Photo of James Gravelle

James Gravelle

Candidate, M.A. History

Degrees:B.A. Honours History (Carleton)

Current Program (including year of entry): MA History (2018)


Prof. Andrew Johnston

Academic Interests:

American History, 20th Century History, History of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian History, the relationship between Law, History and Technology

Select Publications and Current Projects:

Social Media as a Tool of Nationalism: Euromaidan and Ukraine.

Teaching Experience:

Teaching Assistant, HIST 2402A. The History of the United States Since 1865 (A. Johnston), Fall 2018

Description of Research:

With the explosion of digital social media platforms and the development of cheap, accessible smart phones, we have seen social media move away from its creation as a platform for connecting old friends, to something more intense. Social media has evolved to become a tool for political and social movements. The Arab Spring, the polarizing 2016 U.S election, Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, #Metoo are some examples of the movements and historical events that have gained notorious success through social media. These platforms have become the central location of news, media, opinion, and a place to coordinate movements, for better or worse. This has created an issue of exploitation by states and individuals alike. Russia infamously has been utilizing social media to cause societal discord in Ukraine.

My research addresses how social media has become a tool of nationalism, with Ukraine being my focus. Euromaidan, the revolution that shifted Ukraine politically and socially towards the European Union, was coordinated largely through social media. Since the revolution, Ukraine has utilized social media as a tool to promote its history, identity and language after decades of suppression by the Soviet Union. How effective this has been is yet to be addressed. To accomplish this, I will be assessing Ukrainian social media, Russia social media, and the academia surrounding Euromaidan as a result of social media organization.