Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Skins: White masculinity in James Smith's Remarkable Occurrences in the early national period
by Whitlock, Harry L., II, M.A., University of Wyoming, 2014, 140; 1561386
Abstract (Summary)

An Account of the Remarkable Occurrences in the Life and Travels of Col. James Smith (1799) is an important but overlooked text of the Early National Period. This thesis examines the construction and performance of white masculinity in James Smith's narrative with regard to other white men, the Native American, and the African American slave through gender theory, masculinity studies, settler theory, Bourdieu's concept of cultural capital, and whiteness studies. Although the hegemonic masculinity of elite white men seeks to keep lower-class white men such as Smith from rising in social status, Smith's text works to privilege his knowledge of American Indian warfare and the unsettled trans-Appalachian lands, as well as his independent nature, as necessary for westward expansion. Smith also defines his whiteness in opposition to the Native American and African American Other, a racist construction that is needed to demonstrate he is the social equal to elite white men. The rhetoric of Smith's text represents his masculinity as the kind of white manhood that is needed in the United States during the Early National Period.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Holland, Jeanne
Commitee: Russell, Caskey, Schultz, Ronald
School: University of Wyoming
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Wyoming
Source: MAI 53/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: African Studies, American literature, Gender studies
Keywords: Early national period, Masculinity, Whiteness
Publication Number: 1561386
ISBN: 978-1-321-06453-7
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