Picture of Brian Kristopher Ladd

Brian Kristopher Ladd

Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media

Biography

Brian is a first year Ph.D. student and Research Assistant, focusing on Extremist Media Studies. His work focuses on the rhetoric of extremist groups online. Brian takes a hybrid approach to research, converting theoretical insights into solutions that can be applied in the field. To this point, as an M.A. student, his thesis, “More than words: A Multi-Dimensional Analysis of Islamic State Language,” (directed by Dr.  J Michael Terry) introduced a novel computational linguistic method for analyzing Islamic State media. Other work has included the use of revolutionary language in 2011’s Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, the role of leftist identities in the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution, the linguistic constriction of political identities in Eritrea, and the pragmatics of codeswitching in the recruitment speeches of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader, Anwar al-Awlaki.   

Prior to returning to academia, Brian was an Associate Partner at PlazaBridge Group, a boutique consulting firm based in Durham, North Carolina. He was instrumental in establishing the Data 4 Decisions practice area. His primary focus was the facilitatation of interactions between people and information -- how information was generated, collected, stored or acted upon for decision making. Brian has developed and implemented people centric knowledge solutions for clients that have supported top level decisions on strategic acquisitions valued in excess of 500 million dollars.



Presentations

  • I didn't do it: An acoustic analysis of deceitful speech. Student Research Symposium, 9 Nov 2019. University of South Carolina. Presentation.
  • More than words: Forensic uses of Multi-Dimensional analysis. Student Research Symposium, 9 Nov 2019. University of South Carolina. Columbia, South Carolina. Presentation.
  • I didn't do it: An acoustic analysis of deceitful speech. UNC Linguistics Spring Colloquium, 6 April 2018, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Poster. 
  • Mulid without a Saint: Bakhtinian carnivalesque as applied to Tahrir Square.” UNC Asian Studies Seniors Honors Thesis Colloquium. 15 April 2013. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Presentation. 
  • Wonder women: Representations of women on superhero comic book covers,” Comics and Popular Arts Conference. 4 Sep 2011. Atlanta, Georgia. Presentation. 
  • Visual villainy: Constructing the image of the comic book villain,” Annual meeting of Phi Theta Kappa, Durham Technical Community College, 5 April 2012.  Durham, North Carolina. Presentation.

Projects

  • Forensic Linguistic Consultant, Radical Extremist Research (RExR) Team, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 2018 - Current

Education

  • A. A. in Liberal Arts from Durham Technical Community College
  • B. A. in Arab Culture & Language; Minor in Linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M. A. in Linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill