Extrapolation

Power, Control, and an Interplanetary Dialectic of Masculinities in Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed

Extrapolation (2019), 60, (3), 249–272.

Abstract

This paper explores the intersection of masculinities and feminist science fiction of the 1970s, specifically Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed (1974). It argues that the work of Le Guin and other contemporary writers contains portrayals of alternative masculinities that stand in stark contrast to those of earlier science fiction. These renderings of more egalitarian conceptions of manhood, while often overlooked in favor of analyses of the female characters populating these novels, reveal important links connecting masculinities and the nation and augur the possibilities for science fiction to imagine new, healthier conceptions of maleness.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Works Cited

Badami, Mary Kenny. “A Feminist Critique of Science Fiction.” Extrapolation, vol. 18, no. 1, 1976, pp. 6–19. Google Scholar

Benfield, Susan Storing. “The Interplanetary Dialectic: Freedom and Equality in Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed.” Perspectives on Political Science, vol. 35, no. 3, 2006, pp. 128–134. Google Scholar

Benson, Josef. Hypermasculinities in the Contemporary Novel: Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. Google Scholar

Bierman, Judah. “Ambiguity in Utopia: The Dispossessed.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 2, no. 3, 1975, pp. 249–255. Google Scholar

Buchbinder, David. Studying Men and Masculinities. Routledge, 2012. Google Scholar

Burns, Anthony. Political Theory, Science Fiction, and Utopian Literature: Ursula K. Le Guin and The Dispossessed. Lexington Books, 2008. Google Scholar

Clark, Keith. Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest J. Gaines, and August Wilson. U of Illinois P, 2002. Google Scholar

Clute, John. “Ursula K. Le Guin Obituary.” The Guardian, 24 Jan. 2018, www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/24/obituary-ursula-k-le-guin. Accessed 14 Sept. 2019. Google Scholar

Connell, Raewyn. Masculinities. 1995. U of California P, 2005. Google Scholar

Davis, Laurence, and Peter Stillman, editors. The New Utopian Politics of Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. Lexington Books, 2005. Google Scholar

Delany, Samuel R. The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction. Wesleyan UP, 2009. Google Scholar

Freedman, Carl. Critical Theory and Science Fiction. Wesleyan UP, 2000. Google Scholar

Hamming, Jeanne. “Nationalism, Masculinity, and the Politics of Climate Change in the Novels of Kim Stanley Robinson and Michael Crichton.” Extrapolation, vol. 54, no. 1, 2013, pp. 21–45. Google Scholar

Hantke, Steffen. “Surgical Strikes and Prosthetic Warriors: The Soldier’s Body in Contemporary Science Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 25, no. 3, 1998, pp. 495–509. Google Scholar

Hobbs, Alex. Aging Masculinity in the American Novel. Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. Google Scholar

Jonas, Gerald. “Ursula K. Le Guin, Who Elevated Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fiction, Dies at 88.” The New York Times, 23 Jan. 2018, p. B15. Google Scholar

Kimmel, Michael. Manhood in America: A Cultural History. 1996. Oxford UP, 2006. Google Scholar

Le Guin, Ursula K. The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia. Harper & Row, 1974. Google Scholar

Le Guin, Ursula K. “American SF and the Other.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 2, no. 3, 1975, pp. 208–210. Google Scholar

Le Guin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness. 1969. Penguin, 2000. Google Scholar

Reeser, Todd. Masculinities in Theory: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Google Scholar

Roberts, Robin. A New Species: Gender and Science in Science Fiction. U of Illinois P, 1993. Google Scholar

Russ, Joanna. The Country You Have Never Seen: Essays and Reviews. Liverpool UP, 2007. Google Scholar

Shklovksy, Victor. “Art as Technique.” Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays, edited by Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis, U of Nebraska P, 1965, pp. 3–24. Google Scholar

Smith, Curtis. Twentieth-Century Science Fiction Writers. St. James Press, 1986. Google Scholar

Smith, Harrison. “Ursula K. Le Guin, Grande Dame of Science Fiction, Dies at 88.” The Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ursula-k-le-guin-grand-dame-of-science-fiction-dies-at-88/2018/01/23/8842ceb8-0087-11e8-8acf-ad2991367d9d_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.38e2ae28c5fe. Accessed 15 Aug. 2018. Google Scholar

Spivack, Charlotte. Ursula K. Le Guin. Twayne Publishers, 1984. Google Scholar

Wilson, D. Harlan. “Technomasculine Bodies and Vehicles of Desire: The Erotic Delirium of Michael Bay’s Transformers.” Extrapolation, vol. 53, no. 3, 2012, pp. 347–364. Google Scholar

Yaszek, Lisa. Galactic Suburbia: Recovering Women’s Science Fiction. Ohio State UP, 2008. Google Scholar

Badami, Mary Kenny. “A Feminist Critique of Science Fiction.” Extrapolation, vol. 18, no. 1, 1976, pp. 6–19. Google Scholar

Benfield, Susan Storing. “The Interplanetary Dialectic: Freedom and Equality in Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed.” Perspectives on Political Science, vol. 35, no. 3, 2006, pp. 128–134. Google Scholar

Benson, Josef. Hypermasculinities in the Contemporary Novel: Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. Google Scholar

Bierman, Judah. “Ambiguity in Utopia: The Dispossessed.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 2, no. 3, 1975, pp. 249–255. Google Scholar

Buchbinder, David. Studying Men and Masculinities. Routledge, 2012. Google Scholar

Burns, Anthony. Political Theory, Science Fiction, and Utopian Literature: Ursula K. Le Guin and The Dispossessed. Lexington Books, 2008. Google Scholar

Clark, Keith. Black Manhood in James Baldwin, Ernest J. Gaines, and August Wilson. U of Illinois P, 2002. Google Scholar

Clute, John. “Ursula K. Le Guin Obituary.” The Guardian, 24 Jan. 2018, www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/24/obituary-ursula-k-le-guin. Accessed 14 Sept. 2019. Google Scholar

Connell, Raewyn. Masculinities. 1995. U of California P, 2005. Google Scholar

Davis, Laurence, and Peter Stillman, editors. The New Utopian Politics of Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. Lexington Books, 2005. Google Scholar

Delany, Samuel R. The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction. Wesleyan UP, 2009. Google Scholar

Freedman, Carl. Critical Theory and Science Fiction. Wesleyan UP, 2000. Google Scholar

Hamming, Jeanne. “Nationalism, Masculinity, and the Politics of Climate Change in the Novels of Kim Stanley Robinson and Michael Crichton.” Extrapolation, vol. 54, no. 1, 2013, pp. 21–45. Google Scholar

Hantke, Steffen. “Surgical Strikes and Prosthetic Warriors: The Soldier’s Body in Contemporary Science Fiction.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 25, no. 3, 1998, pp. 495–509. Google Scholar

Hobbs, Alex. Aging Masculinity in the American Novel. Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. Google Scholar

Jonas, Gerald. “Ursula K. Le Guin, Who Elevated Sci-Fi and Fantasy Fiction, Dies at 88.” The New York Times, 23 Jan. 2018, p. B15. Google Scholar

Kimmel, Michael. Manhood in America: A Cultural History. 1996. Oxford UP, 2006. Google Scholar

Le Guin, Ursula K. The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia. Harper & Row, 1974. Google Scholar

Le Guin, Ursula K. “American SF and the Other.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 2, no. 3, 1975, pp. 208–210. Google Scholar

Le Guin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness. 1969. Penguin, 2000. Google Scholar

Reeser, Todd. Masculinities in Theory: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Google Scholar

Roberts, Robin. A New Species: Gender and Science in Science Fiction. U of Illinois P, 1993. Google Scholar

Russ, Joanna. The Country You Have Never Seen: Essays and Reviews. Liverpool UP, 2007. Google Scholar

Shklovksy, Victor. “Art as Technique.” Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays, edited by Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis, U of Nebraska P, 1965, pp. 3–24. Google Scholar

Smith, Curtis. Twentieth-Century Science Fiction Writers. St. James Press, 1986. Google Scholar

Smith, Harrison. “Ursula K. Le Guin, Grande Dame of Science Fiction, Dies at 88.” The Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2018, www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/ursula-k-le-guin-grand-dame-of-science-fiction-dies-at-88/2018/01/23/8842ceb8-0087-11e8-8acf-ad2991367d9d_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.38e2ae28c5fe. Accessed 15 Aug. 2018. Google Scholar

Spivack, Charlotte. Ursula K. Le Guin. Twayne Publishers, 1984. Google Scholar

Wilson, D. Harlan. “Technomasculine Bodies and Vehicles of Desire: The Erotic Delirium of Michael Bay’s Transformers.” Extrapolation, vol. 53, no. 3, 2012, pp. 347–364. Google Scholar

Yaszek, Lisa. Galactic Suburbia: Recovering Women’s Science Fiction. Ohio State UP, 2008. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Pitts, Michael

Pitts, Michael