|Instructor Info:||Scott Branson|
Office Extension x413-559-6216
|TA Info:||Sara Coughlin|
The history of the novel in America has always been intertwined with the production of an image of the American man. From Hawthorne's attempt to best the "mobs of scribbling women" to the idealized loner cowboy, from the hard-boiled journalistic prose of Hemingway to the maximalist and misogynist rantings of Roth, we might say that the epitome of the American self-made man is the novelistic protagonist. In this course, we will combine literary study and gender theory to begin to examine the myth of the American man, considering both how it is constructed and undermined in American literature. We will pay particular attention to the function of sexual and racial difference - and its erasure - in the idealization of the male protagonist (and author). Readings will draw from a range of texts from the 19th-century to the present, including short stories and novels by Melville, Hemingway, Chandler, Wright, O'Connor, Baldwin, Roth, Diaz and Wallace.
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