Virpi Salojarvi

Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki

Wednesday 1/22/20, 3:30-4:30pm, FLW 1021
Whirl of Knowledge: Cultural populism in European polarized politics and societies

WhiKnow´s interdisciplinary team studies polarization in contemporary societies, identifying a ´whirl of knowledge´ that intertwines media, politics and science. The project engages in theoretical and comparative empirical work, combining Twitter and Facebook big data with qualitative and experimental research and media ethnography. WhiKnow explores how social media hypes brokers or meaning-makers and how these produce identifications, affects and emotions in polarization. First in the project, big data on social media is generated from all the EU countries to find out what polarizes, where and how in spring 2019 (EP elections, Brexit). Then qualitative research is produced in polarized societies in East Central Europe, and in other polarized/ing societies. This is followed by experimental analysis of emotions and theoretically informed study of the intertwined media, politics and academia, and the role of emotions, humor, populism, transnationalism, and anti-intellectualism in these processes. Whirl of Knowledge is housed at the University of Helsinki and is supported with funding by the Academy of Finland.

Arvind Singhal

Professor and Director of the Social Justice Initiative, University of Texas – El Paso

Thursday 2/6/20, 11:00am-12:00pm, FLW 1021
The Positive Deviance Approach: A Case for Addressing Social, Organizational, and Behavioral Change Problems from the Inside-Out

Positive Deviance (PD) is a novel approach to individual, organizational, and social change based on the observation that in every community there exist certain individuals or groups whose uncommon behaviors and strategies enable them to find better solutions to problems than their peers, while having access to the same resources and facing worse challenges The PD approach has been employed in over 40 countries to address a wide variety of social and organizational purposes, including decreasing malnutrition and infant and maternal mortality in Vietnam and Pakistan, increasing sales and business development in Mexico and the U.S., reducing school dropouts in Argentina and in the U.S.; and reducing hospital-acquired infections in the U.S. and Colombia. Driven by data, the PD approach questions the normative ways of conducting expert-driven needs assessment and gap-analysis, and follows a systematic process of uncovering cost-effective and culturally appropriate solutions from within the local community.

Dawna Ballard

Associate Professor, Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin

Thursday 2/20/20, 12:00pm-1:30pm, FLW 1021
How We Create Time through Communication: Critical Teams and Temporal Transmutation

Dr. Ballard will discuss recently funded work on the study of teamwork and time in children’s advocacy centers that provide the infrastructure for multidisciplinary teams of member agencies. These teams include law enforcement, Child Protective Services, prosecutors, doctors/nurses, etc. who collaborate to prevent, treat, and prosecute cases of child abuse in the state of Texas.

Scott Connolly

Director of Research, Population Media Center, South Burlington, VT

Wednesday 3/4/20, 12:30pm-1:30pm, FLW 1021
Using Mixed-Methods Research to Design and Evaluate Entertainment-Education Programs

Entertainment-Education (EE) programs such as radio serial dramas and telenovelas can attract large audiences and positively impact social norms and behaviors across the globe. In this lecture, Dr. Connolly will discuss how his international organization, Population Media Center uses mixed qualitative and quantitative research methods to both inform creative content of EE programs and monitor and evaluate impacts on the intended audience.

Heather Carmack

Associate Professor, University of Alabama

Thursday 4/9/20, 11:00am-12:00pm, FLW 1021
Public Understanding of Medical Errors, Apology, and Disclosure

This lecture will cover recent and ongoing research related to a variety of publics’ communication about medical errors–the risks related to errors, how patients and families deal with errors and the communication after errors occur, and the ways medical errors are discussed in public discourse. The past 20 years of communication research primarily focuses on providers’ understanding of errors and the two communication elements of error discourse (disclosure and apology); recent communication research is moving to examine other publics’ understanding of these communication events. The lecture will summarize the past 20 years of work to highlight what we already know about medical error apology and disclosure before transitioning to talk about public understanding.