Canevez Wins 2023 Meheroo Jussawalla Research Award

New Humanities faculty member Richard Canevez has won the 2023 Meheroo Jussawalla Research Award, presented by the Pacific Telecommunications Council at their annual conference for the best participant research paper.

Canevez’s paper, “All-Encompassing War: An Exploration of Information Disorder Countermeasures Through Smooth and Striated Space,” discusses the various measures both taken and in consideration by Western states to combat disinformation and malinformation originating from adversarial states like Russia, China, and Iran in an evolving digital information landscape. Canevez uses the concept of smooth and striated spaces to explore how information—particularly with harmful intent—flows through digital space, how measures to combat disinformation and malinformation struggle with the unique challenges of digital information flow, and how this evolution is changing the nature of warfare to more closely integrate state, military, civil society, and private industry in a way that contrasts traditional, centralized notions of war.

“These changes in the way that war is fought stand to have a fundamental change in the structure of society we are still coming to grips with. In wartime, and in peacetime.” Canevez posits that where warfare was once a binary comprised of physical states of “at war” or “at peace,” we are transitioning into more of a spectrum of aggression, where states are always involved in some level of information aggression or defense. Add to this that the target of information warfare is, most often, civilian, and “when we fight wars, we fight them as a whole society, rather than as the domain of the state.”

Canevez will present his paper at the Pacific Telecommunications Council annual conference on January 17th as the culmination of a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Hawaii, Manoa. His fellowship was funded by the Computing Innovation Fellows program, which sought to offset the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the academic job search for new PhD graduates in computing. (See a blog post that Richard made about the evolution of his research for CIFellows here.)

“I must express infinite gratitude to my postdoctoral mentor, Jenifer Sunrise Winter, and to the CIFellows program for preparing me for a faculty position in a way that I was not previously ready at the end of my graduate studies.” Of the award, Richard said, “It’s certainly validating! I’m honored to have my work associated with Meheroo Jussawalla, who contributed so much to the telecommunications field.”

Canevez hopes to take the energy and enthusiasm from this work as he begins his time at Tech in the spring 2023 semester.