Cheever, “Country Husband”
Fleming, Casino Royale
Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
Greene, Our Man in Havana
Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room
Kerouac, On the Road
Best Years of Our Lives
Panic in the Streets
Rebel Without a Cause
Kiss Me Deadly
LIT3084: 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.
1/5: No Class
1/10: Introductions, reading culture, reading magazines.
1/17: No Class
1/26: Discussion, also group organization
Context: bachelor magazines, essay, Scholes and Wolfman, “How to Read a Modernist Magazine.”
1/31: Ian Fleming, Casino Royale: 1-110
2/2: Fleming, finish
2/7: Film, “Panic in the Streets”; Essay: Gelber, “Do-It-Yourself: Constructing, Repairing, and Maintaining Masculinity” American Quarterly, 49.1 (project muse)
2/14: Reading: Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Context, magazine advertisements
2/16: Wilson, finish, Paper one Due
Context: Argosy and True
2/21: Film, “Dr. Strangelove”
2/28: Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana, 1—120 (up to part four)
3/2: Greene, Finish
3/7: Film, “Rebel without a Cause”
3/14: spring break
3/16: spring break
3/21: Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room, -- 102 (part two, chapter three)
3/23: Baldwin, finish. Paper Two Due
3/28: Intro to Beat Culture
3/30: Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 1
4/4:Jack Kerouac: On the Road, read to 178 (part three)
4/6: Kerouac, Finish
4/11: Group work / safety day.
4/13: Group Proof reading workshop
[web page template] rt click, save as
4/18: Presentations and web page due
4/20: no class
What is this guy thinking?