NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University welcomes Dr. Eszter Szenes, a visiting research fellow, to conduct research on radicalization strategies in online far-right propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

Szenes, hosted by the John and Mary Frances Patton Peace and War Center, is on campus for a two-year visiting research position as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Research Fellow. At Norwich, she will focus on online radicalization strategies, especially the power of language and symbolism in the construction of far-right propaganda and disinformation campaigns that incite violence.

“The primary goal of this project is to identify radicalization strategies in online far-right propaganda, in order to gain a deep understanding of its linguistic repertoire and contribute to its prevention,” Szenes said. “Specifically, the main research question is how radicalization strategies of European far-right narratives deploy a wide range of nuanced semiotic, linguistic and visual meaning-making resources in order to recruit potential new members.”

At Norwich, Szenes will focus on online radicalization strategies, especially the power of language and symbolism in the construction of far-right propaganda and disinformation campaigns that incite violence.

Peace and War Center Director Travis Morris said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Norwich University. Our students will benefit from having such a prestigious researcher among us, exploring this very timely topic.” 

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions is a prestigious fellowship that “supports researchers at all stages of their careers, regardless of age and nationality. Researchers working across all disciplines are eligible for funding. The MSCA also support cooperation between industry and academia and innovative training to enhance employability and career development,” according to its website.

Szenes is a research fellow at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Central European University, Vienna, Austria/Budapest, Hungary. She holds a doctorate in systemic functional linguistics from The University of Sydney. Her research interests include far-right extremism and radicalization, critical thinking and the literacy practices of academic disciplines. 

On Norwich’s campus, Szenes will focus on learning new research-related software; network with Norwich students, faculty, staff and alumni; give presentations and guest lectures; collaborate on research and assist with School of Justice Studies and Sociology, Peace and War Center, and Norwich University Applied Research Institutes projects. She is guest lecturing in an advanced criminal justice class on terrorism and is available to meet with students.

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About Norwich University:

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

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