Whilst Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton are recognised as among the most proactive First Ladies, the tenures of Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and Betty Ford should arguably be considered the era of professional consolidation of the modern role. This research therefore aims to conduct an in-depth analysis of these figures and their staffers, questioning the extent to which institutionalisation and professionalisation of the role took place in this era. In addition, my research aims to investigate the growth of the East Wing as a political entity in itself. Given the constant reshaping of the role of the First Lady, an office ultimately defined by social convention rather than by the Constitution, the questions posed provide an exciting opportunity to revaluate the development of the modern First Ladyship. Ultimately, her research draws on scholarly debates on the presidency, US politics, feminism and later 20th Century socio-cultural developments to question to role of one of the most visible women in the world.
Plenary Session Honouring the Retirement of Iwan Morgan, speaking on Reagan, American Icon (2016) with Gareth Davis, Nick Witham (chair), Iwan Morgan (respondent), Robert Mason, and Ian Scott, at HOTCUS Annual Conference, Northumberland University.
Heidelberg Spring Academy, 2023.
Roosevelt Institute of American Studies (RIAS) Winter PhD Seminar, 2022.
Convened and presented on panel, The Distaff Side: Women and Diplomacy in Washington and Abroad, 1940-1980, at HOTCUS Annual Conference 2022 at The University of Edinburgh with Alexandra Penler (LSE) and Thomas Tunstall Allcock (University of Manchester)
Running For First Lady: Modern Campaigning and the Role of the First Lady, 1960-2020, presented at HOTCUS Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Conference, 2020.
"Once A Polio Victim:" Wilma Rudolph and American Exceptionalism at the 1960 Olympics, presented at HOTCUS Winter Symposium: Americans in the World, 2021.
"The Animal Envoy: Gifting Animals to the White House in Diplomatic History", The White House Historical Association, pending publication.
"Fit to Govern? The Presidency, Running and Perceptions of Strength," in Sports and the American Presidency, Rivers Gambrell and Adam Burns, eds., (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2023)
'Plains and Simple: The Influence of Plains, Georgia, and Ideas of the American South on Jimmy Carter's Public Persona,' in Presidents and Place: Favourite Sons, Thomas Cobb and Olga Akroyd eds. (Lexington: Rowman & Littlefield, 2023)
Elizabeth has also contributed an article on the rhetoric of motherhood and first lady candidates in the 2020 election to the USSO election series in November 2020. In Trinity term 2021 she convened the American History Graduate Seminar at the Rothermere American Institute, and the RAI American History Research Seminar from 2021-2022. Elizabeth is also a postgraduate member of the Royal Historical Society and a fourth-year graduate scholar at the RAI.
Grants and Fellowships:
UCL Institute of the Americas Travel Award 2019
HOTCUS Mini Covid Grant 2020
University of Oxford History Faculty Archives Funding 2020
RAI Travel Award 2021
HOTCUS Travel Award 2022
Gerald R. Ford Scholar Award in honour of Robert M. Teeter 2022 at Gerald Ford Presidential Library
Ford Foundation Travel Award 2022
Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, 2023.
Theodore C. Sorensen Fellowship, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, 2023.
Rubenstein Center Fellow, White House Historical Association, 2023.
Elizabeth was made a Next Generation Leader 2023 by the White House Historical Association for her interest and work in arts and culture relating to the preservation of the White House.
Elizabeth completed by MA in US Studies: History and Politics at UCL under the supervision of Professor Iwan Morgan, with a dissertation entitled "Government is the Problem': Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump and the Rhetoric of the Outsider,' for which she was awarded a UCL Travel Grant to undertake research in the Carter and Reagan Presidential Libraries in Atlanta and Simi Valley. She was part of the team at UCL Institute of the Americas Research Network in 2018/19, assisting with organising, panel chairing and promoting the annual conference which that year was titled 'Chaos and Crisis in the Americas?'
Her BA in English Literature and History was completed at the University of Exeter where she produced a project under the guidance of Professor Kristofer Allerfeldt entitled 'Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know,' which compared the artistic personae of 1970s Rock Musicians, particularly David Bowie, and the Romantic poets, specifically Lord Byron.
Her research interests are therefore broad, but largely concern culture and politics of the 1960s and 1970s in the USA, rhetoric, the presidency and questions of gender.