I invited my colleague Stacey Peebles to chat with my “Vietnam: War and Memory” class today, and we had a great time. Stacey focuses her work on, among other things, representations of war in film and, in particular, soldiers’ experience and memory of war.
My students have just finished watching The Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now and we had a lot of fun stuff to cover. At one point, Stacey introduced the students to the work of Susan Jeffords (I just borrowed The Remasculinization of America: Gender and the Vietnam War from Stacey), and talked about masculinity in American discourse following the American war in Vietnam.
That in turn reminded me of a post I’ve been meaning to write for a long time on Sylvester Stallone’s Cold War period. That post will come, I promise, but for now I’m off to read some Jeffords and have a think about how traumas of Vietnam for American manhood evolved in the 1980s. More next week.