Courtney (Claire) Mitchell is working with Professor Terence McDonnell on his Empathy Objects project. The project seeks to advance understanding of the ways in which objects and simulations can be designed to evoke a sense of empathy in a user or viewer. Mitchell has been part of this project since its genesis, giving her experience with engaging in broad, hypothesis-generating research tasks, analyzing and compiling literature reviews, and preparing case studies for lab testing. With potential applications in the fields of disability rights, medical training, and global altruism, Mitchell views the Empathy Objects project as a key opportunity to gain deeper insights into empathy as a concept and consider its power to teach and persuade.
Mitchell is also preparing a thesis in anthropology, with Professor Susan Blum as her advisor. Her thesis will explore humanities-based approaches to medical practice, specifically related to applications of medical narrative as both a multidimensional treatment strategy and a key informative tool for physicians. She hopes to apply her research to ongoing academic discussions of the importance of personalism in medical practice.
My research interests include global health, communication, and societal contributors to intersectional well-being. I especially enjoy studying childhood and infancy with respect to these topics.
I am excited to work with Professor McDonnell in exploring empathy as a concept, investigating how international organizations use new media technologies to provoke empathy and generate altruism for their causes.