I am a PhD student in English at the University of Leeds. My research examines the relationship between masculinity and nature in literary reimaginings of the American Old West.
My primary texts, from Cormac McCarthy, Annie Proulx, Percival Everett, Thomas Pynchon, Edward Abbey, and Larry McMurtry, have been chosen for the way in which they both engage with, and also strategically depart from and critique, a masculine cultural heritage emerging from frontier narratives, and the western genre.
Proceeding from the standpoint that this cultural heritage has played a significant role in shaping the parameters of the man/nature relationship in the U.S. imagination, I am interested in highlighting the ways in which these traditional conceptions of ‘manliness’ have been challenged in an era of increased environmental awareness, and changing gender norms.
I am particularly interested in the concept of the ‘ecomasculine’ both as an identity and as a critical tool.