On the eve of the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, Mari-Liis Madisson, Research Fellow in Semiotics at the University of Tartu, was awarded the €5,000 scholarship of Professor Peeter Tulviste Memorial Fund. Madisson’s research focuses are conspiracy theories, meaning-making in online communication, and information influence activities.
The chair of the evaluation committee Jaan Tulviste said that through her research, Mari-Liis Madisson has made a significant contribution to understanding the cultural nature of humans by addressing issues and seeking answers to research questions that are more relevant to society today than ever before.
The supervisor of Madisson’s doctoral thesis Andreas Ventsel, Associate Professor of Semiotics, said that this year’s laureate is an inspiration to other young researchers for her achievements and versatility. “Madisson’s publications have significantly advanced the application of semiotics of culture to study the modern-day online culture and, in particular, its sore points – the echo chamber effect, radicalisation, spread of conspiracy theories and hate speech, and strategic information attacks,” said Ventsel.
According to Mari-Liis Madisson, semioticians regard Professor Peeter Tulviste as one of their own because culture was central in his research and he supported the establishment of the Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu. “It is a great honour for me to receive the scholarship named after Tulviste, and the recognition gives me motivation to set future academic goals,” Madisson said.
Mari-Liis Madisson defended her doctoral degree in semiotics and theory of culture in 2016. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Queen’s University Belfast and since 2017, she has been working as a research fellow in semiotics at the University of Tartu. She has enhanced her academic career as a visiting lecturer at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, the University of Turin and the Queen’s University Belfast.
The Peeter Tulviste Memorial Fund was established in autumn 2017. The aim of the memorial fund is to support and recognise socially active students and young researchers who contribute to the advancement of Estonian society through their outstanding teaching and research. The scholarship is awarded to a person holding a master’s or a doctoral degree and studying or working at the University of Tartu, and whose research has largely contributed to the understanding of the cultural nature of the human being.