Two Graduate students to present research papers at JJCHC
By: Haadiza Ogwude
Two graduate students in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism present research papers at the 2019 Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference (JJCHC) in New York City.
The conference featured research papers related to mass media and history from graduate students, as well as faculty members from across the country.
Yasmeen Ebada, a first-year master’s student, was invited to present her paper, titled “New York Times’ Framing of the 2013 Ousting of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi,” at JJCHC. Ebada examined how the New York Times’ framed the ousting of former President Morsi between July 3 and July 31 of 2013. Ebada said that she chose this topic because she was living in Egypt at the time of the revolt and wanted to compare the coverage in the United States with her own experience.
“It’s very important to understand how the revolution was framed in terms of how the U.S. responded to this revolution, because we were in need of tons of help from different countries, and the U.S. is supposed to be considered one of Egypt’s most prominent allies. So, it was important to see how the U.S. responded to that, how they helped us, or did not help us, in our time of need,” Ebada said.
Satrajit Chowdhury, first year Ph.D. studewnt, was also invited to present his paper, titled “Bengal’s Tryst with Destiny: Sirdar J.J. Singh’s ‘Famine in India’ and the American Response,” at JJCHC. In his paper Chowdhury investigated the history of journalism related to the Bengal famine that occurred between 1943 and 1944, and discovered the pamphlet titled “Famine in India” that was written and published by Sirdar J.J. Singh during the World War II era. Chowdhury said various works about the Bengal Famine have discussed the pamphlet and its influence on America’s response to the crisis.
“In India the history of the Bengal famine is very apparent, but here it’s lost. So, I wanted to make people know what happened exactly in Bengal in that era,” Chowdhury said.
Chowdhury and Ebada wrote their paper as part of Michael Sweeney’s historiography course.
Chowdhury said that Sweeney was very receptive to his topic and gave him a lot of great tips for how to improve his paper.
“I appreciated the critique process, where he let us critique each other’s papers, as well as make us understand how critiquing works. That helped me a lot in understanding what should go in a paper, how to keep my paper on track, and moreover, he is a fantastic editor,” Chowdhury said.
Ebada also said Sweeney was a tremendous help to her in learning historical research methods.
“Dr. Sweeney is amazing…He always knows what to do, and he always gives good advice. He’s just an expert at being a historiographer…My paper was good enough for presentation, and I guess that says a lot about what kind of person he is and what kind of awesome professor he is,” Ebada said.
Six out of eight papers written in Sweeney’s histography course have been accepted to a national conference. He said that the idea behind this class is that students learn the qualitative, as well as quantitative methods, of historians and apply those methods to their final paper, which they are encouraged to submit to a conference such as JJCHC.
Sweeney said the fact that Chowdhury and Ebada have both been accepted to a national conference within their first year of graduate school validates them as exceptional students.
“We are continuing to produce good scholars in journalism history year after year. What is particularly significant about Yasmeen and Satrajit’s papers is that they were written in their first semester here at Ohio University. In other words, in their introduction to our graduate program, they were smart enough and persistent enough to create a piece of scholarship that was judged worthy of presentation at a national conference…I think that bodes well for what we can expect from them in the future,” Sweeney explained.
Conference submissions were selected through a “double-blind” review to ensure that papers were chosen based on merit. The co-organizers of the conference are Nicholas Hirshon, assistant professor at William Patterson University, and Pamela Walck, assistant professor at Duquesne University, both of whom are alumni of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.