Personally Speaking Series to Feature Brintnall on 'Behold the Man'

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CHARLOTTE - Oct. 31, 2012 - The male figure through the lens of art, violence, sex and religion provides the focus of a Personally Speaking talk by Kent Brintnall at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the J. Murrey Atkins Library.

Brintnall, an associate professor of religious studies and affiliate faculty for women’s and gender studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, will talk about his book “Ecce Homo: The Male-Body-in-Pain as Redemptive Figure.”  Translated from Latin, “ecce homo” means “behold the man.” Critics have called Brintnall’s book engaging, precisely balanced and a model for academic writers.

In his free, public presentation, Brintnall will focus on Francis Bacon's paintings and their depiction of suffering male bodies. He will discuss these images' relation to more traditional crucifixion imagery, as well as how they connect to claims of masculine power and privilege.

Drawing on perspectives from a range of disciplines—including religious studies, gender and queer studies, psychoanalysis, art history, contemporary cultural studies and others—“Ecce Homo” explores the complex, ambiguous meanings of the male body in pain. Acknowledging that representations of men confronting violence and pain can reinforce ideas of manly tenacity, Brintnall also argues that they reveal the vulnerability of men’s bodies and open them up to eroticization. Locating the roots of cultural fascination with male pain in the crucifixion, he analyzes the way narratives of Christ’s death and resurrection both support and subvert cultural fantasies of masculine power and privilege.

Reviewer Ken Stone, Chicago Theological Seminary, wrote, "I have seldom read an academic book as clearly and at times beautifully written as this one. Even when dealing with works of critical theory, Brintnall manages to write clearly without simplifying or sacrificing complexity."

This is the second talk of the 2012-13 Personally Speaking series, designed to connect the community with College of Liberal Arts & Sciences faculty. The college and the Atkins Library cosponsor the series. Britnall’s talk will be in the Dale Halton Reading Room; a reception and book signing will follow.

Reservations are requested via email to or call 704-687-0085. Parking tokens will be provided to guests who do not have UNC Charlotte parking permits.


Public Relations Media Contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830,