland Times, and is working on a monograph about the history of the Dutch in New York and New Jersey in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.


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