The essays in this volume analyze a wide variety of cultural forms to demonstrate the centrality of masculine sentiment in American literary and cultural history from the early republic to the progressive era. Challenging the association of sentimentality exclusively with femininity in studies of American culture, the contributors analyze sentimentalism not just as a literary genre but as a structure of feeling manifested in many areas: temperance testimonials, begging letters, historiography, philanthropic performance, photography, portraiture, and poetry. Essays from a variety of disciplines—American studies, literature, history, art, gender studies—deconstruct the alignment of reason, commerce, and the public sphere with men, and feelings, domesticity, and the private sphere with women.
Martin A. Berger, Vincent J. Bertolini, Bruce Burgett, Mary Chapman, Cassandra Cleghorn, P. Gabrielle Foreman, Philip Gould, Kirsten Silva Gruesz, Glenn Hendler, Tara Penry, John Saillant, Karen Sánchez-Eppler, Scott A. Sandage, Francesca Sawaya
Mary Chapman is Assistant Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. Glenn Hendler is Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
"[Sentimental Men] advances our understanding of American culture with contributions of original and often superior research that come together as an interdisciplinary conversation about sentimentalism and masculinity."—Charles Berryman, author of Decade of Novels
"[Sentimental Men] makes a substantial contribution to the ongoing theoretical, historical, and critical project of reassessing sentimental discourse. Like the best of the recent work in this field, this anthology of essays does not merely celebrate what had formerly been execrated by professional readers, but it undertakes to understand the reasons behind celebration and execration alike. More centrally, it endeavors to reveal the 'cultural work' that sentimentalism does, and continues to do, in the overlapping spheres of art and culture."—Katherine Snyder, University of California, Berkeley