Richard Halliburton's bearded tales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Fusing the concept of the beard with the genre of the tall tale to theorize bearded tales deepens our understanding of closet eloquence, or rhetorical repertories of sexual passing in U.S. history. An examination of adventurer-writer-lecturer Richard Halliburton's sexual provenance and bestselling travel tale, The Royal Road to Romance (1925), illustrates how such autobiographical feints conceal and confound queer subjectivity by proximate heteronormative apparitions that configure straight ethos. At the same time, these fragile constructions gesture toward queer worlds inscribed between the lines for the fourth persona while reflecting upon the exile of archives, and the queer legacy of bearding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-147
Number of pages25
JournalQuarterly Journal of Speech
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Archive
  • Beard
  • Passing
  • Richard Halliburton (1900-1939)
  • Tall Tale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education


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