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17 July, 2015

Randy P. Schiff reviews Pugh, Queer Chivalry

See Randy P. Schiff's recent review of: Tison Pugh, Queer Chivalry: Medievalism and the Myth of White Masculinity in Southern Literature. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013.

As the massive criticism of Confederate flags that followed the June 17, 2015 massacre of nine African-American innocents at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina makes clear, symbols of Southern militarism remain a volatile force in America. The most recognizable Confederate flag, the Battle Flag of the Army of North Virginia, elicits such powerful responses because it is so overdetermined, communicating not just the history of violent rebellion and its defeat, but also racist resistance to Reconstruction and integration, nostalgic notions of Southern honor and history, and acute regionalist affect. In Queer Chivalry: Medievalism and the Myth of White Masculinity in Southern Literature, Tison Pugh offers a powerful study of fantasies related to the medieval militarist ideology of chivalry inflecting literary treatments of “white southern masculinity” in post-1950s US Southern fiction. Offering both a broad vision of romantic medievalism’s seminal role in Southern literature and a range of engaging individual analyses, Pugh’s monograph will please readers of medieval and modern literature alike. READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE