Eco-Man: New Perspectives on Masculinity and Nature

Eco-Man: New Perspectives on Masculinity and Nature


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The paradoxical role nature plays in American myth and history grows in part from the male’s reverent fascination with the wilderness and his equally strong impulse to dominate it. Many canonical literary works—think of Thoreau, Melville, Hemingway, Faulkner—look to the wild as the site for establishing a man’s selfhood. But nature is just as often subjected to his most violent displays of mastery.

This tension lies at the heart of Eco-Man, which brings together two rapidly growing fields: men’s studies and ecocriticism. The two disciplines have rarely if ever touched on each other; brought together, men’s studies is freed from its typical limitation of an exclusively urban-centered perspective, while ecocriticism engages an "ecomasculine" lens through which to view the field. The book’s contents are diverse, but the contributors all challenge our idea of masculinity as merely the social code of patriarchy. By complicating our cultural notions of nature and masculinity, the volume’s twenty essays question whether we can construct a notion of manhood around ecological principles and practices—and if so, what this would look like, and how it would enrich men’s studies.

The varied assembly of contributors to Eco-Man—including historians, philosophers, poets, both male and female—have all written with the general reader in mind. The result is a book as approachable as it is groundbreaking.

Contributors:John Tallmadge * Gretchen Legler * Mark Allister * Scott Russell Sanders * Thomas R. Smith * Scott Slovic * Alvin Handelman * David Copland Morris * Rick Fairbanks * Cheryll Glotfelty * Barton Sutter * James Barilla * Timothy Young * O. Alan Weltzien * Julia Martin * Patrick D. Murphy * Jim Heynen * Lilace Mellin Guignard * Stephen J. Mexal * Ken Lamberton * James J. Farrell

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813923055
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Publication date: 09/03/2004
Series: Under the Sign of Nature Series
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mark Allister, Professor of English at St. Olaf College, is the author of Refiguring the Map of Sorrow (Virginia).

Table of Contents

Formulating the Issues: Overviews
Deerslayer with a Degree17
The Sky, the Earth, the Sea, the Soul28
"To Be a Man" in the Common Life of Nature: An Interview with Scott Russell Sanders41
Chariot of the Sun: Men and the Shame of Environmental Degradation54
Taking Care: Toward an Ecomasculinist Literary Criticism?66
The "New Man" in Nature
Anecdote of the Car: The Diminished Thing83
Traversing the Timelines98
The Boys' Trip111
"Once a Cowboy": Will James, Waddie Mitchell, and the Predicament of Riders Who Turn Writers127
Rethinking "Manly" Pursuits: Fishing, Hunting, Climbing
Fishing the Mysteries143
On the Point of a Sharp Hook149
I Love the Single Deer Path157
Fathers and Sons, Trails and Mountains168
Mothers, Fathers, Sons, Wives
As Big As the World: Imagination, Kindness, and Our Little Boys181
Nature Nurturing Fathers in a World beyond Our Control196
When Tillage Begins: A Family Portrait211
Husbands and Nature Lovers219
Unusual Natures
Consuming Cities: Hip-Hop's Urban Wilderness and the Cult of Masculinity235
Wild Time: Prisoners and Nature248
The Nature of My Life257
Notes on Contributors275

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