Researchers and Executive Team

Who are we?

We include scholars with disciplinary homes in communication, psychology, and history. Our research team spans continents, including scholars at George Mason University, University of Amsterdam, and University of Baltimore.

Character Assassination and Rhetoric with Jennifer Keohane

Character Assassination History and Culture with Martijn Icks

CARP Co-Founders

  • Sergei Samoilenko is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University. He developed and held numerous workshops and webinars on strategic communication in the US and internationally. Sergei’s research focuses on issues in strategic communication, reputation management, and subversive campaigns in climate debates. 
  • Eric Shiraev is a Mason professor, researcher, and author. He is an author, co-author, and co-editor of numerous books and publications in the areas of international relations, government, political psychology, and cross-cultural studies. In his works, he develops a distinct multi-disciplinary approach to foreign policy and political behavior and emphasizes the role of cultural and identity factors in politics. 
  • Jennifer Keohane is an Associate Professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design at the University of Baltimore. She has a PhD in rhetoric from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation about the feminist activism of American Communist women during the early Cold War. She's especially interested in red-baiting as a form of character assassination.
  • Martijn Icks is a Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam. His PhD thesis was published under the title The Crimes of Elagabalus: The Life and Legacy of Rome’s Decadent Boy Emperor (2011). His current research interests include the visibility of Roman imperial power and character assassination from an historical perspective.

Research Affiliates

  • Edwina Hagen is a Dutch cultural historian, and Assistant Professor at the Free University of Amsterdam. She is an expert of the revolutionary period in the Netherlands (1780-1815). In a broader sense, her research explores (the historical problem of) individual agency, as evidenced by people’s changing practices, emotions and attitudes toward power and political authority. Her work highlights in- and exclusionary processes that are at play in the creation of political subjects, reinforced by religion (antipapism related to civic virtues and national identity) and changing cultural norms about gender and (political) emotions. Character assassination is particularly relevant to the period of Hagen’s research, because this phenomenon occurred especially in times of revolution.
  • Andrew Armstrong is a lecturer in Global Education at George Mason University and board member of the American College Program at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. His research combines political science, technology, and epistemology; with particular focus on the spread of misinformation in the public sphere. He is co-editor of the book series Character Assassination Through the Ages, and co-author on publications assessing the rise of digital propaganda.
  • Nancy Snow (Ph.D., American SIS) is a leading authority in public diplomacy (reputation, credibility, gender diplomacy) and propaganda studies. She was Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Information Agency during the Bill Clinton Administration. Snow is Professor Emeritus of Communications at California State University, Fullerton. A resident of Tokyo, Japan, she holds a distinguished professor appointment as Pax Mundi Professor of Public Diplomacy, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, the first such public diplomacy position in the country. Over her 25-year career, Dr. Snow has held two Fulbright Fellowships (Germany, Japan), a Social Science Research Council Abe Fellowship as well as a number of global visiting professor appointments in public diplomacy. Among her thirteen books are The Sage Handbook of Propaganda (with co-editors Paul Baines and Nicholas O’Shaughnessy); the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (with Nicholas J. Cull); Japan’s Information War (Japanese/English versions); Propaganda, Inc. and Information War (Seven Stories Press); and Propaganda and American Democracy (LSU Press.

Interns

  •  Valentina Fala, CARP Media Manager. Valentina is a Communication and Public Relations student at George Mason University where she is also pursuing a double minor in Intelligence Studies and Linguistics. At CARP she is interning as the Media Manager in charge of press releases, media inventory and creation of promotional videos. Amongst her many interests and hobbies she is also part of various involvement groups at her university like the Mason chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Comm Ambassadors, the Fourth Estate, the Hispanic Culture Review. She is expected to graduate next Spring 2025.
  • Laszlo Taba, CARP Digital Archivist. Laszlo is an MA student at George Mason University studying history and focusing on modern Europe and Digital History. After a career in finance and information technology, he was inspired to pursue a PhD after completing a data ethics certification through the Center for Applied Data Ethics through the University of San Francisco, which introduced him to issues related to disinformation, bias, data collection, facial recognition, surveillance, and artificial intelligence. His goal now is to complete a PhD in history at GMU and become a researcher who specializes in the history of propaganda, disinformation, and misinformation. He is currently building an archive for CARP to support research into character assassination and reputation politics.