Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Foreign Languages

Reader 1

Kevin Vennemann

Reader 2

Marc Katz

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This thesis investigates the construction of masculinity and its role in the construction of the image of America in two books by Friedrich Gerstäcker (Flußpiraten des Mississipi and Streif- und Jagdzüge durch die Vereinigten Staaten Nord-Amerikas). The portrayal of men in these books reflects a largely traditional and hegemonic masculinity, but it contains a number of nuances that complicate that model. With particular attention to the interaction of this masculinity and nature in the American backwoods, a particular image of a successful, real, American man becomes visible. This thesis analyzes how Gerstäcker’s outsider (German)—but immersed—perspective produces a familiar but explicit form of ‘truly American masculinity.’