Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference

7th Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference
19 – 22 JUNE, 2012

Eight years since the first Annual Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference which heralded the resurgence of cinematic new waves in the region, we turn our eyes to the state of film archiving and the relationship between cinema and the archives. Filipino film critic Alexis Tioseco’s 2009 open letter to the Film Development Council of the Philippines mentions current holdings stored in ‘deplorable conditions’. In his letter, Tioseco praises the National Film Archive of Thailand for its work in doing so much with so little. In Indonesia, the Sinematek Indonesia which was established in the early 1970s has also seen cuts that make the archive a shadow of its former glory. It is only in Singapore that a young Asian Film Archive (est. 2005) has taken root.

The 7th Southeast Asian Cinemas Conference (2012) emphasizes the politics, practices, and poetics of the archive. How does one define an archive? And who can be said to do archival work? Might DVD pirates, private collectors, cinephiles, film bloggers and film societies be considered film archivists of a sort when governments do not or no longer perceive the need to fund national film archives? If so, how does this change the public nature of an archive, and what implications does it have on the production of knowledge? What might film curators take into consideration when they select and preserve films for the archive? What are the social, political, aesthetic, and scholarly roles of the archive? How does the archive negotiate issues of power and accessibility?  What is the role of the archive in the digital age of new media?

At the same time, in interrogating the relationship between film and the archive, might film itself as a socio-cultural text not be regarded as an archive and as a necessary site to re-think temporalities and the reasons for nostalgia? As Derrida reminds us, “The question of the archive is not a question of the past” but rather “a question of the future itself.” Where does the archive lie in creating, defining, and constructing cultural memory or cultural heritage? This conference then invites papers that comment not only on the nature of what an archive is and the role it plays in South East Asia, but also how films and film archives ask us to think about the timeliness of cultural work.

Each year, the conference has included film practitioners in recognition of the crucial role they have played in increasing film education and discourse in the region. We have previously provided space for independent filmmakers and screenings of their works, focused on curriculum development, and highlighting alternative cultures of cinema. This year, the conference seeks to include workshops that bring together film archivists from within the region.

We invite panels that address this theme, particularly questions concerning:
*       Film Archival Materials as Intertexts
*       Comparative Studies of Archives or Case Studies of Specific Archives
*       Role of the Academic / Film Critic / Filmmaker in Relation to the Archive
*       Technology / New Media
*       Production of Temporalities and Spatialities
*       Politics of Taste
*       Preservation and Dissemination
*       Archival Research Methods
*       Intellectual Property
*       The Relationship between Southeast Asian Archives and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF)
*       Historiography
*       Scholarly Accessibility
*       Subtitling and the Archive
*       Film Policy and the Archive
*       The State and the Archive
*       Short Films and the Archive

We also welcome submissions for the open call. Please check our website archives and conference programs for past paper topics as we are less likely to accept topics that have been covered before:

Abstract Submission Deadline: Nov 30, 2011 Please send an abstract (max. 500 words) and short bio (max. 100
words) to: Sophia Siddique Harvey (, Khoo Gaik Cheng ( and Jasmine Nadua Trice ( We are currently attempting to get funding for travel subsidies and accommodations but cannot offer any as of yet.

Border crossings conference

International Interdisciplinary Conference
Border crossings: bridging disciplines and research agendas

10 June 2011, 9:00 – 18:30
Aix-Marseille Institute for Advanced Studies (IMéRA), Salle de conférence de la Maison des Astronomes, Marseille, France

Michèle Lamont, Harvard University
“Boundaries, recognition, social resilience, and other keys to successful societies”

“Over the past two decades, a gap has developed in the field of border crossing studies between scholars studying the building of walls and those caring about bonding and bridging, the division of labor sometimes reflecting disciplinary boundaries, with sociologists and anthropologists and social theorists enthused by “transnational practices” and legal scholars, political scientists and political philosophers worried about securitization and control before and at the border. There are signs that scholars interested in border control policies and those interested in flows across borders could not durably ignore one another. In France, there has been some recent work by anthropologists interested in borders and mobility (eg the French National Funding Agency Frontières project). In the US, after ignoring or deprecating policies, there has been an evolution and more emphasis has been put on the implementation of policies and local policy practices that affect migrants’ experience, strategies or quality of life (eg Light 2006).

It is time to study exactly how bordering, rebordering, bridging and bonding interact. What are the national and local policies that affect migrant practices? How have border control policies affected migrants’ social strategies, economic achievements and cultural practices? How do non-state actors and organizations assist migrants in bridging the ‘here’ and ‘there’ despite new forms of border enforcement?  How do efforts of internal rebordering and differentiation between members ‘of’ and persons ‘in’ the polity affect post-migration experiences and the emergence of bonding in the long term? How do the changing strategies of sending states vis-à-vis emigrants and the governments of their host countries influence the dynamics of bridging and bonding?  How do these effects vary depending on the life cycle of the individual and the family, the type of legal status and the forms of ethnicization and racialization migrants endure?

Answering these questions is challenging from a theoretical, analytical and methodological perspective.

Theoretically, a fruitful dialogue could emerge between scholars interested in cultural and social boundaries, those working on legal/state borders and their legitimacy, and those concerned by “transnational citizenship” (Bauböck 1994).

Analytically, we need to identify policies that may affect migrant flows in the home and destination countries and the type of life experiences affected by policy or legal frameworks. This should allow us to devise an analytical framework to understand the variety of policy/practices matrices and the factors that explain variation. In this way, we could empirically study whether and under which circumstances migrants take into account, ignore or circumvent policies.

Research design will also be a challenge. One needs to take into account the interaction of different levels of analysis. Individual decisions to migrate are often helped by meso-level organizations and infrastructures and take place within regional migration systems, yet they also depend partly on macro trends, and the structure of the “globalized” economy cannot be ignored. Once arrived, migrants’ experience may vary from one city or state to another depending on the enforcement of national or federal policies. Data collection is also an issue.  Large-scale surveys are typically produced within national boundaries and issued by national public authorities. This “methodological nationalism” is compounded by the relative lack of data in countries of emigration. While qualitative studies do not face this problem, they face others such as sample selection of interviewed migrants, and access to informants involved in intergovernmental negotiations.

This one day conference will bring together scholars from different disciplines that study border crossings and bridgings to discuss these theoretical, analytical and empirical challenges and open new research agendas.”

For further details, see the original post.

International Association for Dialogue Analysis report

The 13th conference of the International Association for Dialogue Analysis (IADA), which took place in Montreal, Canada, from April 26-30, 2011,  was a big success with some 26 countries represented and close to 110 participants from around the world. The theme of the conference was “Dialogue and Representation,” which allowed participants to address what dialogue studies have to say about the question of representation, whether we speak in terms of political, artistic, cognitive or methodological forms of representation. Six keynote speakers were invited to participate in this event: in alphabetic order, Éric Grillo (Sorbonne Nouvelle, France), Cornelia Ilie (U. of Malmö, Sweden), Alain Létourneau (U de Sherbrooke, Canada), Wolfgang Teubert (U of Birmingham, UK), Karen Tracy (U of Colorado, Boulder, USA), and Edda Weigand (U. of Münster, Germany). A volume, published in the series Dialogue Studies at John Benjamins, will be soon edited by François Cooren and Alain Létourneau. This book will include some of the best contributions to this international conference. A special issue of the new journal Language and Dialogue will also include some key contributions to this event. The proceedings will also be soon available on the IADA website.

François Cooren
IADA secretary and co-organizer of the conference

World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue – Report

On April 7-9, 2011, the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. I gave a presentation entitled: “Dialogue about Dialogue: Taking a (Meta)Communication Perspective on the Role of Women in Intercultural Dialogue.” All presentations will be posted to the Forum site in the near future, and published in a proceedings volume.

The World Forum was supported by the UN Alliance of Civilizations, UNESCO, Council of Europe, North-South Center of the Council of Europe, ISESCO and Euronews. Building on several prior events, the Forum highlighted intercultural dialogue as one of the most pressing challenges that the global community faces today. The forum addressed conceptual, governmental, policy and practical aspects of intercultural dialogue, providing an opportunity for sharing good practices and making new connections. In addition, since the event was hosted by the President of Azerbaijan, we were all treated as guests of the state, and went everywhere with a security escort. Highlights were the formal entertainment and elaborate banquets on both Thursday and Friday evenings. Upon our arrival, we were given not only the usual conference program, small notebook and briefcase labeled with the conference information, but also dozens of brochures and a guidebook about Azerbaijan. When we returned from closing ceremonies, a gift package was waiting, with a small handmade carpet and hand-painted silk scarf (local craft specialties), a mug and local tea, as well as a bronze plaque noting our participation. In fact, there were so many presents that I mailed them back to the US rather than carry them around with me for the next several months.

The Forum was opened by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Mr. IIham Aliyev. The plenary panel on which I participated was “Women as Key Agents of Intercultural Dialogue.” This panel was co-chaired by Dr. Katérina Stenou (Director, Cultural Policy and Intercultural Dialogue, UNESCO, and member of this Center’s Advisory Board) and the First Lady of Azerbaijan, Ms. Mehriban Aliyeva (she is also President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador). Rapporteur for the panel was Ms. Pramila Patten (CEDAW expert). The other panelists were: Ms. Hijran Huseynova (Chairperson of the State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs, Azerbaijan); Ms. S.Y.Orlova (Deputy chair of Council of Parliament of Russian Federation), Ms. Rachida Dati (Mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris), Ms. Concepcion Olavarrieta (Chair of the Mexican Node of  the Millennium Project), Ms. Mbarka Bouaida (Member of Parliament, Morocco), and Mr. Alexander Ageev, (General Director of Institute of Economic Strategies, Department of Humanitarian Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation). Respondents to the panel included several ministers of culture, as well as Dr. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari (Director, The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women’s Status, Bar-Ilan University, Israel), Dr. Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (publisher of Casava Republic Press, based in Abuja, Nigeria), and Ms. Natalia Molebatsi (performance poet and storyteller, based in South Africa).

The majority of the Forum’s participants were ministers of culture or other politicians (and I did meet a few, including Ms. Irina Cajal-Marin, Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture in Romania, and Mr. Ali Elamin, Director of the Minister’s Office for Sudan). Others were CEOs of NGOs or non-profits (and among those I met were Ms. Wajiha Haris, President of Scheherazade, in Bucharest, Romania, Dr. Catherine Fieschi, Director of Counterpoint, just separated from the British Council, in London, Ms. Lila de Chaves, President of Heritage & Museums, in Athens, and Mr. Peter Gorgievski, CEO of Global Dialogue Foundation in Moonee Ponds, Australia). There were also a number of people connected to one of the international organizations co-sponsoring the event (I met several, including Mr. Hans d’Orville, Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning of UNESCO in Paris, Dr. Liubava Moreva, Program Specialist for Culture in UNESCO’s Moscow office, and Ms. Neslihan Demirkol Sonmez, representing the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO; as well as Dr. Mir Asghar Husain, of the North-South Centre Think Tank for the Council of Europe). There were even a few other faculty present (I met Dr. Darla K. Deardorff, Executive Director of the Association  of International Education Administrators, based at Duke University in the US). And these are only some of those with whom I exchanged business cards – I am looking forward to continuing conversations with dozens of people as a result of the event.

Two other events occurred simultaneously with the Forum, an academic conference (“Traditions and prospects for intercultural dialogue in CIS countries: culture, education and communication”), as well as the first convention of the Global Youth Movement for the Alliance of Civilizations, and so I met some individuals from each of those events. For example, Ms. Emilia Katosang (Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Palau to the UN) and Ivaylo Stoimenov (a Bulgarian journalist) were both part of the GYM meeting; Prof. Samir Sleiman (cultural anthropologist in Lebanon, and Editor in Chief of Le Debat) presented at the academic conference. I also met several of the many international journalists covering the event, including Mr. Mohammad Malick, of The News, in Pakistan, and Mr. Ghassan Ali Osman, covering the event for Sudan. And, like most of the presenters, I was interviewed for Azerbaijani television. The audience was so large (600-1000, depending on whether participants of the 3 events overlapped at the same event or not), that two screens were used to ensure everyone could view the speakers. Look for images of Katérina Stenou on screen, and then being interviewed in the gallery included below.

Ms. Samaya Mammodova and Ms. Chinara Shakarova, two English majors studying in Baku, were assigned to help the dozen participants from the USA. Since I had a few hours free Saturday morning, after the conference concluded but before leaving for the airport, they took me on a personal tour of Icheri Shekhar (the old city in Baku). A few photos are below, for those who have not yet been to Baku themselves, along with photos of the conference.

My thanks to Katérina Stenou for my invitation to participate in this fascinating event. And thanks to Neslihan Demirkol Sonmez for 2 of the photos included below (the one of the dinner celebration, and 4 of us talking).

Euronews video coverage of the event is now available online. (I’m included, but as part of a conversational grouping, so look carefully!)

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue

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VII Mini Communication Conference of the Americas


FELAFACS (Federacion Latinoamericana de Facultades de Comunicacion Social)
“Voices from the field about the Education of Communication Professional in the Americas”
“Voces desde el campo sobre la Formación de Profesionales de la Comunicacion en las Américas”
Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011
New Orleans, USA.
The deadline for submissions is April 25, 2011
In conjunction with the 2011 NCA Annual Convention “Voice” November 17-20, 2011, New Orleans, USA.

Introduction: The National Communication Association (NCA) and La Fedaración Latinoamericana de Facultades de Comunicación (FELAFACS) continue their ongoing relationship which started in 1997 with the First Communication Conference of the Americas, held in the City of Mexico. The goal of this agreement is to establish a long-term partnership to promote dialogue among communication scholars throughout the Americas, to share their perspectives on communication research, teaching and practice, and to encourage new avenues for collaboration.

In the spirit of this understanding, the VII Mini-Communication Conference of the Americas to be held in New Orleans on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011. The conference will take place in conjunction with the 2011 NCA Annual Convention. This one-day conference will allow communication scholars from Latin America, the United States, Canada, and Spain to voice their perspectives and experiences in field of communication on the topics selected for the conference.

Steering Committee: Dra. Vanesa del Carmen Muriel Amezcua, Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, México. Elena Hurtado, Consultora y Profesora, Universidad Privada de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Mariela Pérez Chavarría, Professor at ITESM, Campus Monterrey, México; Dr. Jesús Arroyave, Professor at Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia; Dr. Federico Varona, Professor at San José State University, San José, California (Coordinator). The members of this Committee are coordinating the planning of this conference with Brad Mello, NCA representative (Washington, D.C., USA) and Solón Calero, FELAFACS representative (Cali, Colombia).

Requirements: Those interested in presenting on one of the competitive panels outline below (panels1, 2 and 3) should submit a 2 to 3-page abstract (summary) proposal of the topic to be presented. The deadline for submissions is April 25, 2011. The authors of the accepted proposals will be asked to send up to a 15-page paper on the topic a week before the conference in November. Papers will be presented in a panel format and each panelist will have 10 minutes to present. The papers will be published on the FELAFACS website. Residents in USA and Canada should send their proposals/final papers to: Federico Varona, San José State University ( Residents in Latin-American and Spain should send their proposals/final papers to: Jesús Arroyave, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia (

Conference Agenda and Timetable

Panel 1:. How we do research (Methods for Collecting and Analyzing data) (Listen to voices from the professional field): communication institutions (organizations), communication professional, audiences, etc. The proposals for this panel should address any of the following topics:
• International Research on the “Methods used to research the Communication needs of communication professionals in today’s market place in the Americas”.
• Experiences of research conducted to listen to voices from the professional field
• Case studies
• Papers
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


Panel 2: Research results on communication needs of communication professionals in the market place today in the Americas”. Lessons Learned from voices from the field. The proposals for this workshop may address the following topics:
• International Research results on the “Communication needs of communication professionals in today’s market place in the Americas”.
• Experiences of research conducted to listen to voices from the professional field
• Case studies
• Papers
Time: 10 45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Lunch: 12:45 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Panel 3: How do we integrate research results in our teaching in our universities? New contents, new methods, et. What kind of impact those voices have had in what we teach and how we teach? What kind of impact those voices have had in the core curriculum of our communication programs? What are the new teaching-learning environments? What are the new contents of our teaching, ie: The new social networks. The proposals for this panel should address any of the following topics:
• Experiences of collaborative teaching in communication,
• International research projects taking place in the Americas,
• International experiences where internships programs are implemented to help students achieve professional experience in the communication field.
• Changes made in communication programs.
Time: 2.30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Business Meeting: FELAFACS-NCA Collaboration Agenda The following issues will be discussed at the end o the event:
• Suggestions to make stronger the alliance between NCA and FELAFACS.
• Strategies to make possible the publication in English of the Journal Diálogos de La Comunicación produced by FELAFACS and recommendation to begin its indexation process.
• Strategies to obtain financial aid to make possible the participation of Latin American scholars at the 2012 NCA Conference.
Time: 4:15 – 5:45 PM

Coordinator: Solón Calero, FELAFACS representative.
NCA Representative: Brad Mello, Associate Director for Educational Initiatives

Conference: Media in Minority Contexts

Media and media practices in minority and competitive contexts: From local to global
University of Alberta
11-12 May 2012

Few studies have been conducted on the topic of media in minority context. However, in today’s plurilingual and multicultural societies, their role in the functioning of democracy and in the construction of minorities’ cultural identities is crucial. These media are both channels of communication and gathering places or common areas for communities. By connecting individuals who share the same language, these media reinforce solidarity within minority groups as well as their cultural identity, both at the local and global levels. In order to maintain their existence, minority media must also position themselves vis-à-vis the media of the majority to which their audiences also have access.

Conceived as a space for exchange between practitioners and researchers in social sciences, humanities and modern languages, this colloquium seeks to reflect on the role of media in minority contexts from various perspectives and with a comparative angle. The selection committee solicits proposals on any question related to the issue of media in minority contexts, and in particular in relation with questions of: cultural representations (identity, art, translation), democracy (multiculturalism, ethics, media status), networks (national, transnational), professional practice (journalism, technology), language policy and language use. We encourage submissions dealing with different media:  television, radio, specialized and general press [newspapers and magazines], posters, internet, etc. We strongly encourage media professionals to participate. Working language will be English and French. Proposals can be submitted in either of these two languages. Selected proceedings of the conference will be published.

Submission of proposals
September 1, 2011
: Deadline for the submission of proposals

Abstract (400 words maximum) to be sent to The abstract should contain a title.

Please put your name in the subject of your mail, and your further references in the mail message (affiliation, university or institution, e-mail, phone number, and the title of your paper).

October 31, 2011: Notification of acceptance by the Academic Committee after a double blind peer-review

Academic Committee: Marc-François Bernier (Université d’Ottawa, Canada), Mike Cormack (Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland),  Luc Côté (Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface), Robert Darnton (Harvard University, USA), Christian Delporte (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France), Ouzi Elyada (Université de Haifa, Israel), Donald Ipperciel (University of Alberta, Canada), Karim H. Karim (Carleton University, Canada), Andy Knight (University of Alberta, Canada), Elisabeth Le (University of Alberta, Canada), Marc Lits (Université catholique de Louvain), Marie-Linda Lord (Université de Moncton, Canada), Catherine Murray (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Lloyd Sciban (University of Calgary, Canada), Jean Valenti (Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface, Canada), Isabelle Veyrat-Masson (CNRS, Université Paris IV, France)

Organizing Committee: Sophie Kienlen, Caroline Moine, Géraldine Poels, François Robinet (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France); Marine Ghéno, Justine Huet, Andy Knight, Elisabeth Le, Iaroslav Pankovskyi, Sathya Rao, Christian Reyns-Chikuma (University of Alberta, Canada) ; David Maurice (Université de Sherbrooke)

Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies (MLCS)
University of Alberta
Le Centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporaines (CHCSC)
Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

With the support of :
Department of Political Science, University of Alberta
TV5 – Quebec

US Meets Europe: Forum for Young Leaders

“The United States Meets Europe: A Forum for Young Leaders (USAME) is a network of young, influential people from both sides of the Atlantic who have an active interest in supporting the relationship between the United States and Europe. The Forum meets in Washington, D.C., May 16-21, 2011.

The Forum will focus on the economic, political, cultural, and societal dimensions of the relationship, and the wider context within which this relationship exists. Members join the Forum by taking part in a USAME Weeklong Seminar, during which they will learn about the field of cultural diplomacy, explore the American-European relationships, and take part in challenging group discussions on salient issues.

The Forum will also organize a number of shorter, academic conferences throughout the year that the members are invited to attend and to help organize. Through the ICD Online Forum, members are able to keep in touch with one another and members of the other ICD Forums.”

For more information, see the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy website.

International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy

“The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the USA is an international conference held by the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in association with high-profile international partners in Washington, D.C., May 18-21, 2011. This year´s event brings together key stakeholders from the US, Europe, and across the world to reflect on the future of US and European foreign policy and related issues. The program will consist of keynote speeches, lectures, panel discussions and social activities that will provide the audience with an opportunity to gain insights, reflect on, discuss and debate the salient issues.

The 2011 conference will focus on the theme “The Roles and Responsibilities of the US and Europe in the New Global Community”. The theme was selected in recognition significant developments in the field of international relations. Firstly: The development of a new global community with new players, both at the sub-state and inter-state level, and new forms of influence and power. Secondly,the emergence of new, global challenges, The developments in the Arab World, disasters, financial instability, terrorism, and the prevention of health pandemics, are all areas of activity that require the community to build sustainable, multilateral approaches.

In recognition of these developments, there is a demonstrable need to analyze and reflect on the activity of the US and Europe within this new context, and in addressing these new challenges. The conference will therefore begin with an assessment of the new global community: How has it been formed, how does it operate, and what changes are we likely see in the future. Following this, the focus will move to a consideration of the key challenges facing the global community today, from climate change and natural disasters to cultural differences. Finally, the program will build on these discussions to reflect on the positions of the US and Europe in this changing international environment and: What do their international partners expect of the US and Europe, and how can they forge stronger relations with countries in all regions to ensure the cooperation necessary to tackle the challenges ahead?

Symposium Speakers »
Speakers during the Symposium will include leading figures and experts from international politics, academia, the diplomatic community, civil society and the private sector, from across the world. These speakers will include a number of individuals from the ICD Advisory Board (for further information about the Advisory Board please click here).

Symposium Participants
The Symposium is open to applications from diplomatic and political representatives, civil society practitioners, private sector figures, journalists, young professionals, students and scholars, and other interested stakeholders in international relations from across the world.”

For further details, see the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy website.

ICA travel funds for international scholars

The Road to Boston

Larry Gross, President-Elect, International Communication Association

Larry Gross“First, a little institutional history.

In the early 1990s I chaired an ICA Task Force on Diversity that was charged, among other things, with recommending ways to increase the attendance at conferences and participation in the organization by members of underrepresented minorities in the United States. The Task Force, whose members included Julie D’Acci, Navita James, Geetu Melwani, Federico Subervi, James Taylor, and Angharad Valdivia, made a recommendation to the Board that a program of travel grants be initiated to support minority students who had papers accepted for the ICA conference.

After several years of discussion – or so it seems in recollection — at the Albuquerque meetings in May 1995 the ICA Board adopted the proposal to add a surcharge of $1USD to each conference registration fee and use the funds so obtained to provide travel scholarships to minority students attending the Chicago meetings (minority being defined here as African-American, Hispanic/Latino/a, Native American, Pacific Islander).

The program began small. In the 1996 Report of the Task Force, I noted:

Four nominations were forwarded from divisions to the ICA Headquarters, and an ad hoc consultative group (Task Force Chair Larry Gross, Conference Program Chair Stan Deetz, and ICA Executive Director Bob Cox) decided to award grants totaling $1300 USD to the four nominees (the figure of $1300 USD was agreed on as a reasonable estimate of the surcharge yield). We agreed to allocate $300 USD to each of three “mainland” student members, and $400 USD to a student member travelling from Hawaii.

That was then.

In the decade and a half since the travel awards were initiated, ICA has undergone a radical shift towards internationalization – a commitment to making the “I” in its name reflect reality as well as aspiration – and the travel grant program has expanded its focus to support the goal of encouraging and enabling participation of students, and faculty, from UN Tier B and C countries. In 2010, in Singapore, the Board voted to increase the conference fee surcharge (actually, this is folded into the conference fee) to $5.00 USD.

In 2003 the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania endowed two funds in support of conference travel grants (one, embarrassingly, named in my honor). The interest from these funds provides additional money to the available pool of travel support. Finally, many divisions devote a large portion of the funds available to them to providing travel grants.

This year a total of over $35,000 USD was awarded to 55 conference participants. We are able to provide travel grants ranging from $500 USD to $900 USD (the amounts vary in relation to the distance and travel costs incurred). Travel fund recipients come from 22 countries, including the United States. Forty-three of the recipients are students; 12 are faculty members. The largest number come from the United States (22), followed by the People’s Republic of China and Korea with five each. Other countries represented include Argentina, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Romania and Singapore.

The road to this point has been long, but the goal is an important one to ICA’s mission and the progress we’ve made since we started this effort 15 years ago is truly gratifying, even while it is clear that we still have some distance to go. So, please make the journey to Boston and join us as we build the ICA we all want to see flourish.”

from April 2011 ICA newsletter.

International discources about audiences


Discourses about Audiences: International Comparisons
Deadline:   May 1, 2011

We seek proposals from media scholars to study the representations of audiences in non-western societies and pre-modern Europe. We use “western” to indicate culture rather than geography. In that sense, the term contrasts to all societies not based upon Western traditions, including not only “eastern” societies but also societies south of the equator.

We plan to publish the studies in special issues of journals and as an edited book, in multiple languages. We also plan to organize an international conference where the authors will present and discuss their work.

In our books, The Citizen Audience and Audiences and Publics, we have explored representations of audiences and the categories used to characterize them. These explorations have been within the context of modern democracies in Western Europe and North America. In Western discourse, audiences have been variously considered crowds, publics, mass and consumers, active or passive, additive or selective, vulnerable and suggestible or critical and creative, educated or ignorant, high or low brow, and characterized differently on the basis of their presumed race, class, sex and age.

These debates and these categories sometimes have been adopted and applied to audiences in non-Western cultures. The conjoined terms “audiences and publics,” for example, have begun to be used by scholars across the globe. But there is no reason to assume that such Western categories and associations apply, or apply in the same way, in non-western societies. At a time when global and regional media (satellite, television/radio, recording, mobile phone, internet) saturate even remote populations and cultures, we have no comparative empirical studies to reveal what categories are indigenous to individual non-western cultures, and to record  how they differ and change.

Consequently our goal is to bring together research from across the globe, to investigate whether the terms associated with audiences in western Europe and North America actually fit the indigenous discourses on audiences in non-Western cultures. Each culture likely has a different and interesting history. We think that such a comparative study of discourse on media and audiences could bring new insights into global media as well as Western discourse and scholarship on media and audiences, and be of immense value to government policymakers and media practitioners as well. Moreover, it will be an opportunity for non-Western worlds to speak about themselves, unfiltered through Western concepts.

The project will explore specifically non-Western languages and cultures, and as a whole, will compare their discourses on audiences. In this globalized world this will sometimes be a marginal distinction, given the bleeding of Western ideas through borders and cultural boundaries. We would like applicants to go beyond non-Western incorporations of Western terms about audiences that accompanied their adoption of media technology and texts, to explore their discourses on indigenous practices and their audiences. With this foundation, then applicants would investigate how indigenous discourses represent media audiences as these media spread through these societies.

From all applicants, we will select 10-15 scholars to research discourses in their proposed culture and language, looking at these both before and since their contact with Western culture and the spread of twentieth and twenty-first century media. We expect to include:

1. Studies on discourses in major languages of the world, e.g. Chinese, Hindi, Bengali, Arabic, Urdu, etc.,

2. Studies on cultures and languages less integrated into globalization and more remote from Western influence, and

3. A study of a major medieval European culture and language before democracy and publics became associated with audiences.

Applicants should be fluent in the language and generally familiar with the media/audience history of the culture they propose to study. For their research, we wish contributors to study representations in that culture and language, examining its historical development, in whole or part, of discourses as media are introduced into that culture through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with special consideration to the lexicon used to characterize media audiences. Junior as well as senior scholars are welcome, as long as each demonstrates his/her capabilities for this research.

Proposals should be in English and include a preliminary research plan of no more than 3 single-spaced pages, specifying the cultural/linguistic context and describing the plan of research. as well as current vitae of the applicant(s). Send proposals as email attachments to both and, no later than May 1, 2011.

We look forward to reading your proposals.

Richard Butsch, Professor of Sociology, American Studies, and Film and Media Studies, Rider University, USA

Sonia Livingstone, Professor of Social Psychology, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics,  UK