Masculinities in American Literature

Course Details

Course Number: ENGL 6613  Section Number: 270

Spring 2012

Location: Bea Wood Hall

Classroom Number: 226

Days & Times:

Wednesday night, 6:30 pm

Course Attachments

Schedule  CalendarENGL6613-1-20120402-144229.docx


The Sun Also RisesA Streetcar Named DesireThe Right StuffThe Great SantiniHorseman, Pass ByThe Great ManLet the Dead Bury Their Dead
MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Greg Giddings   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

Utilizing a post-structuralist perspective on gender in general and masculinities more specifically, this seminar will trace the varied masculine performers found in American literature during the 20th century. In particular, the class will focus on the constantly changing notions of masculinities, demonstrating gender’s cultural constructedness, as well as its slipperiness.


My goal is to provide a wide variety of ideas relating to masculinities--in a wide variety of texts.  Therefore, the texts will include not only novels, but short fiction, drama, and non-fiction as well.  Furthermore, some texts will be canonical, while others less frequently discussed by the academy.


Each student will be expected to come to class prepared and ready to participate.  Please realize that a thorough discussion of masculinities will occasion delve into subject matter that is sexually explicit and some students may be uncomfortable with these conversations. However, such discussions are necessary to facilitate our understanding of the varying masculine subjectivities in the literature. 


Following the suggestions generated by the graduate faculty assessment committee (on which I serve), this class is “geared toward” the graduate student eventually participating in the larger conversation that transcends the classroom.  With that controlling concept in mind, the student will be expected to demonstrate his or her understanding and acknowledgement of this broader academic discussion, as well as present an in-class paper in which the student engages in the aforementioned discussion.

Grading Standards


Class participation--based on attendance, submitted questions, discussion  (20%)

Annotated bibliography                                                                                          (20%)

Bibliographic presentation and discussion                                                          (10%)

“Conference-length” essay (8-12 pages, 15-20 minutes reading time)                       (40%)

Presentation of essay                                                                                               (10%)

Final Exam5/9/2012  6:30

Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Not accepted.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.