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Lee Benson ’11 awarded a SSHRC Masters Scholarship to go to Carleton University

Lee Benson obtained her Honours Degree in History in 2011, and was awarded a SSHRC Masters Scholarship to attend Carleton University.  She will be starting graduate school there in September 2012 with a well-developed research project.  This is the update Lee has sent us:

“I’ll be continuing a project I began at Saint Thomas regarding the history of the automobile.  My project at Saint Thomas was an examination of the use of industrial film in the Automobile industry from 1930 – 55, focusing on films used for advertising.  My hope is to continue that project and expand it to include a comparison of the advertising employed by GM and that of the Ford Motor company.  Ford created its own advertisements and GM used an advertising company.  GM’s car ads fit very well within broader trends in American advertising culture at the period and my preliminary hypothesis at this point – given what I know of the Ford Motor Company in this period – is that Ford’s ads will be very different.  I want to do a comparison of the cultural values that were promoted by each companies advertising and how that relates to broader trends in automobile culture.  We’ll see how far I get with that.  I may have to save part of that for my next degree and just take it a little piece at a time, especially given how little literature has been written on industrial film advertising.

I’m really looking forward to this project as my first two years at Saint Thomas were spent in the journalism program.  Continuing with a project so focused on media allows me to tie my passion for history and my passion for journalism and communications together.  Carleton is a great place to do that, although I know I never would have gotten here if it hadn’t been for the time I spent working with STU’s history professors.  I wouldn’t have even attempted it.  I appreciate all that you and others have done to help get me here and I wish you all the best this fall!”

Essay abstract: “Advertising in Motion: The Use of Industrial films in American Automobile Advertising, 1930 – 55”