RPP #2 – Meeting with the Faculty Mentor

I met with Dr. Robert Adcock on August 28, 2019, from 1 PM -1:35 PM and alongside introducing ourselves formally, we began our discussion regarding my research project. From the get-go, I outlined my goals, as well as some issues that I had been having regarding my initial project design. From there, Dr. Adcock and I discussed three options, or next steps forward, in order to mitigate the issues, I was having.

The first issue I had was with my original sources of empirical data. Previously, I thought I would utilize secondary school textbooks to study the varying linguistic patterns and how that would perpetuate ethnic division. However, the problem with that was I did not understand Bosnian, Serbian or Croatian, thus making interpretation difficult as well as leave me vulnerable to the bias of certain online translation systems. Furthermore, the sources would be difficult to obtain in a feasible amount of time, as they would most likely come from the Georg Eckert Institute, an organization that specifically studies and provides textbooks internationally. Thus, Dr. Adcock suggested the following three sources to investigate:

  1. NGO/U.N. Documents – since the United Nations did deploy a peacekeeping mission during the conflict, there must be reports, both individual and organizational, that would be valuable and accessible. Based on my research over the last week alone, I’ve not only procured the English transcript from the Dayton Agreement but have also obtained access to several summaries as well as scholarly interpretations of the agreement.[1] I believe that these resources will be valuable towards building a larger, outside narrative of the war built upon by government officials.
  2. Journalism – alongside government, there also needs to be a ground perspective as well. I plan to look deeper into journalists similar to Joe Sacco, as well as radio, television and newspapers within the country.
  3. Geospatial & Demographic Data – since I’ve been pretty set on interpretative documents, Dr.Adcock suggested I look deeper into neo positivist methods of research. He first suggested looking into what is called “death maps”, which are interactive map databases that certain NGOs have programmed in order to document civilian death counts in different regions which I hope to help find through geospatial technology here at AU. Furthermore, we discussed looking deeper into census data to see if any patterns had been emerging in certain cantons.

From this, we discussed the second issue I was having, which was determining the canton I would study. However, this was mitigated by the suggestion of other empirical sources of evidence, as mentioned above, and most likely I will look both geospatial, as well as historical documents, to see which area has had the most contentious history regarding resolution since the ceasefire. As of right now, I am particularly interested in Travnik, which as I mentioned in RPP #1, was an area that resisted the lifting of the school segregation, so I will begin to take a look at that area as well. Alongside this, Dr. Adcock also suggested I begin reading Analyzing Social Narratives by Shaul R. Shenhav, which he recommended as a good starting point before I begin examining other documents and searching for narrative development within them. [2]

Regarding any concerns, I really do not have any as of the moment, other than balancing my time in order to ensure that I focusing on my project alongside other schoolwork, as it can be quite captivating and thus time-consuming for the other classes that I regard equally as important, but I am sure that will come with time. Other than that, I look forward to the next steps of my project, which include finishing Shenhav’s book, visiting AU’s geospatial lab, looking deeper into the ‘what’ of my project, which I do have some ideas for that I look forward to presenting to Dr.Adcock at our next meeting on September 11, 2019.


[1] “General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” opened for signature
21 November 1995, General Assembly & Security Council, 28, September 7,2019

[2] Shenhav, Shaul R. Analyzing Social Narratives. London, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2015. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/aul/detail.action?docID=2038970.


One thought on “RPP #2 – Meeting with the Faculty Mentor

  1. Overall it sounds like you had a productive and thought-provoking meeting with Dr. Adcock (and you received some very good suggestions for your next steps!). I look forward to seeing how the research develops!

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