Recently, the U.S. has seen a rise in misogynistic and race-based violence perpetrated by men expressing a sense of grievance, from "incels" to alt-right activists. Grounding sociological, historical, political, and economic analyses of masculinity through the lens of cultural narratives in many forms and expressions, The Routledge Companion to Masculinity in American Literature and Culture suggests that how we examine the stories that shape us in turn shapes our understanding of our current reality and gives us language for imagining better futures.
Masculinity is more than a description of traits associated with particular performances of gender. It is more than a study of gender and social power. It is an examination of the ways in which gender affects our capacity to engage ethically with each other in complex human societies. This volume offers essays from a range of established, global experts in American masculinity as well as new and upcoming scholars in order to explore not just what masculinity once meant, has come to mean, and may mean in the future in the U.S.; it also articulates what is at stake with our conceptions of masculinity.
Table of Contents
Lydia R. Cooper
A Literary and Cultural History of American Masculinity
Studying Masculinities in/through U.S. Literature: Origins, Development, and Future
Josep M. Armengol
Masculinities in Early America
The Marrow of White Supremacy: Problematic White Masculinity in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition
A Crisis in (Female) Masculinity: My Ántonia & the Imaginative Recreation of the Western Frontier
Boy, One Day You’ll Be a Man: Adolescent Masculinity in Post-War American Culture
Angelica De Vido
Lighting Out for the Territories: Ecomasculinities in U.S. American Literature
Stefan L. Brandt
Current Crises and New Directions
"Queer(y)ing Masculinities: Revisited"
Bryant Keith Alexander
Heterostalgia: The Logic of Antifeminism
Dominance-Based Man Box Culture and White Supremacy
War, Violence, and American Masculinity
When the Sun Sets in the East: American Manhood and War Since Vietnam
The US Army "Warrior" and Military Masculinity: The Army Recruiting Campaigns and Evolving "Warrior"
From Toxic Fantasy to Political Satire: Masculinity in Chuck Palahniuk’s Post-Fight Club Fiction
Frame Thy Fearful Masculinity: Locating a Queer Masculinity in Marvel’s The Punisher
Men Playing Together: New Masculinities, Sport, and Contemporary Fiction
Geographies of Masculinity
"To Work Without Stopping": Masculinity and the Midwestern Farm Novel
Outlaw America: The Legacy of Jesse James and Ron Hansen’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Lydia R. Cooper
The Counter-Masculine Drive in Contemporary Reimaginations of the American Road-Trip Narrative
A Poetics of Refusal: Queer Indigenous Masculinity in Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem
Negotiating the Intersections of Masculinity, Disability, and Normative Gender Roles in the U.S./Mexico Borderlands: The Tragedy of the Self-Made Man
Representation in Contemporary Literature, Film, TV, and New Media
An Empathetic Art: Renwen仁文Masculinity in Asian American Literature
Inspiration Porn, Reclamation Porn: A View of Crip Masculinity and Micro-celebrity
Joshie Tikka and R. Noam Ostrander
Father Figures and New Masculinities in Contemporary U.S. Literature: Hegemonic and Counter-hegemonic Strategies of Paternal Representation
"I’m making up for all those years when I didn’t even know I had a cock": Toxic Masculinity in Gay Erotic Fiction
Inverting the Gaze: White Male Terror in Film Since Classic Hollywood
The Erasure of Asexuality: Sheldon’s Masculinity in The Big Bang Theory
Fetishization of Female Masculinity in She-Hulk, Big Barda and The Mighty Thor
Hailey J. Austin
Lydia R. Cooper is associate professor of contemporary American and Native American literature and chair of the department of English at Creighton University. She is the author of Cormac McCarthy: A Complexity Theory of Literature (2021); Masculinities in Literature of the American West (2016), and No More Heroes: Narrative Perspective and Morality in the Novels (2011). Her work on contemporary American and Native American writers has appeared in journals such as GLQ, Contemporary Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Studies in the Novel, Critique, Studies in American Indian Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment.
"Lydia Cooper has brought together a fascinating and formidable array of essays that brings the field of masculinity studies into the contemporary moment."
Stacey Peebles, Associate Professor of English and Director of Film Studies, Centre College