Flash Fellowships 2018: Analyzing

A flashbulb filled with magnesium foil,
Flash Fellowships give staffers and assistant instructors in the DWRL the time, techniques, and technical resources they need to accomplish projects related to their own research and scholarship. Assistant instructors and staffers fill out a form that helps them articulate their project’s theoretical and pedagogical rationale, and think through any resources that they’ll need to complete the project. The submission goes to a committee that gives the applicants feedback on their project and, if granted, provides the requested resources. The following projects are part of our first round of fellowships.

JB BrentlingerMy project plans to study “live streaming,” a technology popular in video game culture, to understand its academic potential for the field of rhetorical studies. Specifically, with this research, I want to articulate a rationale for broadcasting important events (such as speaker series, games jams, and the like) on Twitch.tv as a form of publicity, production, and archival.

Ansley ColcloughMy project critically examines the rhetorical construction of “Twitter” and “bots” as nonhuman political actors in mainstream political news coverage. Using a combination of text mining and visualization digital tools, I will analyze a set of articles on the topic of bots and politics from mainstream news sources (The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, The New Yorker) to examine the frequency and context of specific metaphors or words used to describe bots.

KJ SchaeffnerFor my project, I’m interested in attending to the history of popular music charts. In attempt to understand the music industry’s creation and maintenance of genres, I’ll be studying how the charts have changed over time: examining, particularly, how they have changed in sync with the particular musical objects that they attempt to chart. Ultimately, I aim to produce an infographic that maps the history of charting.

Amy TuttleFollowing the work of Oxford’s Computational Propaganda Project, my project will examine how propaganda bots are being used to amplify political communication over social media. I will use the programming language R to search the Twitter API for tweets that contain politically charged hashtags. By analyzing the data I collect, I will be able to 1) parse out the amount of Twitter content related to a particular political event and 2) investigate how much of this content was generated by highly automated accounts.


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