Boys Don't Cry?: Rethinking Narratives of Masculinity and Emotion in the U.S.

Boys Don't Cry?: Rethinking Narratives of Masculinity and Emotion in the U.S.

by Milette Shamir, Jennifer Travis

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We take for granted the idea that white, middle-class, straight masculinity connotes total control of emotions, emotional inexpressivity, and emotional isolation. That men repress their feelings as they seek their fortunes in the competitive worlds of business and politics seems to be a given. This collection of essays by prominent literary and cultural critics rethinks such commonly held views by addressing the history and politics of emotion in prevailing narratives about masculinity. How did the story of the emotionally stifled U.S. male come into being? What are its political stakes? Will the "release" of straight, white, middle-class masculine emotion remake existing forms of power or reinforce them? This collection forcefully challenges our most entrenched ideas about male emotion. Through readings of works by Thoreau, Lowell, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and of twentieth century authors such as Hemingway and Kerouac, this book questions the persistence of the emotionally alienated male in narratives of white middle-class masculinity and addresses the political and social implications of male emotional release.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231506342
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 04/10/2002
Series: NONE
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Milette Shamir is lecturer in American literature at Tel Aviv University.

Jennifer Travis is assistant professor of English at St. John's University in New York.

Table of Contents

What Feels an American? Evident Selves and Alienable Emotions in the New Man's World, by Evan Carton
Loving with a Vengeance: Wieland, Familicide and the Crisis of Masculinity in the Early Nation, by Elizabeth Barnes
"The Manliest Relations to Men": Thoreau on Privacy, Intimacy, and Writing, by Milette Shamir
Manly Tears: Men's Elegies for Children in Nineteenth-Century America, by Eric Haralson
How to be a (Sentimental) Race Man: Mourning and Passing in W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, by Ryan Schneider
The Law of the Heart: Emotional Injury and its Fictions, by Jennifer Travis
"The Sort of Thing You Should Not Admit": Hemingway's Aesthetics of Emotional Restraint, by Thomas Strychacz
Road Work: Rereading Kerouac's Midcentury Melodrama of Beset Sonhood, by Stephen Davenport
Men's Tears and the Roles of Melodrama, by Tom Lutz
Men's Liberation, Men's Wounds: Emotion, Sexuality, and the Reconstruction of Masculinity in the 1970s, by Sally Robinson
The Politics of Feeling: Men, Masculinity, and Mourning on the Capital Mall, by Judith Newton

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