This book consists of a range of essays written by historians and literary critics which examine the historical construction of Southern masculinities, rich and poor, white and black, in a variety of contexts, from slavery in the antebellum period, through the struggle for Civil Rights, right up to the recent South. Building on the rich historiography of gender and culture in the South undertaken in recent years, this volume aims to highlight the important role Southern conceptions of masculinity have played in the lives of Southern men, and to reflect on how masculinity has intersected with class, race and power to structure the social relationships between blacks and whites throughout the history of the South. The volume highlights the multifaceted nature of Southern masculinities, demonstrating the changing ways black and white masculinities have been both imagined and practised over the years, while also emphasizing that conceptions of black and white masculinity in the American South rarely seem to be divorced from wider questions of class, race and power.
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"Expansive in scope, revealing in detail, and imaginative in research materials, this collection is a welcome addition to investigations into the pliable nature of southern masculinities....the pleasure of reading these essays, whose scholarly perspective and historical inquiry are rewarding. That they point to larger theoretical issues that have not yet been resolved only further enhances their value."Steve Blakenship, Georgia Highlands College, Journal of Southern History, Vol. 76, No. 4, November 2010
Lydia Plath is completing her doctorate in the History Department at the University of Warwick. She received her BA in 2005 and her MA in 2007, also both from Warwick. Her research focuses on identity and community formation in the antebellum South, with a particular focus on white masculinity, honour and violence during a slave insurrection scare that took place in Mississippi in the summer of 1835. Sergio Lussana is currently researching his Ph.D. at the University of Warwick. He received his BA in History from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and his MA from Warwick. His present research examines notions of enslaved masculinity, friendship, and the existence of a male slave network in the antebellum Southern United States.