RE-ESTABLISHING MASCULINITIES IN EARLY TO MID-20TH CENTURY AMERICAN FICTION
AuthorYang, Julie Kyu
Committee memberLee, Sue-Im
Henry, Katherine, 1956-
African American literature
Asian American literature
Jewish American literature
Race and ethnicity
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/4710
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AbstractHow has the concept of masculinity been revised and adapted by different writers over the course of the early to mid-20th century? How and why did the authors respond to the question of masculinity differently? To answer these questions, this dissertation navigates the contested nature of masculinity in works spanning the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. I juxtapose two to three writers and their selected works in each chapter divided by the authors’ race and ethnicity: William Dean Howells’ The Rise of Silas Lapham and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Richard Wright by focusing on Up from Slavery, The Souls of Black Folk, and Native Son respectively; Mike Gold’s Jews without Money and Nathanael West’s A Cool Million: The Dismantling of Lemuel; Younghill Kang’s East Goes West: and Carlos Bulosan’s America is in the Heart. The writers I examine present masculinities that deviate from hegemonic masculinity, challenge and/or reinforce the definition and parameters of hegemonic masculinity, and develop models of masculinity that meet the needs of their specific historical moments. I argue that juxtaposing different modalities of masculinity construction and exploring the multifaceted treatment of American masculinity afford a more comprehensive perspective about the avenues through which masculinity is made manifest. My examination of multiple masculinities reveals the processes of establishing, maintaining, and contesting hegemonic masculinity. Moreover, tracking historical changes in masculinities uncovers how a set of essentialized traits, though changing, have transformed into and manifested as a privileged form of masculinity.
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The Presence and Use of the Native American and African American Oral Trickster Traditions in Zitkala-Sa's Old Indian Legends and American Indian Stories and Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure WomanKarcher, Carolyn L., 1945-; Drake, Jayne; Williams, Roland Leander; Salazar, James B. (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)The Presence and Use of the Native American and African American Oral Trickster Traditions in Zitkala-Sa's Old Indian Legends and American Indian Stories and Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman My dissertation examines early Native American and African American oral trickster tales and shows how the pioneering authors Zitkala-Sa (Lakota) and Charles W. Chesnutt (African American) drew on them to provide the basis for a written literature that critiqued the political and social oppression their peoples were experiencing. The dissertation comprises 5 chapters. Chapter 1 defines the meaning and role of the oral trickster figure in Native American and African American folklore. It also explains how my participation in the Native American and African American communities as a long-time storyteller and as a trained academic combine to allow me to discern the hidden messages contained in Native American and African American oral and written trickster literature. Chapter 2 pinpoints what is distinctive about the Native American oral tradition, provides examples of trickster tales, explains their meaning, purpose, and cultural grounding, and discusses the challenges of translating the oral tradition into print. The chapter also includes an analysis of Jane Schoolcraft's short story "Mishosha" (1827). Chapter 3 focuses on Zitkala-Sa's Old Indian Legends (1901) and American Indian Stories (1921). In the legends and stories, Zitkala-Sa is able to preserve much of the mystical, magical, supernatural, and mythical quality of the original oral trickster tradition. She also uses the oral trickster tradition to describe and critique her particular nineteenth-century situation, the larger historical, cultural, and political context of the Sioux Nation, and Native American oppression under the United States government. Chapter 4 examines the African American oral tradition, provides examples of African and African American trickster tales, and explains their meaning, purpose, and cultural grounding. The chapter ends with close readings of the trickster tale elements embedded in William Wells Brown's Clotel; or, The President's Daughter (1853), Harriett Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861), and Martin R. Delany's Blake, or the Huts of America (serialized 1859 - 1862). Chapter 5 shows how Charles Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman rests upon African-derived oral trickster myths, legends, and folklore preserved in enslavement culture. Throughout the Conjure tales, Chesnutt uses the supernatural as a metaphor for enslaved people's resistance, survival skills and methods, and for leveling the ground upon which Blacks and Whites struggled within the confines of the enslavement and post-Reconstruction South. Native American and African American oral and written trickster tales give voice to their authors' concerns about the social and political quality of life for themselves and for members of their communities. My dissertation allows these voices a forum from which to "speak."
Sovereignties Displaced: Avant-Garde Prose and Authoritarianism in Spain, Chile, and Argentina (1923-1936)Pereiro Otero, José Manuel; Pueyo Zoco, Víctor; Shellhorse, Adam Joseph; Poeta, Salvatore J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2020)Whereas contemporary debates in Latin American studies addressing sovereignty often focus on dictatorships and the transitions to democratic governments in Latin America in the late twentieth century, Sovereignties Displaced: Avant-Garde Prose and Authoritarianism in Spain, Chile, and Argentina (1923-1936) adopts a transatlantic framework and directs critical attention to the cultural production of the interwar period. The historical and cultural events preceding and following 1929 are connected to World War I, the political crisis of democratic systems, and the global socioeconomic instability of the period. The three countries studied in the present work would be affected by these conditions, sharing an almost synchronic development of the authoritarian governments of Miguel Primo de Rivera in Spain (1923-1930), of Carlos Ibáñez del Campo in Chile (1927-1931), and José Félix Uriburu in Argentina (1930-1932). Additionally, the rise of authoritarianism and the decay of parliamentary institutions characterizing this epoch condition and inscribe the political essays and avant-garde novels composed by the intellectuals and writers analyzed in this study: from Spain, María Zambrano (1904-1991), Ramón Gómez de la Serna (1888-1963), and Benjamín Jarnés (1888-1949); from Chile, Alberto Edwards Vives (1874-1932), Juan Emar (1893-1964), and Vicente Huidobro (1893-1948); and from Argentina, Ramón Doll (1896-1970), Norah Lange (1905-1972), and Roberto Arlt (1900-1942). It should be noted that while considering national circumstances, my argumentation is divided into sections organized not by country, but rather by subject matter: a methodological and theoretical introduction, three analytical chapters, and concluding remarks. Established critical assessments of the avant-gardes, as offered by experts like Renato Poggioli (1907-1963), have underscored that democratic forms of government would provide the initial conditions of possibility of the historical avant-gardes. Other scholars, however, have recognized the interdependency of early twentieth century artistic discourses, revolutionary ideas, and authoritarianism. Informed by the theorization of sovereignty and democracy of Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), and the concept of community of Roberto Esposito (1950-), my research examines, in political essays and vanguard novels, the opposition of individual vis-à-vis collective forms of rule. The texts of my corpus manifest a recurrent concern relating to the tension between self-rule and collective-rule, a dynamic which organizes and destabilizes avant-garde formations themselves. Consequently, I analyze the philosophical and political ramifications of these authors’ defense, negation, or destabilization of the individual-collective opposition in the context of the deterioration of parliamentarism. In my first chapter, I examine the following essays that represent a range of political positions from the interwar years: Horizonte del liberalismo (1930) by María Zambrano, Liberalismo en la literatura y la política (Con una segunda edición de: “Democracia mal menor”) (1934, n/d) by Ramón Doll, and La fronda aristocrática en Chile (1928) by Alberto Edwards Vives. Framed by the sociological assessments of José Ortega y Gasset in La rebelión de las masas (1930), this chapter considers these essayists’ observations regarding mass politics and the role of political and economic elites. I foreground the ethical problems relating to these authors’ conceptions of the human subject and their concomitant formulations of governance, deriving from various ideological orientations. The essayists’ comparable anxieties regarding the limits of democratic politics reveal the complexities of the period and serve as a springboard for the subsequent chapters that study the politics of avant-garde novels. In my second chapter, shifting from essayistic discourse to vanguard fiction, I analyze philosophical oppositions central to the configuration of sovereignty, and to the theory and practice of democracy. 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My final chapter studies the narrative presentations of radical political projects that aim to restructure society in Los siete locos (1929) by Roberto Arlt, La próxima (1934) by Vicente Huidobro, and Lo rojo y lo azul (1932) by Benjamín Jarnés. In contrast to the narratives included in the second chapter, these avant-garde novels establish an explicit dialogue with the conditions of crisis of the interwar years. From insurrections and utopian settlements, to revolutionary military revolts, these narrations depict small vanguard groups that propose various plots that seek to radically reshape the social order. Even though poetry is often positioned as the paradigmatic form of vanguard literary expression, my research theorizes the understudied phenomenon of Hispanic avant-garde prose. In particular, I account for the variation among avant-garde novels of the period, by sustaining that there are gradations of vanguard narrative depending on different factors that range from the transparency or opacity of linguistic expression, to the organization of the narrative material. In this sense, some novels considered vanguardist, while approaching a certain radicality in terms of language and form, may incorporate elements of the realist-naturalist novelistic tradition. Likewise, I assert the importance of attending to the varied uses of meta-reflexive procedures in Hispanic vanguard prose. Given their implicit and explicit interaction with contemporary historical conditions and political and artistic discourses of the 1920s and 1930s, I contend that the essays and avant-garde novels analyzed offer a fertile ground to examine the nature of sovereignty, while also presenting, in some crucial instances, potential images of what a democracy worthy of this name could look like.
BLOOD DISORDERS: A TRANSATLANTIC STUDY OF THE VAMPIRE AS AN EXPRESSION OF IDEOLOGICAL, POLITICAL, AND ECONOMIC TENSIONS IN LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY HISPANIC SHORT FICTIONAldarondo, Hiram; Pereiro Otero, José Manuel; Pueyo Zoco, Víctor; Esteban, Angel, 1963- (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)This dissertation explores vampire logic in Hispanic short fiction of the last decade of the 19th century and first three decades of the 20th century, and is thus a comparative study; not simply between Spanish and Latin American literary production, but also between Hispanic and European literary traditions. As such, this study not only draws attention to how Hispanic authors employed traditional Gothic conventions—and by extension, how Hispanic nations produced “modern” literature—but also to how these authors adapted previous models and therefore deviated from and questioned the European Gothic tradition, and accordingly, established trends and traditions of their own. This study does not pretend to be exhaustive. Even though I mention poetry, plays, and novels from the first appearance of the literary vampire in the mid-18th century through the fin de siglo and the first few decades of the 20th century, I focus on short fiction produced within and shortly thereafter the fin de siglo, as this time period saw a resurgence of the vampire figure on a global scale and the first legitimate appearance in Hispanic letters, being as it coincided with a rise in periodicals and short story production and represented developments and anxieties related to the physical and behavioral sciences, technological advances and urban development, waves of immigration and disease, and war. While Chapter 1 establishes a working theory of the vampire from a historical and materialist perspective, each of the following chapters explores a different trend in Hispanic vampire literature: Chapter 2 looks at how vampire narratives represent political and economic anxieties particular to Spain and Latin America; Chapter 3 studies newly married couples and how vampire logic leads to the death of the wife—and thus the death of the “angel of the house” ideal—therefore challenging ideas surrounding marriage, the family, and the home; lastly, Chapter 4 explores courting couples and how disruptions in the makeup of the public/private divide influenced images of female monstrosity—complex, parodic ones in the Hispanic case. One of the main conclusions this study reaches is that Hispanic authors were indeed producing Gothic images, but that these images deviated from the European Gothic vampire literary tradition and prevailing literary tendencies of the time through aesthetic and narrative experimentation and as a result of particular anxieties related to their histories, developments, and current realities. While Latin America and Spain produced few explicit, Dracula-like vampires, the vampire figures, metaphors, and allegories discussed in the chapters speak to Spain and Latin America’s political, economic, and ideological uncertainties, and as a result, their “place” within the modern global landscape. This dissertation ultimately suggests that Hispanic Gothic representations are unique because they were being produced within peripheral spaces, places considered “non-modern” because of their distinct histories of exploitation and development and their distinct cultural, religious, and racial compositions, therefore shifting perceptions of Otherness and turning the Gothic on its head. The vampire in the Hispanic context, I suggest, is a fusion of different literary currents, such as Romanticism, aesthetic movements, such as Decadence, and modes, such as the Gothic and the Fantastic, and is therefore different in many ways from its predecessors. These texts abound with complex representations that challenge the status quo, question dominant narratives, parody literary formulas, and break with tradition.