Newhouse Professor Dennis Kinsey Gives Keynote Speech, Shares Research at Subjectivity Conference in Belfast

Dennis Kinsey, director for the Newhouse School’s public diplomacy and global communications program and a professor of public relations, reflects on his trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Conducting research and advancing knowledge is an important part of a university professor’s job, and the first step in sharing one’s research typically involves the presentation of findings at academic conferences.

a person stands behind a wooden podium and speaks
Kinsey giving his keynote speech. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Johnson)

From Sept. 13-15, 2023, I had the privilege of participating in the 39th Annual Conference of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Subjectivity, known as the “Q Conference,” held in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Throughout the conference, I attended numerous presentations, shared my own research titled “Sports logos that inspire: Exploring the elements of sports logo” and contributed as a panelist in the “Expert Panel on Q Methodology.” However, the pinnacle of this experience for me was the honor of delivering a keynote address. This was my inaugural experience as a keynote speaker, and the request humbled and privileged me.

My keynote speech revolved around the journey from conducting one’s maiden Q study to evolving into a mentor in Q-methodolgy. The central theme of my keynote was elucidating the common bewilderment encountered during the early stages of research, and how, with each subsequent study, we accrue confidence and expertise.

In due course, we find ourselves guiding emerging scholars on their own Q-methodological odyssey. Moreover, the keynote provided a platform for me to expound on my methods for teaching research techniques to undergraduate students in Newhouse’s public relations program and graduate students studying public diplomacy and global communication. This address was warmly received and afforded me the opportunity to sing the praises of our students.

a person signs the Peace Wall in Belfast Northern Ireland
Kinsey signing the Peace Wall in Belfast. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Kinsey)

I typically participate in two conferences each year, and these conferences offer me the chance to see new scholars presenting their research, reconnect with familiar faces in the academic community and explore intriguing destinations. However, the true value of attending such conferences is in the acquisition of new knowledge about the latest, cutting-edge research.

This wealth of knowledge is then transferred to the classroom, where I can impart it to my students. Newhouse students, renowned for their curiosity and passion, exhibit keen interest in studies that contribute to our understanding of the world and people who inhabit it.

Dennis Kinsey is the director for the Newhouse School’s public diplomacy and global communications program and a professor of public relations.