9 October Sketch

My research project focuses on the focus on the concept of masculinity in presidential campaigns. I believe that candidates have had to present themselves as more invulnerable and stronger since the Kennedy assassination, as that event was a time of serious vulnerability for the American people. I will mainly examine the impact of the assassination, while also touching on the role that television and Kennedy himself played in the change.

The most interesting and useful scholarly article I have found while designing my project is called “Presidential Wounds: the JFK Assassination and the White Male Body.” I found this article by accessing the Gender Studies database through the GW Library system. Although I found many articles that are useful to me in designing my project, this article, by Craig A. Warren, stands out. He focuses on the white male response to the assassination – anxiety, but also a strange guilty pleasure. As white men have traditionally held the most power, this article has allowed me to gain context as I examine post-assassination presidential politics.


3 thoughts on “9 October Sketch”

  1. I think this will be a very interesting essay and I would be interested in reading it when it is completed because I feel that many scholars and ordinary people would actually say that masculinity played a larger role before the Kennedy assassination due to more male voters.

  2. I really like your essay topic because it is an alternative interpretation of a huge historical event. I think Americans generally see Kennedy as a fallen hero and men don’t really think about how his death affected their own views of their mortality. I think it will be interesting to see how subsequent presidents have reacted to his assassination and if they took the idea you are presenting into account when they ran for office, or when they were in office.

  3. This is a complicated research question that will lead to some interesting primary and secondary sources. I’m not sure that presidential politics has become more masculine since the assassination since more females vote. In order to have a better cause-effect relationship I would focus on the president that took over for JFK (Lyndon Johnson). It is likely to be the case that the JFK assassination influenced him to deliberately focus on confidence in his public appearances in order to keep the American people faithful in their government.

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