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Finally breaking through heterosexual clichés of flirtatious belles and cavaliers, sinister black rapists and lusty "Jezebels," Cotton's Queer Relations exposes the queer dynamics embedded in myths of the southern plantation. Focusing on works by Ernest J. Gaines, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Lillian Hellman, Katherine Anne Porter, Margaret Walker, William Styron, and Arna Bontemps, Michael P. Bibler shows how each one uses figures of same-sex intimacy to suggest a more progressive alternative to the pervasive inequalities tied historically and symbolically to the South's most iconic institution. Bibler looks specifically at relationships between white men of the planter class, between plantation mistresses and black maids, and between black men, arguing that while the texts portray the plantation as a rigid hierarchy of differences, these queer relations privilege a notion of sexual sameness that joins the individuals as equals in a system where equality is rare indeed. Bibler reveals how these models of queer egalitarianism attempt to reconcile the plantation’s regional legacies with national debates about equality and democracy, particularly during the eras of the New Deal, World War II, and the civil rights movement. Cotton's Queer Relations charts bold new territory in southern studies and queer studies alike, bringing together history and cultural theory to offer innovative readings of classic southern texts.
A challenge to traditional criticism, this engaging study demonstrates that issues of sexuality-and same-sex desire in particular-were of central importance in the literary production of the Southern Renaissance. Especially during the end of that period-approximately the 1940s and 1950s-the national literary establishment tacitly designated the South as an allowable setting for fictionalized deviancy, thus permitting southern writers tremendous freedom to explore sexual otherness. In Lovers and Beloveds, Gary Richards draws on contemporary theories of sexuality in reading the fiction of six writers of the era who accepted that potentially pejorative characterization as an opportunity: Truman Capote, William Goyen, Harper Lee, Carson McCullers, Lillian Smith, and Richard Wright. Richards skillfully juxtaposes forgotten texts by those writers with canonical works to identify the complex narratives of same-sex desire. In their novels and stories, the authors consistently reimagine gender roles, centralize homoeroticism, and probe its relationship with class, race, biological sex, and southern identity. This is the first book to assess the significance of same-sex desire in a broad range of southern texts, making a crucial contribution to the study of both literature and sexuality.
In Reconstructing the Native South, Melanie Benson Taylor examines the diverse body of Native American literature in the contemporary U.S. South--literature written by the descendants of tribes who evaded Removal and have maintained ties with their southeastern homelands. In so doing Taylor advances a provocative, even counterintuitive claim: that the U.S. South and its Native American survivors have far more in common than mere geographical proximity. Both cultures have long been haunted by separate histories of loss and nostalgia, Taylor contends, and the moments when those experiences converge in explicit and startling ways have yet to be investigated by scholars. These convergences often bear the scars of protracted colonial antagonism, appropriation, and segregation, and they share preoccupations with land, sovereignty, tradition, dispossession, subjugation, purity, and violence. Taylor poses difficult questions in this work. In the aftermath of Removal and colonial devastation, what remains--for Native and non-Native southerners--to be recovered? Is it acceptable to identify an Indian "lost cause"? Is a deep sense of hybridity and intercultural affiliation the only coherent way forward, both for the New South and for its oldest inhabitants? And in these newly entangled, postcolonial environments, has global capitalism emerged as the new enemy for the twenty-first century? Reconstructing the Native South is a compellingly original work that contributes to conversations in Native American, southern, and transnational American studies.
Sounding the Color Line explores how competing understandings of the U.S. South in the first decades of the twentieth century have led us to experience musical forms, sounds, and genres in racialized contexts. Yet, though we may speak of white or black music, rock or rap, sounds constantly leak through such barriers. A critical disjuncture exists, then, between actual interracial musical and cultural forms on the one hand and racialized structures of feeling on the other. This is nowhere more apparent than in the South. Like Jim Crow segregation, the separation of musical forms along racial lines has required enormous energy to maintain. How, asks Nunn, did the protocols structuring listeners' racial associations arise? How have they evolved and been maintained in the face of repeated transgressions of the musical color line? Considering the South as the imagined ground where conflicts of racial and national identities are staged, this book looks at developing ideas concerning folk song and racial and cultural nationalism alongside the competing and sometimes contradictory workings of an emerging culture industry. Drawing on a diverse archive of musical recordings, critical artifacts, and literary texts, Nunn reveals how the musical color line has not only been established and maintained but also repeatedly crossed, fractured, and reformed. This push and pull--between segregationist cultural logics and music's disrespect of racially defined boundaries--is an animating force in twentieth-century American popular culture.
An innovative exploration of postwar representations of effeminate men and boys.
First published over fifty years ago, A GLOSSARY OF LITERARY TERMS remains an essential text for all serious students of literature. Now fully updated to reflect the latest scholarship on recent and rapidly evolving critical theories, the eleventh edition contains a complete glossary of essential literary terms presented as a series of engaging, beautifully crafted essays that explore the terms, place them in context, and suggest related entries and additional reading. This indispensable, authoritative, and highly affordable reference covers terms useful in discussing literature and literary history, theory, and criticism. Perfect as a core text for introductory literary theory or as a supplement to any literature course, this classic work is an invaluable reference that students can continue to use throughout their academic and professional careers. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.

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