Brackenridge Blog Post #1: Fear and Societal Perceptions in Law

Hello everyone! My name is Christina Prado, and I am a Brackenridge fellow this summer. My research is aimed to determine the relationship between Fear and Societal Perception and Law. My mentor is Professor Bernard Hibbitts, who I have had the pleasure of working with in the past during the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship on a project titled Corruption in the American Legal System.

Last semester, while researching corruption, I quickly realized how massive the term at hand was. There was no universal definition of corruption, and it has been perceived so differently throughout human history. I began to dive into fear and how corruption is derived from fear, and soon realized that fear could be its own project. I pitched the idea to Professor Hibbitts, and now we have a solid plan of action to study fear and the implications it has within legal systems and law. I have decided to begin this project by reading classical literature and ancient texts such as the Aeneid, the Iliad, and the Arthashastra to determine how fear has played a role in much earlier human civilization and will follow these readings with more modern texts to synthesize information. Last semester, I began with modern examples and followed with ancient texts, not realizing their use and relevance until much later during the project. Hopefully by starting with classical literature this summer, I will have a much easier time organizing my thoughts.

Currently, my goal is to attend law school. The Brackenridge Fellowship will increase my knowledge of law and its roots. Understanding laws and why they are made will allow me to sympathize with lawmakers as well as possibly alter laws that are unjust and unfair. Knowing why laws are creating and how fear impacts them can assist many, especially myself if I am to have a future in law. I also feel that the interdisciplinary viewpoint provided by the Brackenridge can assist in relatability to potential future clients, as I want to delve into Intellectual Property Law.

I am a political science major with a minor in Spanish language. I have always struggled on the portions of classes or posts that ask to say something about ourselves because they always make my feel like I am boasting. I suppose something interesting about myself is that I was a Resident Assistant last year in Tower B and it was an incredible experience. I would highly recommend being an RA, and I feel that other Brackenridge Fellows, who are devoted and driven individuals, are perfect candidates for the job. I am excited to work with all of you and see what you’re working on!

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