Elizabeth Rees is a postgraduate undertaking her DPhil in History at the University of Oxford. Under the supervision of Adam Smith and Stephen Tuffnell, she joined the postgraduate community at the Rothermere American Institute in 2020 to investigate the political role of First Ladies during the 1960s and 1970s, considering aspects of APD and second wave feminism. She received a distinction for her MA in United States Studies at UCL under the supervision of Iwan Morgan. Elizabeth's dissertation investigated the rhetoric of political outsiders looking at the cases of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, and she was awarded a UCL Institute of the America's travel grant to undertake her research at the Carter and Reagan libraries in Atlanta and Simi Valley. As part of the Americas Institute Research Network, Elizabeth contributed to the social media coverage and organisation of the 2019 conference, as well as chairing a panel on urban development in Latin America. Her research interests include second wave feminism, American history on film, political rhetoric, and the Carter administration, outside of her interest in First Ladies. She also runs a podcast, FLOTUS podcast, in her spare time.

Mom-in-Chief: Jill Biden, Melania Trump and the Rhetoric of Motherhood in First Lady Campaigning

Since the 1950’s and the emergence of the post-war suburban housewife demographic embodied by Mamie Eisenhower and Pat Nixon, first ladies have been identified as a national matriarchal figurehead, often reinforcing stereotypical gender roles. Despite the notion of the traditional housewife now being largely outdated, the 2020 election has been… Continue reading