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Teaching the Works of Eudora WeltyTwenty-First-Century Approaches$
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Mae Miller Claxton and Julia Eichelberger

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781496814531

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496814531.001.0001

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Queering Welty’s Male Bodies in the Undergraduate Classroom

Queering Welty’s Male Bodies in the Undergraduate Classroom

(p.109) Queering Welty’s Male Bodies in the Undergraduate Classroom
Teaching the Works of Eudora Welty

Gary Richards

University Press of Mississippi

This essay details how Welty’s “The Wide Net” and “Why I Live at the P.O.” allow for nuanced explorations of male homosociality and queer male bodies in college classrooms. Unlike “Music from Spain,” which, despite its focus on male same-sex desire, is a problematic text, these two earlier stories have marked early- to mid-twentieth-century settings in the small-town South and allow students to refine their thinking about sexuality within a specifically regional context. In particular, “The Wide Net” is a hymn to male homosociality that Welty juxtaposes against heterosexual marriage and procreation. The story also invites readers to consider biographical contexts, especially concerning Welty’s relationship with John Fraiser Robinson. Similarly, “Why I Live at the P.O.” allows students to read the cross-dressing Uncle Rondo as a queer male body and invites discussion and definition of cross-dressing, fetishism, transvestism, transsexual identity and embodiment, and other trans issues.

Keywords:   "The Wide Net", "Why I Live at the P.O.", male homosociality, queer, cross-dressing

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