Defining Black Masculinities: Intersectional Analyses of Gender, Race and Sexuality in Caribbean and Latin American Literature, 1955 to Present
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Dawn A. Duke
Luis C. Cano, Álvaro A. Ayo, Solange Muñoz
The objective of my dissertation is to define and construct parameters for analyzing the Afro-descendant male experience in four specific texts: Mi compadre el General Sol [General Sun, My Brother] (1955), Adire y el tiempo roto [Adire and Broken Time] (1967), Sortilégio II: mistério negro de Zumbi redivivo [Sorcery 2: Black Mystery of Resurrected Zumbí] (1979), and Negro: Este color que me queda bonito [Black: This Color Looks Good on Me] (2013). Black masculinities are distinct and this study sets five parameters: 1) Sexual Prowess, 2) Contentious relationship with the White woman, 3) Violence and Toxic Masculinity, 4) Emotive Numbness, and 5) Generational Traumas. Deriving from the theory of Masculinities and Men’s Studies, namely hegemonic masculinity established by R.W. Connell, I build the case for several independent Black masculinities in classic Afro-Latin American literature. Additionally, my study embraces a range of concepts from Frantz Fanon’s confrontation with colonial inferiority complexes and Abdias do Nascimento’s Quilombismo to intersectionality constructs provided by Kimberlé Crenshaw, Djamila Ribeiro and bell hooks.
In Chapter One, I propose readings of physical and reputational masculinities in protagonist Hilarion Hilarius and assess his character development and liminality in Mi compadre el General Sol. In Chapter Two, I contend that the protagonist Julián utilizes a plethora of heteromasculine disguises such as the prominence of military weaponry and performance, ancillary homophobic language, and hegemonic masculinity in relation to females to protect the incoming Castro regime’s image and conceal his Black queer identity in Adire y el tiempo roto. Using Sortilégio II as primary evidence in Chapter Three, I examine and debunk the continuous idiosyncrasies of the racial democracy myth. In Chapter Four, I opine that Benny copes better with racial trauma eventually but conclude that he remains in denial of the gravity of his trauma’s long-lasting effects.
Scruggs, Jerry Eugene Jr., "Defining Black Masculinities: Intersectional Analyses of Gender, Race and Sexuality in Caribbean and Latin American Literature, 1955 to Present. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2022.
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