Jolane Flanigan, assistant professor, communication studies, 406.238.7256,
RMC Media Team, 406.657.1105, 

Photo caption: Toryn Rogers 

Toryn RogersToryn Rogers (’14) presents at regional communication studies conference

BILLINGS, March 25, 2014 – Senior Toryn Rogers presents his original paper at the Northwest Communication Association annual conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, April 17-19.

The conference of communication studies professionals focuses on developing theories of organizational, technical, media, rhetorical, and interpersonal communication.

For Assistant Professor Jolane Flanigan’s Gender and Communication seminar, Rogers wrote a 45-page paper titled “Constructing a Fantastical Body: Conceptions and Presentations of Masculinity in Print, Animation, and Flesh.” 

In it, Rogers dissects one example of how visual media constructs social definitions of masculinity in terms of gender roles and physicality. Media’s role in defining femininity has received wide attention, but recent masculine roles have received less analysis.

Rogers analyzes prints and animation screenshots of prominent manga and anime franchises and then images of cosplayers, people who attend popular culture conventions as a particular fictional character. Then he discussed the touchstones of fictional bodies and people’s representation of those images. His paper asks how images invite their viewers to distinguish between positive and negative attributes.

He found that “an association between strength and a muscular body suggests a linking of social power and privilege to masculine physical attractiveness and martial prowess as defined by socially valued muscularity.”

Rogers’ professor, Jolane Flanigan, said, “Toryn began his analysis of masculinity when he took our seminar class. From there he worked diligently to edit and revise his work in order to arrive at a thoughtful and engaging analysis. I've reviewed papers for our National Communication Association Conference, and I believe his would have been accepted to [that conference]. Well done!”