Global Fusion Conference 2017: Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Students & Professors Showcase Their Field-Work
The Global Fusion Conference in Athens, Ohio, is a series to promote academic excellence in global media and international communication studies. The conference included a plethora of universities, involving, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Ohio University, the University of Virginia, and excitingly SIUE. Global Fusion 2017, was hosted by the School of Media Arts & Studies, Scripps College of Communication, at Ohio University. Our esteemed department was granted the opportunity to allow students and professors attend and present their work at the conference. Professor Mark Popsel, Jason Yu, Musonda Kapatamoyo, and student Miles Davis, all were presenting their various research on global media and international communication.
When students and faculty partake in conferences, such as this one, it provides an opportunity to assist individuals to improve their ideas within a community of learners. The department is appreciative of those professors who presented from our department, and especially our second year Master’s candidate, Miles Davis, as he embodied and showcased the values within the Mass Communication department here at SIUE. Miles P. Davis, a Master’s candidate within our Media Studies program, presented a paper titled, “A Textual Analysis of Turkey’s Referendum Campaign”. Miles, has completed a double B.A. in History and Philosophy here at SIUE and continued his studies here as well, to secure his Master’s degree showcasing his research along the way.
The paper is, unsurprisingly, what the title simply suggests. Turkey held a referendum campaign to vote on whether to switch from its traditional power structure of being a parliamentary led government, to a presidential system. In Turkey’s previous system, the role of president was largely an honorary and a symbolic title. With the passing of the referendum, power was switched to the office of the president, thus extending the rule of Recep Tayyip Erdogan into its 14th year. Inside the paper and presentation he argued, “Yes! the campaign used techniques consistent with that of classical propaganda”. Such tactics include: name calling, bandwagon, glittering generalities, flag waiving, “plain folks,” testimonial, and stacking the cards.
Images such as the one taken during the campaign (found below), were used throughout. To conduct the research, Mr. Davis translated the original material from Turkish to English and explained the cultural and historical significance of each image and sentence. Yes! he speaks the Turkish language as he traveled there as an undergraduate
student to study theTurkish language and history, but also stayed there a few years after landing a copy editor’s position at Hurriyet daily news (Daily Newspaper). The example shown in the image reads “For every ‘Yes’ one fatiha goes to Sheikh Sait and his Comrades (literally friends).” This is particularly of significance in context to the campaign presented as it was an emotional appeal directed explicitly at the Kurdish portion of the population. Sheikh Sait attempted to overthrow the newly formed secular republic in favor of an Islamic state. The banner was placed in Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Kurdistan. By doing so, the banner implies forgiveness, as fatiha is the first verse in Qur’an and is said at funerals and holds a tone of forgiveness. Thus, the banner itself is implying forgiveness for the transgressors against the state, both in regard to Sheikh Sait and the contemporary rebels against the state, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been at war with the Turkish government since 1984. This is one example from his arguments discussing a propaganda tool used, though many others were explored.The move was considered highly controversial by some even within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but overall, they passed the referendum and Erdogan is still the leader of Turkey today.
The field-work done by Mr. Davis’s and the professors in attendance, truly reveal the commitment and significance of not only our students and faculty, but SIUE as a whole. The university itself, strives to focus on communicating, expanding and integrating knowledge, for everyone, workers, students, and faculty members. As the year has just begun, we encourage and hope that the growth and progression continues to be showcased throughout every department. On behalf of the Mass Communication department and SIUE community, we are thankful and appreciative of these individuals as they are the reminder that we are making continued advancement toward our vision:
“Achieving greater national and global recognition and academic prominence through innovative and interdisciplinary programs that empower individuals to achieve their full potential”.
By: Quartell West-Crenshaw