Paula Lupkin


On her book Manhood Factories: YMCA Architecture and the Making of Modern Urban Culture

Cover Interview of November 21, 2010


Manhood Factories is not simply a study of the place where young men played basketball.  I wanted to account for how Americans negotiated the social, economic, and spatial transformations modernity wrought upon the American city.

The book contributes to gender studies by providing a badly-needed history of masculine space.  It also sheds light on the role of religion in the rise of corporate culture, east-west technology transfer in the early twentieth century, the cultural dynamic between metropolitan and provincial centers in Gilded Age America, and the rationalization of leisure in the age of efficiency and productivity.

Most of all the book demonstrates the importance of the built environment in our broader understanding of American history.  Usually relegated to a relatively obscure position as a subfield of art history, the history of building, and buildings, has broader significance.

© 2010 Paula Lupkin