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Grant number like: FT-59076-11

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Bradley Deane
University of Minnesota, Morris (Morris, MN 56267-2132)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 8/31/2011

Masculinity and Imperialism in British Popular Literature, 1871-1914

At the peak of Britain's imperial power, British men radically re-imagined the meanings of masculinity. This study explores those transformations by examining a wide range of popular literary texts and tracing connections between new images of manhood and the politics of the new imperialism. It shows that previously reviled stereotypes of foreign men as backward savages came to be held up as models around which emerging masculine values could be articulated. These figures played a crucial role in new representations of better manhood, in which a man's moral development mattered less than his ability to prove himself against other men, and thus supported and naturalized the new imperialism's rejection of liberal narratives of progress and its affirmation of violence and competition. The project offers a new interpretive framework for popular literature at the turn of the twentieth century, and contributes more broadly to the study of masculinity and the cultural history of imperialism.