Literature Seminar

“The “Our Shared Europe” literature seminar is the British Council’s first event specifically aimed at exploring Muslim European interaction through contemporary literature, as part of the wider project of the same name. Adopting the well-established concept and format of the “Walberberg Seminar on Contemporary Literature from the UK”, colleagues from the British Council Berlin office have organised this exciting three-days seminar entitled “Faultlines, Fictions and Futures”. Chaired by writer Ahdaf Soueif and gathering writers Inaam Kachachi, Jamal Mahjoub and Robin Yassin-Kassab, the seminar will explore the writers’ work, their people, their times and their hometowns, and give the opportunity to a wide range of participants coming from the UK, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Serbia, Slovenia, Portugal, Turkey, France, Greece and Belgium, to interact and share ideas.”

For details and interviews with these authors, held Nov 12-14, 2010 in Berlin, see the original blog.

International Opportunities: NCA mini-conference

“International Opportunities for Scholars in Communication and Related Disciplines”

Report of a mini-conference held as part of the
National Communication Association Conference,
November 2010, San Francisco, United States

Report prepared by Grant Hannis
Convenor and chair of the mini-conference
(g.d.hannis@massey.ac.nz)

“Over recent years, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of universities outside the US offering Communication and Journalism courses. This growth has taken place, for instance, in the Middle East, South East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Canada. Such internationalization presents opportunities for US Communication scholars to seek funding to teach and conduct research in other countries and for foreign Communication scholars to do likewise in the US.

A mini-conference on this topic was held on November 14-16, 2010, as part of the National Communication Association conference in San Francisco. The mini-conference invited contributions from scholars who had worked in foreign countries—including the benefits they derived from the experience, any pitfalls to avoid, and what advice they would offer others. The mini-conference also invited contributions from those who fund such travel.

The mini-conference was convened by Grant Hannis, the head of journalism as Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. Dr Hannis spent the second half of 2010 as a Fulbright Senior Scholar, teaching and conducting research at San Francisco State University.

Six presenters spoke at the mini-conference and answered questions from the floor. This report summarizes the presentations, incorporating the presenters’ responses to questions. All the presenters are happy to be contacted, should you have further questions.”

Report of the NCA Mini-conference

A slideshow with photos of the 6 presenters follows.

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Our Shared Europe

“The Our Shared Europe project is the British Council’s response to one of the major cultural challenges facing our continent today – the growing mutual mistrust between Muslim communities and wider European society.

Our Shared Europe seeks to find common ground, and build shared values, perspectives and behaviours that are based on mutual respect and trust. In particular, it is about how to acknowledge the contribution of Islamic communities and cultures – both in the past but also in the present – to the shaping of contemporary European civilisation and society. This means recognising the rich and diverse roots of our culture and society and using this recognition to build a more inclusive view of the continent that we all share.”

For further information, see the British Council’s site for Our Shared Europe.

Panorama: Resources for Intercultural Dialogue

Panorama is a resource collection for intercultural dialogue established by the Platform for Intercultural Europe in 2009, including definitions, case studies, organizations, events, and bibliographies.

“The Platform for Intercultural Europe, which was initiated in 2006 (as the Civil Society Platform for Intercultural Dialogue) by Culture Action Europe and the European Cultural Foundation (ECF), with the support of the Network of European Foundations (NEF) and on the occasion of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. Hundreds of civil society organisations and their individuals engaged in intercultural action across Europe – at local, national and international level, have participated in the Platform during its informal phase; after establishing as an association, the Platform is open to subscribing members.

The core principle of the Platform is cross-sectoral engagement – connecting and bringing people together from all sectors of the Interculturalism debate, from arts and culture, to education, to social and youth policies, to human rights policies etc.

The resource collection is about Intercultural Dialogue in Europe and concentrates on the European understanding and practice. There are only few key international resources included in the listings. We present English language resources here, with the hope that the next phase will be multi-language based. We collect resources related mainly to “pan-European” level. National strategies on Intercultural Dialogue, specific national and regional examples are not within the scope of this Inventory as of the limitation of numerous local languages.”

For further information, see Panorama‘s site.

Northeastern U job ad

“The Department of Communication Studies at Northeastern University invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant/Associate Professor with expertise in intercultural communication and global communication to begin Fall 2011. We are seeking a candidate with teaching and research expertise in intercultural and global communication in a variety of contexts.

Our mission is to develop both research and teaching in a way that advances critical thinking into practice and application. We are a primarily undergraduate department looking for candidates that can contribute to the development of our graduate, as well as undergraduate programs. Candidates should also be comfortable in a co-operative education environment. All candidates must have an established record of research and an ongoing research program, demonstrable teaching excellence, and possess a doctorate in communication studies. Successful applicants will also have a demonstrated commitment to achieving and maintaining diversity in higher education.

Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin on December 6, 2010 and continue until the position is filled. Application information and complete job description available at the online application website: http://www.northeastern.edu/camd/, and click on ‘Faculty Positions’.”

Mediterranean Intercultural Dialogue

“In a unique demonstration of commitment at the highest level to enhance regional cooperation aimed at strengthening bridges between peoples and communities around and across the Mediterranean by promoting intercultural dialogue, countries of this region will come together under the banner of the UN Alliance of Civilisations to discuss and agree on a Regional Strategy on Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation for the Mediterranean.

Ministers, secretaries of states of foreign affairs and representatives from governments of around 40 countries, as well as representatives of international and regional organisations – such as UNESCO, the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Council of Europe, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the Anna Lindh Foundation – will meet in Valletta today [November 11, 2010] to agree on an Alliance of Civilisations Regional Strategy on Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation for the Mediterranean and on its action plan.”

For more information, see the original article in the Malta Independent.

Fellowships to Japan

UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers’ Fellowships Programme (UNESCO/Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme)

“Reinforcing its belief in “people building the next era”, the Government of Japan offers 20 fellowships per year, for the eleventh consecutive year, to be awarded to deserving candidates from developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), who are eager to undertake research on one or more of the topics listed below. The aim of the fellowships is to support innovative and imaginative post-graduate research in four areas of development of particular interest to UNESCO. (Deadline for the submission of applications: 7 January 2011.”

Intercultural dialogue is one of 4 specific topics solicited; Peaceful conflict resolution is another.

For details, see the UNESCO site.

Multiculturalism as a solution, not a problem

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently made headlines when she pronounced multiculturalism in Germany a failure. Shortly before, a Globe and Mail editorial argued that Canadians should eradicate “multiculturalism” from their vocabulary and refocus on “citizenship.” Multiculturalism isn’t just out of style, these statements suggest – it’s dangerous for building unity in increasingly diverse societies.

Unfortunately, both analyses are dead wrong.

Social scientists can measure multiculturalism in a given society by examining the number and content of public policies and government pronouncements around cultural recognition and accommodation. Such indices show that Germany is not, and has never been, a multicultural society.

Multiculturalism can’t have failed in Germany because it was never tried. Turkish guest workers and other immigrants were never welcomed as future citizens – only as temporary labour. If Germans are now concerned about the consequences, the blame certainly doesn’t lie with multiculturalism.

These indices also group countries such as France and Norway with Germany as least multicultural, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States as moderately multicultural, and Australia and Canada as most multicultural.

Have Canada’s past practices and policies hurt attempts to forge common citizenship out of diversity?

Absolutely not.”

For further details, see the original article by Irene Bloemraad in the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail.

NEH grants: Bridging Cultures

National Endowment of the Humanities announces:

“The Bridging Cultures through Film: International Topics program supports projects that examine international and transnational themes in the humanities through documentary films. These projects are meant to spark Americans’ engagement with the broader world by exploring one or more countries and cultures outside of the United States. Proposed documentaries must be analytical and deeply grounded in humanities scholarship….

Projects are strongly encouraged to demonstrate international collaboration by enlisting scholars based both in the United States and abroad, and/or by working with an international media team. Such collaborations should bring broader cross-cultural perspectives to the proposed topics.”

Details available from NEH grants site where original announcement was posted.

Urban Communication Grant

JAMES W. CAREY URBAN COMMUNICATION GRANT
“This grant supports communication research that enhances urban social interaction and civic engagement in an age of global communication. It encourages applied research on the role of human communication in urban environments at a time when media technologies alter the parameters of community of all kinds.

James W. Carey noted in A Critical Reader that “I think all education, all scholarship is ultimately an aspect of citizenship.” The form of urbanity and community was an intrinsic part of this theme in the scholarship of Carey. He was concerned with the impact of media technology upon the changing form of the urban domain, the consequence of accelerated change upon human communication and community, and the growing gap between tradition and modernity as suburban sprawl threatens the very nature of urban traditions.

With an award of up to $1,000, this grant facilitates research in progress or in the planning stages. It gives priority to projects that feature innovation and creative approaches to studying the central role of human communication in the transformation of urban cultures and communities.

Proposals from developing nations are encouraged.

A six-person committee consisting of three members of the International Communication Association and three members of the Urban Communication Foundation will judge the proposals.

The winner(s) will be announced each year at the annual ICA business meeting. Award winners will be required to report to the UCF on the progress of their research the following year.

Application Procedures:
Submit the application electronically through the link provided by the ICA
website (www.icahdq.org). Application period opens on 1 November and
closes on 31 January. Complete application must include:

(1) a letter of application not exceeding two pages that speaks directly to each of the grant criteria from the description;
(2) a description of not exceeding three pages the proposed research;
(3) a current CV; and
(4) samples of publication relevant to the grant.”

(Originally published in the ICA November newsletter)