Luther College, communication studies and French
GSEF Fellow, Cohort 1
Research Placement: University of Wisconsin-Madison
“There are only two things people should know about me. I have an identical twin who is far cooler than me and I can quote almost every Pixar movie perfectly.”
How would you describe yourself in a few sentences?
There are only two things people should know about me. I have an identical twin who is far cooler than me and I can quote almost every Pixar movie perfectly.
What kind of research are you working on this summer? Who are you working with?
I worked with Dr. Lori Lopez in the Media and Cultural Studies department in the graduate program of the Communication Arts school at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Together we looked at how to know if the Disney movie Moana was participating in cultural exploitation. We performed critical analysis on the film, bonus features, and relied on scholarly work around cultural appropriation to understand how cultural exploitation manifested itself in Moana.
What have you learned so far?
I’ve learned two really big things over this last summer of research at Madison. The first being, cooking for yourself gets old really fast on your own (adulting is not nearly as exciting as it would seem). Secondly, collaboration is key in doing research. I’ve grown as a researcher and as an academic from constant conversations with other academics about my work and theirs, all of which informs and pushes the research I am doing.
What part(s) of this experience will benefit you most? How so?
The part of the experience that benefited me the most was my faculty mentor. She was invested in the project we undertook. It was amazing to work with someone of such high caliber in her field and to be able to geek out for a whole summer over Moana with someone who felt like a friend but still a mentor.
What do you want your faculty mentor and/or university to remember about you?
The thing I want my faulty mentor/university to remember about me is that I love Disney Pixar so much that I was willing to spend a whole summer spending countless hours researching and writing a 20-page paper, and still came out loving Pixar more than ever before.