- The Oxford Handbook of the Literature of the U.S. South
- Literary and Textual Histories of the Native South
- Before Hypodescent: Whitening Equations in South America and the American South
- The Dying Confession of Joseph Hare: Transatlantic Highwaymen and Southern Outlaws in the Antebellum South
- Jackson’s Villes, Squares, and Frontiers of Democracy
- Locality and the Serial South
- The Long Shadow of Torture in the American South
- Masculine Sentiment, Racial Fetishism, and Same-Sex Desire in Antebellum Southern Literature
- Southern Affects: Field and Feeling in a Skeptical Age
- Not-So-Still Waters: Travelers to Florida and the Tropical Sublime
- Indian Knives and Color Lines: Mark Twain from Hannibal to the Jim Crow Raj
- Narrative and Counternarrative in <i>The Leopard’s Spots</i> and <i>The Marrow of Tradition</i>
- The Bright Side: African American Women and the Affective Archive of Southern Racial Uplift
- “Proffered for Your Perusal in Ring by Concentric Ring”: The South and the World in William Faulkner’s Fiction
- Richard Weaver, Lillian Smith, the South, and the World
- Arts of Abjection in James Agee, Walker Evans, and Luis Buñuel
- Tennessee Williams and the Burden of Southern Sexuality Studies
- Reimagining the South of Richard Wright: The Anti-Protest Writing of Albert Murray, Raymond Andrews, and Ernest Gaines
- Letter-Writing, Authorship, and Southern Women Modernists
- Nature and Spirituality in Contemporary Appalachian Poetry
- Southern Religion’s Sexual Charge and the National Imagination
- Their Confederate Kinfolk: African Americans’ Interracial Family Histories
- Mourning, Mockery, and the Post-South in Lars von Trier’s <i>Manderlay</i> and Geraldine Brooks’s <i>March</i>
- Made Things: Structuring Modernity in Southern Poetry
- Four Contemporary Latina/o Writers Ghost the U.S. South
- You Don’t Have to Be Born There: Immigration and Contemporary Fiction of the U.S. South
- Asian Americans, Racial Latency, Southern Traces
- The Woundedness of Southern Literature, Looking Away
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter surveys a range of fictional texts by both white and black writers from the antebellum South. Seeking to initiate a wider investigation of same-sex relations in the region, it maps the depictions of white male desires and homoerotic intimacies in narratives of sympathy, friendship, courtship, mastery, and sexual exploitation. The chapter shows how male writers infuse homoerotic sentimentality into certain forms of homosociality, including loyalties across the color line, to consolidate male power. And, it shows how women writers also foreground male homoerotic relations, but for the opposite purpose of exposing the dangers and policing the limits of white men’s power and white men’s desires—including desires for white and black women. Altogether, these texts demonstrate that a clear validation of male homoeroticism was central, not oppositional, to the constructions of masculine intimacy during this time.
Michael P. Bibler is Associate Professor of Southern Studies at Louisiana State University and author of Cotton’s Queer Relations: Same-Sex Intimacy and the Literature of the Southern Plantation, 1936-1968 (University of Virginia Press, 2009).
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