Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


English and Theatre

First Advisor

David Elias

Department Affiliation

English and Theatre


John F. Kennedy's presidential rhetoric reflects key criteria necessary for creating and sustaining the American Camelot myth. That myth was successfully ingrained within the American psyche through the use of visual rhetoric, campaign speech rhetoric, and crisis time rhetoric. Moreover, the collective memory of cultural trauma following Kennedy's assassination suggests a promising continuation of the Camelot myth. Because the four rhetorical categories (visual, campaign, crisis, and collective memory) worked in tandem, all were essential for creating Kennedy's legacy.