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How can we end male violence? Bristol conference invites contributions from professionals working with boys and young men

4 August 2022

Researchers from 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 around masculinity, violence and mental health.

‘Boys at the Crossroads’ will be held at The Station in Bristol on 14 October 2022. The focus of discussions will be on how to end male violence and challenge harmful masculine norms and cultures that affect people of all genders.

Men’s violence is one of the biggest single health risks facing women, girls and people of marginalised genders. Meanwhile, suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40, and men and boys also experience violence, including sexual harms, though overwhelmingly perpetrated by other men.

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

This multidisciplinary conference will be a space to share, showcase, troubleshoot and reflect on the inspiring work that’s going on locally, regionally and nationally around this topic and offer a space to meet, network and connect with people engaged in this crucial work.

Dr Nathan Eisenstadt, Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol, said: “With this conference, we’re very much hoping to create conversations between and across practice, activism and research, and to span the often separate terrains of work around young men’s mental health and wellbeing, and work oriented more directly at ending gender-based violence. We welcome contributions from people working with boys and young men in any field who have an interest in this endeavour.”

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

  • Theorising/rethinking/redoing/undoing masculinity/ies
  • Ending gender-based violence
  • Activism: mental health/gender equality
  • Trans and queer masculinities/masculinity and transition
  • Intersections of race, racism, masculinity
  • Digital masculinities/Work with boys around/through technology
  • Men’s health, mental health, suicide and suicide prevention
  • Ritual and rites of passage
  • Sport - engaging boys and young men through sports and movement
  • Intimacy, loneliness and anxiety
  • Sexuality
  • Sex and porn
  • Fathering/Parenting/Raising boys and being a young dad.

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


  • Workshops: 30mins - 1hr. A chance for people to experience the work you do. This can be hands-on, practical, involving movement, music, art... let’s keep it interesting and outside the box.
  • Presentations: A 15-20min talk with or without slides on your topic of choice whether theoretical or practical, reflecting on projects past and/or proposing ways forward.
  • Poster: An A1 printed poster showcasing your work/idea. Poster sessions will be informal - the presenter will stay by the poster while participants walk around and stop to chat by a poster that sparks their interest.
  • Panel Session - A grouping of 3-5 presentation abstracts around a theme. You pull together the team, theme and host the session.
  • Stall - For organisations working with men and boys. For booksellers with books and zines on the topic.
  • Creative response: we welcome proposals of no more than 250 words from makers, artists, those with a cultural practice, that respond to the themes outlined in this invitation for expression of interest. Depending on your practice this may be a reading, a performative piece, an installation or a projection. Subject to negotiation and within the constraints of available time on the programme and the venue... surprise us.

Please submit expressions of interest via this google form.

Deadline (extended): 7 August 2022

Register for the conference.

Further information

About Bristol Young Men’s Network:

Bristol Young Men’s Network was formed in 2020 to link-up practitioners, academics and young people working with boys and young men. Straddling the terrains 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 organisers are: Off the Record BristolKoothTIGER CoopCreative Youth NetworkNYCEUniversity of Bristol Centre for Academic Primary Care and The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

The conference has been made possible with funding from the Brigstow InstituteIdeas Exchange stream.

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

The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) at the University of Bristol is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. It sits within Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching.

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