The American Journalism Historians Association (AJHA) presented Dr. Elisabeth Fondren with an Honorable Mention Award for the prestigious 2019 Margaret A. Blanchard Doctoral Dissertation Prize at their annual convention in Dallas, TX on October 4.
Dr. Fondren joined St. John’s University in September 2019 as an Assistant Professor of Journalism (Division of Mass Communication) in the Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies.
Her dissertation, “Breathless Zeal and Careless Confidence: German Propaganda in World War I (1914-1918)” chronicles the evolution of German propaganda ideas, ideals and institutions during the First World War.
Building on extensive archival research, her study looks at the origins of government manufacture of opinion in the early twentieth century. In Berlin, German officials learned—over time, through countless blunders, and by modeling after their enemies—that fighting a modern war required a sophisticated set of media strategies, effective institutions, and modern, increasingly visual, media technologies. These lessons would become part of their propaganda toolbox and would not be forgotten by subsequent and totalitarian regimes.
Dr. Fondren completed her Ph.D. in Media and Public Affairs at Louisiana State University (Manship School of Mass Communication) in 2018.
Her research focuses on the history of journalism and media institutions, propaganda, media and war, and international communication.