Throughout this seminar and the past two quarters I have found that my interests lie in culture, and how stories and art that are told and created about a people effect how the world reacts to them, how politics reacts to them, and how they react to themselves and others. In my political science class last quarter, we spent the last few weeks talking about ethnic conflict, and how the stories leaders told about people fueled the conflict, rather than actual ethic hatred. This quarter I am taking an Honors class titled Speculative Fiction, which uses socionarratology to explore how stories make up the basis of life, and how the stories effect how we live our lives and perceive others. In this seminar, this idea is expanded as we have talked a bit about the differences in narrative between how Angela Merkel and Donald Trump talk about migrants, and how their rhetoric squeues the way the public reacts. Trump has spouted very negative and hateful speech toward migrants, casting them as criminals, terrorists, and drug lords that need to be kept out for the safety of the United States. Angela Merkel, as far as we know, is portraying migrants in a more forgiving way: as people who need help, and who should not be punished for the acts of a few. I personally would like to study how the reaction of the German people is effected by this kind of speech. I would also like to see the reaction of the migrant community.
I would also like to see how the role of nationalism interacts with the stories of migrants. The entire world has seen a rise in nationalism over the past few years. I would love to explore and learn more about what constitutes the nationalist beliefs in Germany and how that effects how residents see migrants, and how it effects the ability of migrants to assimilate. In general, all these topics connect through the idea of narrative and story. I would like to be put in a place that allows me to gather these stories and beliefs and also see the effects these stories have on the attitudes of both the migrant and German population.
Laurette Hanna will be a sophomore at the University of Washington with intended majors in psychology and political science. She is hoping to pursue a career in law with a focus in social justice and civil litigation, with goals to work for the ACLU.