Abstract: An Analysis of Spanish Perspectives on Donald Trump upon Examination of the Media’s Rhetoric and Cultural Representations in Cádiz, Spain

Following the recent election of former business tycoon turn President of the United States, Donald Trump, political tensions in the United States are at an all time high. The recent United States presidential election has seen an increase in political polarization between Trump supporters and Trump opposers. However, this political divisiveness over Donald Trump is not limited to within United States borders. The win of President Trump has sparked an international debate over what it means to be fit for office. This Summer in Cádiz, Spain, I will examine and analyze cultural and political representations of Donald Trump to gain a larger understanding of Spanish perceptions of President Trump. To do this, I will examine Spanish articles, televised news sources, newspapers, graffiti, song, poetry etc., mentioning Donald Trump, taking into account any potential bias and the political leaning of the creator. It is my opinion that the recent Spanish Civil War and accompanying Franquist dictatorship will cause even the more conservative leaning Spanish citizens to have a less than favorable opinion on President Trump. Throughout my research this summer, I will attempt to prove this theory with my research.

The Impact of Proximity to Home on College Football Performance

I want to determine whether football recruits perform better if they stay closer to home to go to college. The conventional wisdom is that football players will play better if they go to colleges near their house. Thus, college football teams by and large have players from their own state. Still, high school football talent is not spread evenly across the nation, so many teams located outside the hotbeds of the Southeast and the West Coast extend far from home to get the top talent. But is it worth it? Would it be better for Nebraska to have a team full of highly talented recruits from Florida and California, or a team full of less highly regarded recruits from Nebraska and surrounding states? Conversely, should a highly-touted recruit from Miami try to stay in Florida or cross the country to play football? I will statistically analyze the performance of college football players as a function of how far from home they play.

American Media Perceptions of Vladimir Putin, from 1999 to Today

I propose to look at how, over the last two decades, American’s views of Russian President Vladimir Putin have changed. I plan to look at archives from the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, identifying the long-term trends as well as turning points. When Putin first came into power, America saw him as someone they could work with, a continuation of the tentative new democracy in Russia. George W. Bush famously met with Putin and “[got] a sense of his soul.” Seventeen years after Putin came into office, his commitment to Russian democracy is questionable as he prepares to run for his fourth term as president in 2018. His relationship with the US is rockier than ever, with congressional investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections now underway. I want to look at how the news media has covered this shift and whether I can find key moments in that shift.

Abstract- Board Games and Political Theory

I want to demonstrate the relationship between international relations theory and strategy board games. To accomplish this task, I will create a comprehensive catalog of international relations concepts and terms by referencing summaries of international relations theory in relevant journals and books. This catalog will be arranged (to the greatest extent possible) in the form of a cladogram for the purpose of organizational simplicity. I will then use this catalog to code several of the most popular American strategy board games for associated IR theory concepts. Summaries of how each board game fits into international relations theory will be written based on the attributes they are assigned within the catalog. I will then use the cataloged games to explore new and innovative ways to incorporate strategy board games into the classroom. I want to do this research because it ties together my interest in international relations and my longtime passion for strategy board games. My goal is to use something tangible and fun, like board games, to explain abstract concepts that are often difficult to understand. I find this project exciting because I would be solving a problem (the task of understanding the myriad IR theory concepts) creatively, through something that I love—board games. Some examples of concepts that I believe would be easier to teach and learn through board games are: 1) The Implications of Anarchy, 2) The Effects of Power Distribution on the International System, and 3) The Logic of Deterrence.