Reading against genre: contemporary westerns, and the problem of white manhood
Ross, Donika DeShawn
This project argues that white American manhood has generic conventions that obscure the nuances of contemporary white manhood. I turn to contemporary westerns where I employ an oppositional gaze to illuminate strategies for how white manhood might be reread. From Lonesome Dove (1985) to True Grit (2010), these westerns articulate and elaborate a broader cultural shift in popular conceptions of white manhood via four iterations of the homodomestic, or private communal space shared by same-sex-identifying persons, and their relationship to the heterodomestic. This project provides insight into the changed landscape of white manhood, and complicates the mythic cowboy to reveal a culture of labor, fraternity, and domesticity.