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date: 24 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although contemporary southern sexuality studies, especially as impacted by literary scholars and historians, continue to grow in nuance and complexity, the field often positions Tennessee Williams as a lynchpin figure. On the one hand, he enriches this field in multiple ways, including through his accessible sexuality, his astonishingly diverse set of writings in multiple genres, and his wide-ranging, provocative representations of sexuality. On the other hand, it stands to imperil southern studies, southern drama studies, and southern sexuality studies when interrogations of his work, taken to be the sum of southern drama, are limited to The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar named Desire, and Cat on a Hot Tim Roof. In contrast to this valorized trinity, his other plays from throughout his long career and especially his unexplored fiction offer a radically different imagining of gayness, one marked by mentorship and camaraderie.

Keywords: canonization, diversity, drama, homosexuality, same-sex desire, sexuality, Tennessee Williams

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