‘Ecomasculinities and the Old West in U.S. Literature: 1970- Present’
This project brings together Ecocriticism, Ecosophy, and Gender/Masculinity Studies to examine the ways in which various archetypal masculinities of the Old West, from cowboys to prospectors, have been reimagined in U.S. literature over the past fifty years. Proceeding from the standpoint that frontier narratives and the western genre have shaped the parameters of the man/nature relationship in the U.S. cultural 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.
Indicative authors for this study include Cormac McCarthy, Edward Abbey, Annie Proulx, Thomas Pynchon, and Percival Everett.