Cori Dauber, Professor of Communication: Visit by King’s College London Researcher to UNC-Chapel Hill

Applicant Information

  • Name: Cori Dauber
  • Title: Professor of Communication
  • Department/School: CAS/Communication
  • Email:


Partner and Participant Information

  • Partner Institution(s) and Location: King’s College London
  • Partner School/Department: International Centre for the Study of Radicalization; War Department
  • Participating UNC Schools/Departments: Communication; Peace War and Defense


Project Information

Please describe the initiative to be conducted:

We are seeking funding to bring a King’s College Research Fellow, Mr. Charlie Winter (see CV attached to Dr. Dauber’s) to UNC for one week. During that time, he will visit classes in several departments, and give a public talk, but the bulk of his time will be spent planning (and developing funding streams for) a conference on the parallels in the communication strategies of Al Queda (AQ), Islamic State (IS), and a variety of US and European white supremacist groups. Our goal is to host this conference at UNC in the spring of 2020, to make extensive use of UNC and King’s faculty, and to find a venue that would be interested in publishing the conference proceedings. We are also interested in pursuing joint grant applications while Mr. Winter is here. The conference planning, however, is our priority as a launch pad for continuing to develop closer working relations between the King’s and UNC teams.

Proposed Dates/Timeline:

We want to bring Mr. Winter here late November, because Dr. Dauber is on leave this semester and therefore can devote undivided attention to this project while he is here. The conference would be held during the spring of 2020.

Please state the requested funding amount and how the award would be spent:

$2,000.00 roundtrip airfare Heathrow to RDU

5 night @ $119 (UNC rate at Marriot courtyard) = $595.00

per diem meals $38.30 X 5 = $191.50

Total request: $2,786.00

Please list other funding sources identified or received:

For this initial visit we seek to use this fund exclusively. This funding supports seeking additional extramural funding for the conference we are in the early stages of planning. Our team has already secured some funding from TISS (the Triangle Institute for Security Studies) and the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, and we will be seeking large scale conference support from the NSF Law and Social Sciences Directorate conference funding awards program. While the King’s College Research Fellow is in Chapel Hill, we will be meeting with representatives of US Army Special Operations Command. Our contacts at USASOC are very interested in this conference succeeding and may be able to offer support in some way as well.

Please describe the expected outcomes:

There are two sets of outcomes. We wish to use this funding to bring a research fellow of the International Centre of the Study of Radicalization at KCL to UNC for a brief visit. The outcomes for that expenditure include opportunities for our students to interact directly with a scholar whose work they have been reading in classes, a major public lecture, as well as appearances in classes. Additionally, this funding will allow the two teams a period of sustained, in-person planning for future collaborations, the first of which is a major conference to be hosted at UNC in the Spring of 2020, inclusive of the publication of conference proceedings. The expected outcome is a major international conference focused on the parallels in the communication strategies of groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State on the one hand, and various white supremacist groups, in both their American and European variants on the other. We also plan to build work time into the visit to a develop a collaborative research plan for seeking additional research grants and co-authored publications with the individual research fellow, Mr. Charlie Winter (CV attached) and appropriate members of the UNC team. (By bringing him to UNC, rather than one of us going to King’s, our students benefit, we get the public talk, we can directly involve colleagues at Duke and the representatives of USASOC in conference planning, and our entire team can be involved in planning future research projects.)

Please describe how the initiative will advance the institutional partnership:

Of the teams researching the strategic communications of extremist groups, the ICSR at KCL and the team at UNC have two things in common: 1st both are consciously built around the inclusion of both kinds of scholars, those studying Al Qaeda (AQ) and affiliates and Islamic State (IS) and those studying the various white supremacist groups, and 2nd both integrate a focus on the visual images that are constitutive of the propaganda products of these groups, often making these images the central focus of their work. A major conference anchored by UNC and KCL offers a variety of possibilities for collaboration depending on how we structure the schedule, for example scheduling a pre-conference for UNC and KCL personnel to discuss future research projects. 

Please describe your previous engagement with the partner institution:

We previously applied to the UNC-system wide ROI grant program. The reviews were extremely positive, but the Chapel Hill reviewers clearly were just interested in a different type of program than we were offering. It is worth noting that as part of that proposal our colleagues at King’s were prepared to set aside one slot in their PhD program for a North Carolina resident. This collaboration stems from UNC and KCL’s continued desire to collaborate, initiated in the ROI grant development process. This demonstrates that the commitment for continued collaborative engagement between our programs is ongoing.