PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 2018
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Megan Hyska (PhD, University of Texas at Austin, Philosophy, 2018) is a philosopher of language with an interest in applications of formal linguistic tools to socio-politically interesting features of mass discourse. Her research focuses on the way that conversations are organized into topics, and on the way that discourse participants understand one another as elaborating upon this topic structure. In one current project, she pursues the idea that modeling a conversation's topic structure with an appropriate level of granularity can be thought of as representing the manner in which issues are collaboratively deliberated about in that conversation, which suggests a new way of using linguistic data to contrast agents' deliberative strategies. This in turn suggests a way of examining the phenomena of partisanship, polarization, and propaganda via linguistic data. She also has current projects on the nature of communication and on `higher-order' talk, a genre of conversational contribution instances of which characteristically function not just to elaborate on, but to evaluate, clarify, and revise the existing conversational structure.