Giovanni’s Room and Toxic Masculinity

Multipart class

date First meeting: Thursday, 14 June 2018 time 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

👤 Andrew Ratner 🏢 West End Neighborhood Library


event preview image

The author, James Baldwin, 1955. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [LC-USZ62-42481].

Giovanni’s Room is the story of a white, American narrator living in Paris whose life is irrevocably changed by a romantic relationship with a man named Giovanni. The book was written in 1956 by James Baldwin, a black essayist, author, and playwright who became famous for writing about the black experience in America. The novel raises questions about masculinity, specifically toxic masculinity and its continued pervasiveness in society.

In the first class of the two-part series you will work in small groups to perform a character analysis on the narrator, David, looking at him through the lens of toxic masculinity. In the second class you will hear what representatives from organizations here in D.C. are doing to counter toxic masculinity and reflect on your own experiences.

Please read Giovanni’s Room prior to the first class.

This class has two parts; by signing up, you are committing to attend both sessions. Upon registration you will be invited to join an online learning management system, Canvas, where you can post comments about Giovanni’s Room ahead of the first class. Click here to view the Canvas site with the other recommended articles to read ahead of class.

Class meeting schedule

Session 1: Thursday, June 14, 7-8:30 p.m., West End Neighborhood Library

Session 2: Thursday, June 28, 7-8:30 p.m., West End Neighborhood Library


West End Neighborhood Library
2301 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20037
Neighborhood: West End
The new library that opened in December 2017!

Past event