Cheever, “Country Husband”
Fleming, Casino Royale
Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
Greene, Our Man in Havana
Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go
Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room
Kerouac, On the Road
Farrell, “Post-Traumatic Culture” pdf
Cuordileone , “Cold War Politics” JSTOR
Scholes and Wolfman, “How to Read a Modernist Magazine.” pdf
Earle, All Man!: Hemingway, 1950s Men’s Magazines, and the Masculine Persona (available used — and cheap — via Amazon)
Best Years of Our Lives
Panic in the Streets
Rebel Without a Cause
LIT4013: MID-CENTURY MASCULINITY.
AND THE AMERICAN MALE
In America’s collective memory the 1950s is a time of prosperity, of innocence, of family values, and the suburban American dream. It was the image put forward in Norman Rockwell’s covers for The Saturday Evening Post, in Coca Cola ads, in T.V. shows such as “Leave it to Beaver.” But underneath this idealistic representation America was a country torn by racism, by the traumas of World War Two, by Cold War paranoia. It was also a time when gender roles were reinforced in popular culture.
This class will examine the construction and socialization of masculinity and, by proxy, femininity in a diverse texts, ranging from popular hypermasculine thrillers to best sellers to classics of the beat movement. We will also watch a variety of films. All of these texts explore different pressures of gender, aspects of culture, and functions of media. Underneath it all will be the disparity between reality and the fiction of history.
1/6: Introductions, reading culture.
1/15: Cuordileone article, “Cold War Politics”; Discussion, also group organization
1/20: Ian Fleming, Casino Royale: 1-110
1/22: Fleming, finish; Context: bachelor magazines; essay, Scholes and Wolfman, “How to Read a Modernist Magazine.”
1/27: Film, “Panic in the Streets”; Essay: Gelber, “Do-It-Yourself: Constructing, Repairing, and Maintaining Masculinity” American Quarterly, 49.1 (project muse)
2/3: Reading: Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit; Context, magazine advertisements
2/5: Wilson, finish; Discussion, Context: Argosy and True
2/10: Film, Dr. Strangelove
2/12: cont.; Paper one Due
2/17: Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana, 1—120 (up to part four)
2/19: Greene, Finish
Context: Cold War Propaganda Films
2/24: Film, “Rebel without a Cause”
3/3: Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go
3/5: Himes, Discussion cont.
3/10: spring break
3/12: spring break
3/17: Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room, -- 102 (part two, chapter three)
3/19: Baldwin, finish.
3/24: Group Work Workshop / Safety Day
3/26: Thesis Conferences
3/31: Intro to Beat Culture
4/2: Jack Kerouac: On the Road, Part 1
4/7: Kerouac, read to 178 (part three)
4/9: Kerouac, Finish
4/14: Presentations and Web Pages due: [web page template] rt click, save as
4/16: Presentations and Web Pages due
4/21: Film tba
4/23: Paper Two Due