While each of our research projects are niche and tailored to our own specific interests, that doesn’t mean we can’t still learn from one another. There are certainly other Brackenridge Fellows who, even if not examining the same questions, are thinking about some of the same concepts and/or grappling with some of the same theoretical, methodological, etc. challenges.
For example, my research is on Russian propaganda in Turkey. More specifically, I examine just one disseminator of propaganda in Turkey—Sputnik News, a Russian state-owned media agency. And even more specifically, I examine only one medium of propaganda that Sputnik News is disseminating—political cartoons. While there are other forms of propaganda that Sputnik News disseminates, and undoubtedly more disseminators of propaganda in Turkey beyond just Sputnik News, I’ve chosen to focus in on this niche topic in order to make the project more manageable.
Even though the scope of my project is quite narrow, there are still other Fellows who are doing similar work. Within my specific cohort, Emily Wiley is looking at the relationship between art and representation; and Dionna Dash is looking at the ability of language to influence representations (e.g. how we think about others—both consciously and unconsciously). Because political cartoons are, by definition, representations meant to condense the reality of politics down into a single image, Emily’s work will be relevant to mine. And because the cartoons I examine often contain text, Dionna’s work will also be relevant.
Outside of my cohort, Julia Kreutzer is looking at the relationship between propaganda and ideology; Chris Katyal is looking at how social media posts influence bias and alter preferences, and Danny Turillo is conducting political and sociocultural analysis of a foreign country in that country’s target language. Because a large part of my research is examining what ideals Sputnik News’s cartoons promote (or undermine), Julia’s work will be relevant to mine. And, because I plan to investigate the reception of these cartoons in Turkey by analyzing Turkish social media, Chris’s work will be relevant to mine. Finally, because my research analyzes the political and sociocultural landscapes of a foreign country, Danny’s work will be relevant to mine.
By sharing their expertise, experiences, etc. I will be able to learn from each of these Fellows, and their insights will help shape my own research trajectory. And, hopefully, I might be able to offer them the same kind of help.