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Title page for ETD etd-07312013-151701

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Ross, Donika DeShawn
Author's Email Address donika.d.ross@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-07312013-151701
Title Reading against genre: contemporary westerns, and the problem of white manhood
Degree PhD
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael Kreyling Committee Chair
Dana D. Nelson Committee Member
Paul Young Committee Member
Sarah Igo Committee Member
  • masculinity studies
  • whiteness
  • westerns
  • film
  • American literature
Date of Defense 2013-05-29
Availability unrestricted
This project argues that white American manhood has generic conventions that obscure the nuances of contemporary white manhood. I turn to contemporary westerns where I employ an oppositional gaze to illuminate strategies for how white manhood might be reread. From Lonesome Dove (1985) to True Grit (2010), these westerns articulate and elaborate a broader cultural shift in popular conceptions of white manhood via four iterations of the homodomestic, or private communal space shared by same-sex-identifying persons, and their relationship to the heterodomestic. This project provides insight into the changed landscape of white manhood, and complicates the mythic cowboy to reveal a culture of labor, fraternity, and domesticity.
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