Graduate School

The University of Mississippi

UM’s Three Minute Thesis Winner Competes in Southern Regional Conference

by Jordan Orris

ObaidaObaida Shammama, winner of the Three Minute Thesis (3MTTM) competition at the University of Mississippi, recently represented UM at the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools Annual Meeting, held in Knoxville, TN. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science. I asked her a few questions about her thesis and the 3MT competition.

Graduate School: “Can you briefly describe your 3MT presentation? What made you choose this topic?”

Obaida Shammama: “When we come across the word Revolution, it often stirs in us images of bloodshed and armed conflict. But unarmed uprisings have surprisingly become more common in recent decades, when trade liberalization was also showing an upward trend. I have a background in economics, and so I was interested to examine the role of international trade in facilitating the onset of major nonviolent resistance campaigns.

“My theory posits that higher levels of foreign trade facilitates mobilization of participants by enabling networking among heterogeneous groups, and that it also lowers the risk for participating and organizing civil resistance campaigns. More specifically, relatively more open economies are characterized by higher levels of government spending on general education and vocational training.”

She continued, “I contend that educational institutions provide the space for broad based mobilization, a crucial component for organizing major nonviolent campaigns. I also argue that monitoring and threat of sanctions from international trading partners condition an exporting state’s repressive behavior, which in turn lowers the cost of participating in and/or organizing nonviolent resistance campaigns.”

Graduate School: “What was your preparation for presenting your 3MT at the Annual Meeting in Knoxville?”

Obaida Shammama: “The main challenge for acing the 3MT competition is getting the presentation done within three minutes, and that, too, comprehensively yet concisely. I would also watch my tone during practice and take feedback from those around me to make changes for generating interest and enthusiasm in the audience.”

Graduate School: “Can you tell us a bit more about your CSGS experience?”

Obaida Shammama: “Representing the University of Mississippi at the Meeting was a great honor to me. It was a pleasure to watch presentations from the best of 2018-2019 3MT participants of other schools. Since I was among the two presenters in the room whose dissertations do not focus on topics in natural sciences, it felt really great to be able to tell the audience about my work, which, albeit being remarkably different from the rest of the superb presentations, is equally, if not more, interesting.”

Graduate School: “Is there anything else you may like us to know about you or your dissertation, etc.?”

Obaida Shammama: “I am originally from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and I am currently living in Oxford with my husband and my daughter.”