The Routledge Companion to Masculinity in American Literature and Culture  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Masculinity in American Literature and Culture

Edited By

Lydia R. Cooper

ISBN 9780367520083
Published December 27, 2021 by Routledge
424 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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


Part One

A Literary and Cultural History of American Masculinity


Chapter 1

Studying Masculinities in/through U.S. Literature: Origins, Development, and Future

Josep M. Armengol


Chapter 2

Masculinities in Early America

Eran Zelnik


Chapter 3

The Marrow of White Supremacy: Problematic White Masculinity in Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition

Hyoseol Ha


Chapter 4

A Crisis in (Female) Masculinity: My Ántonia & the Imaginative Recreation of the Western Frontier

Rachel Warner


Chapter 5

Boy, One Day You’ll Be a Man: Adolescent Masculinity in Post-War American Culture

Angelica De Vido


Chapter 6

Lighting Out for the Territories: Ecomasculinities in U.S. American Literature

Stefan L. Brandt


Part Two

Current Crises and New Directions


Chapter 7

"Queer(y)ing Masculinities: Revisited"

Bryant Keith Alexander


Chapter 8

Heterostalgia: The Logic of Antifeminism

Michael Mayne


Chapter 9

Hideous Men

Erin Spampinato


Chapter 10

Dominance-Based Man Box Culture and White Supremacy

Mark Greene


Part Three

War, Violence, and American Masculinity


Chapter 11

When the Sun Sets in the East: American Manhood and War Since Vietnam

Ty Hawkins


Chapter 12

The US Army "Warrior" and Military Masculinity: The Army Recruiting Campaigns and Evolving "Warrior"

Hyunyoung Moon


Chapter 13

From Toxic Fantasy to Political Satire: Masculinity in Chuck Palahniuk’s Post-Fight Club Fiction

Coco d’Hont


Chapter 14

Frame Thy Fearful Masculinity: Locating a Queer Masculinity in Marvel’s The Punisher

Reed Puc


Chapter 15

Men Playing Together: New Masculinities, Sport, and Contemporary Fiction

Ryan Lackey


Part Four

Geographies of Masculinity


Chapter 16

"To Work Without Stopping": Masculinity and the Midwestern Farm Novel

Andy Oler


Chapter 17

Outlaw America: The Legacy of Jesse James and Ron Hansen’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Lydia R. Cooper


Chapter 18

The Counter-Masculine Drive in Contemporary Reimaginations of the American Road-Trip Narrative

Nicole Dib


Chapter 19

A Poetics of Refusal: Queer Indigenous Masculinity in Tommy Pico’s Nature Poem

John Gamber


Chapter 20

Negotiating the Intersections of Masculinity, Disability, and Normative Gender Roles in the U.S./Mexico Borderlands: The Tragedy of the Self-Made Man

Rosemary Briseño


Part Five

Representation in Contemporary Literature, Film, TV, and New Media


Chapter 21

An Empathetic Art: Renwen仁文Masculinity in Asian American Literature

King-Kok Cheung


Chapter 22

Inspiration Porn, Reclamation Porn: A View of Crip Masculinity and Micro-celebrity

Joshie Tikka and R. Noam Ostrander


Chapter 23

Father Figures and New Masculinities in Contemporary U.S. Literature: Hegemonic and Counter-hegemonic Strategies of Paternal Representation

Sara Villamarín-Freire


Chapter 24

"I’m making up for all those years when I didn’t even know I had a cock": Toxic Masculinity in Gay Erotic Fiction

Mica Hilson


Chapter 25

Inverting the Gaze: White Male Terror in Film Since Classic Hollywood

David Pass


Chapter 26

The Erasure of Asexuality: Sheldon’s Masculinity in The Big Bang Theory

Jana Fedtke


Chapter 27

Fetishization of Female Masculinity in She-Hulk, Big Barda and The Mighty Thor

Hailey J. Austin

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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