Summer 2018 Update

Hey everyone!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here on my WordPress site, I kinda dropped the ball on my idea for a regular blog while I was in Argentina. I have decided to give this site another whirl, what with the whole summer ahead of me and a renewed inspiration to make things happen (for now at least, I’m sure in 2 weeks I’ll be exhausted all over again).

Since I am staying in D.C. this summer to intern at the National Peace Corps Association, I decided I would try posting content again to practice maintaining a presence on social media, a place to post ideas and stories while I continue studying Journalism at American University. I am hoping that by publishing personal content regularly through this site, I can both add something new and interesting to my resumé while also pushing myself to try new things.

I want to share some of the coolest and most interesting stuff I found out during my first year at college by posting research papers I wrote (and received decent grades on, so I know that they are at least coherent!) during my first two semesters at American. I will also be working on new content, so don’t think I’ll just be dumping a bunch of PDFs on you guys, that wouldn’t be very interesting.

In this first post, I’m sharing an essay I wrote in my first semester at AU for a class focused on the history of the discourses surrounding diseases in the Western World. For my research paper in this class, I decided to create a discussion on the “medical discourse” used by the 1976-1983 right-wing dictatorship in Argentina to dehumanize leftists and civilians by comparing them to infectious cells in a sick body.

This research has really stuck with me, and this essay remains one of my favorite pieces of work I’ve ever written. It is chilling to see the reshaping of perspective throughout an entire country, how dehumanizing narratives can incite and justify unimaginable physical and psychological violence. This paper inspired other content that I have produced throughout my first and second semester, such as an essay for my Spanish class on dehumanization similar to this one, and a second essay delving into the concept of “percepticide.”

You can find the original text that really drove me to explore the “medical discourse” and psychological responses to terror in Argentina during the Dirty War in the article by Marcelo Suárez-Orozco titled: “The Heritage of Enduring a ‘Dirty War’: Psychosocial Aspects of Terror in Argentina, 1976-1988” which should be available on ResearchGate (you may have to create an account . . . however, if you’re interested, send me a message and I’ll try to help out)!

If you’d like to read the research paper I wrote, I’m attaching it here as a PDF. This work is certainly not finished, and if you’d like to make suggestions for improving it or have ideas for more information to back it up, get in touch with me; I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Thanks so much, and I’ll be posting more content soon, probably something I’ve been working on more recently!

Author: Braeden Waddell

Hailing from Waldoboro, Maine, Braeden Waddell is a junior at American University studying Journalism and Latin American area studies. Waddell is an avid podcast listener, an aspirational chef, and a two-wheeled transportation enthusiast currently suffering a minor setback. His long-term career goal is to work as an investigative reporter for a podcast similar to Post Reports, Reveal, or In The Dark. His choice to attend American University was inspired by desperate need to leave his 5,000-person town in rural Maine and enjoy the benefits of modernity he lacked at home, such as a cable internet and being able to go to a grocery store without seeing upwards of five people from his high school. Fun fact: Waddell only learned to ride a bike 3 weeks ago. Fun fact 2: While Waddell loves to cook, he is less knowledgeable with the art of baking. He can only bake one thing: Banana Bread. But, it’s damn good banana bread.

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