Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Thesis (UNI Access Only)


Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963;


This thesis argues that the Kennedy mystique is why the JFK assassination has remained such a salient force in American public memory; moreover, that force continues to grow exponentially as is evidenced by a variety of conspiracy theories that continue to flourish. This thesis complicates the historiography by presenting a comprehensive corporeal look at Kennedy’s foreign policy, while examining the assassination as one cohesive Cold War narrative using the analytical lenses of masculinity, the body, politics, and culture. By exploring and presenting the assassination and presidency vis-à-vis the history of the body, I will also have prepared the way for the next major development in Kennedy scholarship—the release of the remaining assassination JFK documents by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) on Oct. 26, 2017.

This thesis also explores the connections between the younger U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy’s infirmities and the seasoned President Kennedy’s foreign relations policies; moreover, it investigates John F. Kennedy’s various skirmishes with sickness, susceptibility, and death. Primary sources include the Public Papers of President Kennedy, the transcripts of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Robert F. Kennedy’s book Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and John F. Kennedy’s own Pulitzer Prizewinning Profiles in Courage. In Profiles in Courage, Kennedy explores the lives of eight U.S. Senators whom he felt had shown unusual courage in public office.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of History

First Advisor

Brian Roberts, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (iii, 135 pages)



File Format


Off-Campus Download