Dr. Joshua D. Martin has published a book chapter in the edited volume The Culture and Politics of Populist Masculinities, published by Rowman & Littlefield (April 2021). Martin’s contribution is titled “Strong Borders and Masculine Orders: The Role of Crisis Frameworks and the US-Mexico Border in the Context of Trump’s Populist Masculinity.”

“I began my research on the literature and culture of the border region long before Trump’s political ascent,” Martin says, “but, since his political rise to fortune, he’s become a dominant force in US culture and politics, and so we have to approach his brand as responsibly and objectively as possible in order to understand its power and appeal.”

The US-Mexico border played a significant symbolic role in the campaigns and presidency of Trump. “In this project, I wanted to focus on his use of crisis frameworks alongside how he presented himself as a strongman populist figure. Strongmen populists have risen to power all over the world in the last few years, so there are some structural similarities with all of them:  their appeal to our emotions, hostility toward the status-quo, emphasizing their alleged strength and pragmatism, etc.”

Martin continues, “With Trump’s framing, the border was a powerful symbol that exemplified potential doom (unless we acted urgently to build a wall), and it also showcased the supposed effeteness of established politicians. Time and again, he created a dyad of feminizing liabilities (immigrants and status-quo politicians), and he used crisis framing and alarmist language to cement his brand in the national imaginary. My chapter looks at why and how this operation was so effective.”

Dr. Martin has also contributed to the volume Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election, published by University of Rochester Press (2018).