AJHA 2024 Southeast Symposium

27 Feb 2024 9:30 AM | Autumn Lorimer Linford (Administrator)

By Natalie Bonner, Alex Boothe, and Caleb Aguayo

University students from institutions in the Southeastern U.S. gathered to present their research at the American Journalism Historians Association’s 2024 Southeast Symposium on Feb. 3.

The Symposium aims to foster a welcoming environment for undergraduate and graduate students to present their research and to promote scholarly conversation among the students and their peers.

This year’s research topics ranged from comic book history to the media coverage of historic events, including World Wars I and II, the 1903 Iroquois Theatre fire and Native American newspaper opposition to Alaskan fish canneries.

Makenzi Azeman, an undergraduate student from the University of Florida who researched the comparisons between Nazi propaganda and Israel-Palestine focused political cartoons, said she enjoyed the wide range of topics presented.

“It was very enlightening to hear about so many different great topics,” Azeman said. “I’m really glad I came because I’m a big fan of history and it was all really interesting to learn about.”

Faculty from the participating institutions recommended the students to present their research, and they then reviewed the students’ research to select the most comprehensive undergraduate and graduate papers for awards.

Tressie Nuñeza psychology major from Samford University, focused on the changing images of Batman’s archnemesis, the Joker, in the history of DC comic books. While unrelated to her major, she said she enjoyed researching a topic that was of personal interest to her.

“I just thought it was really cool to talk about it and that people were receptive and actually enjoyed it,” Nuñez said. “I really enjoyed the conference, and hearing that everyone else’s topics and ideas were broader than I had even thought about was really awesome.”

Justin Gray, an undergraduate student from Augusta University, worked alongside his professor, David Bulla, on a paper that examined the The National and its failed business model as a daily sports paper.

“It was a great experience. I liked the location and getting away for a few days.” Gray said. “I enjoyed everyone’s presentation and being able to present my work.”

More information about AJHA and its Southeast Symposium can be found here.

Natalie Bonner, Alex Boothe, and Caleb Aguayo are graduate students earning their master's degrees at the University of Alabama. They each presented at the Southeast Symposium this year. They are pictured above. 

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