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Book cover of 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 (Editor), Jennifer Travis

Publisher: Columbia University Press
Pages: 320
Paperback
ISBN: 9780231120357






Available to Buy

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

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.

Columbia University Press

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

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. 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.

Booknews

Eleven academics from English, literature, and women and gender studies examine the emotional history of American masculinity. Collectively, the eleven essays explore the origins of the concept of the emotionally stifled U.S. male; how this concept has changed over time; reasons why it continues to dominate images of white, middle- class masculinity; what is at stake in the repeated announcement that men are emotionally stifled; and the cultural uses of representing male feelings in light of this concept. The authors consider masculinity and emotion in literary narratives, including works by Crevecoeur, Brockden Brown, Thoreau, Lowell, Du Bois, Cather, Hemingway, Kerouac, Irving, and in other kinds of narrative, including political theory, legal history, film melodramas, popular men's studies texts, academic discourse, and oral interviews. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

About the Author, Milette Shamir

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.

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

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Editorials

Brandeis Review

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 expression.

Modernism/Modernity

This collection of eleven scholarly essays successfully combines a cultural history of male emotion with detailed readings of male-authored texts... Shamir and Travis's collection discovers male emotionality to be far more intricate than many facile equations of masculine subjectivity... are inclined to allow for.

— Berthold Schoene

Modernism/Modernity

This collection of eleven scholarly essays successfully combines a cultural history of male emotion with detailed readings of male-authored texts... Shamir and Travis's collection discovers male emotionality to be far more intricate than many facile equations of masculine subjectivity... are inclined to allow for.

Booknews

Eleven academics from English, literature, and women and gender studies examine the emotional history of American masculinity. Collectively, the eleven essays explore the origins of the concept of the emotionally stifled U.S. male; how this concept has changed over time; reasons why it continues to dominate images of white, middle- class masculinity; what is at stake in the repeated announcement that men are emotionally stifled; and the cultural uses of representing male feelings in light of this concept. The authors consider masculinity and emotion in literary narratives, including works by Crevecoeur, Brockden Brown, Thoreau, Lowell, Du Bois, Cather, Hemingway, Kerouac, Irving, and in other kinds of narrative, including political theory, legal history, film melodramas, popular men's studies texts, academic discourse, and oral interviews. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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