Katherine Olsson

SIS Olson Scholars

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    Very interesting Katherine! Your projects changed a lot since the beginning of the semester, but I think you’ve found a good topic. It might be interesting to compare earlier discourses put out by the U.S. from when the U.S. propped up right-wing dictators who supported American firms. It would be interesting to see how it has (or hasn’t) changed over the years and what that might say about current U.S. relations with Latin American.

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    Katherine, for your methodology, are incredibly developed and well aware for what you are looking for. One of the first things that caught my attention was how new this layer of time is that you are analyzing. But you did address this in the end which showed your awareness. I think the biggest thing out of this project is being aware of your evaluative standards when it comes to looking at sources. From what I am aware you do have personal ties to this region and this should maybe be analyzed a little deeper especially as you are taking an interpretivist approach. The Schwartz-Shea readings shed considerable light on reflexivity and trustworthiness. Other than that I am excited to see how your research develops as you seem to have significant connections to rich sources coming from Nicaragua.

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    Katherine, I think this is a solid presentation that has almost all of the elements for a great research process next semester. One thing I think you did very well is explaining how you’ll be selecting sources to substantiate the discourses you’re studying. I think that having contacts on the ground will give you a great advantage in this, and I think that supplementing those with your own research into nonprofits and advocacy groups, etc. will lead to a good amount of exposure. That said, I might be even more clear about exactly how you’re mapping this topic for exposure, including exploring the possibility of discourses that subvert the ones you outline here. I’m also curious about why you chose popular and official discourses, specifically. Explaining why you chose certain types of discourses and not others is a methodological choice it will be important to justify. I think you did a great job of expressing the issue’s relevance, given Nicaragua’s current political stability, but rephrasing that into the explicit form that the construction of Ortega as a hero/villain made possible the political instability would increase the clarity of your project’s implications. It also will be worth considering what will happen if you find that the construction of Orgeta as a hero or villain had little or no impact on the political violence, and preparing yourself for the implications of that finding. Overall, great job and I look forward to working with you more into 306!

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