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Jeanine Quené

Jeanine Quené

PhD Candidate, American History

Sidney Sussex College
Cambridge CB2 3HU

Biography:

Born and raised in The Netherlands, I received my BA from University College Utrecht, the honours college of Utrecht University, majoring in History and Political Science. After receiving my BA, I studied for an MA in United States Studies: History and Politics at University College London (UCL). My MA dissertation focused on the role of women in the formation of the Ku Klux Klan's ideology between 1915-1930, and was awarded the Roosevelt Dissertation Prize for best dissertation in US studies. After graduation, I worked as a Political Intern at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C., studying policy, U.S. politics and foreign relations.

Research Interests

My doctoral research, supported by the Cambridge Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), aims to uncover the gender and race politics of conservative white women in early twentieth century America, thereby parsing out the multitude of ways in which conservative women constructed and expressed their public and private beliefs on race, patriarchy, domesticity and sexuality. While Progressive and feminist political activists have been meticulously studied, conservative women remain overlooked by historians of gender and politics in early twentieth century America. These women were often independent political actors and ardent suffragists themselves, while simultaneously embracing patriarchy and espousing conservative ideals, both in the public political arena and in the personal realm of sexuality, marriage, and the home. This inherent tension between the desire for a patriarchal household, which required female subservience, and their lived (political) independence, was in turn fueled by their racial politics and racism. Within the sphere of sexuality, for example, conservative women in the South (and Northeast) emphasized the sexual danger of black men to white women, while women in the West sought to impose patriarchal norms on Native Americans as part of the ‘civilizing process.’ By studying conservative women’s gender and race politics in the public and private sphere, as well as the inherent tensions and interrelations between these two crucial elements of their political world, this thesis aims to uncover how white women constructed conservative white womanhood vis-à-vis racial Others in the early twentieth century. I am supervised by Professor Gary Gerstle.

In addition to histories of gender, race and class, I am also very interested in political history, political science, current U.S. politics, American foreign policy and the digital humanities. 

Keywords

  • American History