Intro: Eric Workman

Hi everyone!

My research looks at Russian propaganda in Turkey. More specifically, I examine just one disseminator of Russian propaganda in Turkey—Sputnik News, which is a Russian state-owned news agency. I focus in even further on just one medium of propaganda that Sputnik News publishes—political cartoons. I talk about how these cartoons function as propaganda and the political/sociocultural reasons for why Russia would even want to disseminate propaganda targeting Turks. My plan during this fellowship is to pair up this qualitative analysis, which I’ve already completed, with some quantitative data analysis to measure the impact of the cartoons on the Turkish populous—i.e., so far, I’ve already described what the Russians are doing and why, but now I want to see if their efforts have actually been effective. My advisor for the project is Trevor Erlacher, the undergrad advisor for REEES (shameless plug: If you’re not already involved, go check out Pitt’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (REEES), there’s tons of great people over there and Trevor is great at helping students connect with them).

My professional goals are still very much TBD. I’m applying to grad school in the fall, but I’m applying to a lot of programs in different disciplines—philosophy, linguistics, international relations/political science, so I’m not really sure how that’s going to pan out. If grad school doesn’t work out, I’ll probably work for the government for a bit and then apply again in a few years. With the Brackenridge, I’m hoping to hone in on my research interests in order to try and figure out what discipline I really want to be in. At the very least, after all of this, I’ll have a great writing sample for my grad school apps.

Right now, I’m set to graduate in May 2022 with:

BS in Economics
BA in Philosophy
BPhil in International and Area Studies
Certificate in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Certificate in Global Studies
Minor in Linguistics
Minor in Turkish

While ^that’s a lot, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that specific combination to anyone, I’m happy to talk with people about different programs and share advice that I wish previous Eric had received. I’ve also spent some time abroad in Baku, Azerbaijan through the Critical Language and Boren Scholarships so I’d be happy to talk to people about those opportunities too, or just study abroad in general (another plug: go meet with UHC scholar-mentor Josh Cannon, even if you think you might not be competitive for these scholarships, you probably are and Josh helps you put together a really solid application).

Something unique about me: Growing up as a military kid, I went to 4 different high schools and have moved over 15 times in my life.

Looking forward to meeting everyone, and hearing more about your projects! Feel free to reach out! eric.workman@pitt.edu

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