Ængstelige Hillbillies

Reaktionære artefakter og affekter i Trumps USA

  • Clara Juncker Center for Amerikanske Studier, Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, Syddansk Universitet
  • Marianne Kongerslev Institut for Kultur og Globale Studier, Aalborg Universitet https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6494-7258
Nøgleord: Appalacherne; affekt; ugly feelings; Trump; hvidhed; race; prekaritet; Southern honor; maskulinitet


This article explores memoirs that express the anger, anxiety, and spite which Donald J. Trump provoked and tapped into in speeches and other appearances during his run for president, feelings he continues to provoke through social media and public appearances. Taking our departure in texts created by members of the white American underclass, poor white Mountain Folk in the Ozarks and Appalachian regions, as well as displaced southern migrants in Ohio, the article investigates the anxious structure of ugly feelings (Ngai) and explores how these affects relate to the Culture of Honor in the US Mountain South. In memoirs the Southern mountain culture is portrayed as a self-segregating and proud culture that fosters independent, hardscrabble characters, who value a certain kind of honor. Therefore, the article explores the interaction between hate, anxiety, and desperation among hillbillies in the Rustbelt and mountain regions and the Culture of Honor they have been shaped by, a culture which activates traditional Southern values and norms about masculinity, whiteness, family, and reputation, while exposing an inner fragility that manifests as emotional projection, substance abuse, violence but also resilience.


Clara Juncker, Center for Amerikanske Studier, Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, Syddansk Universitet

Lektor ved Center for Amerikanske Studier, Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, Syddansk Universitet (Odense). Ph. D., Tulane University, New Orleans. Har udgivet doktordisputatsen Through Random Doors They Wandered: Women Writing the South (2002) om sydstatslitteratur og en lang række artikler om sydstatslitteratur og –kultur i tidsskrifter som Southern Studies, The Southern Literary Review, The Mississippi Quarterly, The Southern Quarterly, The Literature/Film Quarterly, Xavier Review og i forskellige antologier om Sydstaterne. Hun var senest medredaktør på og bidragsyder til essaysamlingen Southern Exposure (2017) og arrangerer med Marianne Kongerslev konferencen ”Southern Disruptions” i 2019.

Marianne Kongerslev, Institut for Kultur og Globale Studier, Aalborg Universitet

Adjunkt ved Institut for Kultur og Globale Studier, Aalborg Universitet. Har skrevet ph.d.-afhandling om indianske køn og litteraturer. Var fra 2014-15 gæste-ph.d.-studerende ved UC Berkeley, Californien. Artiklen er en del af et igangværende forskningsprojekt om affekt, hvidhed og prekæritet i amerikansk litteratur, som er støttet af Carlsbergfondet.


@realDonalTrump. ”Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!” Twitter, 22 Sep 2017, 3:28 a.m., https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/911175246853664768. Besøgt 22. juli, 2018.
@realDonalTrump. ”PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our @G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, ”US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he ”will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270 % on dairy!” Twitter, 9 Juni 2018, 4:04 p.m. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1005586562959093760. Besøgt 22. juli, 2018.
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Juncker, C., & Kongerslev, M. (2018). Ængstelige Hillbillies. K&K - Kultur Og Klasse, 46(126), 129-146. https://doi.org/10.7146/kok.v46i126.111743