Kristin Bundesen, PhD

Early Modern History & Pop Culture Geek

Early Modern History & Pop Culture Geek

Getting back to it

After a year-long stint in Mississippi, I am back to relying on my wits and some online teaching to keep the lights on in order to finally finish the next book.

I would ask what I've missed but no one would believe me. I am as enthralled as most people with the media chaos resulting from a new style of politics both in the States and the UK - but 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the hands down winner in the creation-of-chaos wars. Nationalism, isolationism, and educational deficiencies run amok.

But more interesting are the family dynamics at play in the US. 

Back in the good 'ole days of 2004, the spectre of Hillary Clinton running for president was on the horizon. These were the early days of media thought pieces on what would it be like to have a woman president. My musing was - what's the big deal? Why is the US so in awe - in the Shakespearean sense of the word - of a female president? I have always maintained that she would have a better chance as a widow - sorry Bill. Our misogyny just can't wrap itself around a married woman, even post-menopausal - not controlled by a husband or father. In some quarters it would have been called Bill's third term.

So I trotted off to England to research gender and politics but eventually settled on family as the fundamental political unit. The doctoral work was on the Carey-Knollys kinship network, or as many of you know them, The Other Boleyn Girl's children. 

The Clintons have established themselves as a political family, if not quite yet a political dynasty in the sense of the Kennedys and the Bushes, and of course the Roosevelts, and Adamses. 

Hillary was outflanked by Barack Obama, and then outflanked by refusal to acknowledge the lack of critical thinking in the US. BUT, Donald Trump was not. And, he has a bigger family. And, he's using his kinship network to do all the things a monarch might want. I maintain he thought he was running for monarch as he clearly is not familiar with the job description of president. 

So I am back to musing about history, politics, gender, and pop culture. More anon.

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