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Vulnerable Constitutions : Queerness, Disability, and the Remaking of American Manhood, Hardback Book

Vulnerable Constitutions : Queerness, Disability, and the Remaking of American Manhood Hardback


Amputation need not always signify castration; indeed, in Jack London's fiction, losing a limb becomes part of a process through which queerly gendered men become properly masculinized.

In her astute book, Vulnerable Constitutions, Cynthia Barounis explores the way American writers have fashioned alternative-even resistant-epistemologies of queerness, disability, and masculinity.

She seeks to understand the way perverse sexuality, physical damage, and bodily contamination have stimulated-rather than created a crisis for-masculine characters in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century literature. Barounis introduces the concept of "anti-prophylactic citizenship"-a mode of political belonging characterized by vulnerability, receptivity, and risk-to examine counternarratives of American masculinity.

Investigating the work of authors including London, William Faulkner, James Baldwin, and Eli Clare, she presents an evolving narrative of medicalized sexuality and anti-prophylactic masculinity.

Her literary readings interweave queer theory, disability studies, and the history of medicine to demonstrate how evolving scientific conversations around deviant genders and sexualities gave rise to a new model of national belonging-ultimately rewriting the story of American masculinity as a story of queer-crip rebellion.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Temple University Press,U.S.
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literature: history & criticism
  • ISBN: 9781439915066

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