Intercultural Dialogue and Television

“On November 24, 25 and 26, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, in collaboration with the Chile’s Consejo Nacional de Television (CNTV) and the Universal Forum of Cultures 2010 of Valparaiso, organized a series of panel discussions focusing on “Television and Intercultural Dialogue.”

The opening ceremony was presided by the Mayor of Valparaiso, Honorable Mr. Jorge Castro and CNTV’s President, Mr. Herman Chadwick. Participants from Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, South Africa, USA, Canada, Korea and UNESCO presented educational television programs from their respective countries and organizations where the emphasis is the creative use of television as a platform for addressing complex intercultural topics. Successful TV programming examples, such as the ones produced by South Korea’s Educational Broadcasting System; Argentina’s Ministry of Education Canal Encuentro; Mexico’s TV Educativa; South Africa Public Broadcaster; and Chile’s Novasur, were presented and discussed by an active and engaged audience. The closing ceremony of the 3-day seminar included the presentation of the PLURAL + 2010 Foundation Universal Forum of Cultures Award for the video “Mr. President”, produced by Press Pass TV of Boston, USA.”

For more information, see the conference website.

German Turkish University established

“On 22 October 2010 [Germany’s] Federal President Christian Wulff and [Turkey’s] President Abdullah Gül jointly laid the foundation stone for the new University. The Turkish President had previously appointed Prof. Ziya Şanal its first President, thereby officially founding the University. During his visit to Ankara in January 2010, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had emphasized that the German-Turkish University was something in which he took a keen personal interest, adding: “We believe it is important the University embarks on teaching activities as soon as possible.”

Courses are due to begin at the University’s initially five faculties in autumn 2011. The planned faculties are: law, natural science, engineering, humanities and cultural studies, economics and social science. The University will offer Bachelor, Master and PhD degrees. These qualifications, as well as the curricula and associated quality assurance, are to be based on European education standards (the Bologna Process). German-Turkish courses aimed at fostering intercultural cooperation will be the University’s special hallmark. Students will also have the option of earning German degrees and learning the German language.

The German-Turkish University hopes to cooperate closely with Turkish and German companies. It aims to meet the growing need for well-trained specialists in Turkey, whose economy is experiencing dynamic growth.

The Turkish side will provide land, buildings and infrastructure and assume the recurring costs. The University hopes to cater for up to 5000 students in the medium term.

German contributions include, among other things, the secondment of senior and junior lecturers, the development of curricula and the provision of equipment and materials for the planned new language centre.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is providing major support to help make the German-Turkish University a reality. The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is responsible for coordination among the participating German universities.”

For further information, see the original posting on the German Foreign Office site. This university is one result of the Ernst Reuter Initiative for Intercultural Dialogue and Understanding, between Turkey and Germany.

Erasmus Mundus grant to Hong Kong Polytechnic

“The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has received another strong boost to achieve further internationalization with the award of South East Asia’s first Erasmus Mundus (EM) Mobility Grant of nearly €1.4 million by the European Commission. The grant will support a large-scale scholarly exchange involving nine universities in Europe and South East Asia and greatly benefit faculty members and postgraduate students.

EM is a flagship European Commission programme promoting international education. The successful application for the EM Mobility Grant is the joint effort of a consortium partnership consisting of nine higher education institutions across Europe and South East Asian countries, with PolyU’s Faculty of Humanities as the initiating institution and the coordinator in South East Asia, and Université de Provence as the overall coordinator and coordinator in Europe.

The grant of nearly €1.4 million will be allocated to successful applicants of the nine consortium partners in a project titled “MULTI – Multilingualism and Multiculturalism: Linguistic approaches to Transition and Identity”. This project, which will span for about three years, aims to address the linguistic, cultural and technological aspects of multilingualism and to understand the impact of multilingualism in both European Union and South East Asia societies.

With the support of EM grant, more than 80 students at postgraduate level or above and faculty members from PolyU as well as other eight higher education institutions in Europe and South East Asia will be selected to participate in the scholarly exchanges at a host university funded by the European Commission.

PolyU is expected to send forth a total of 13 postgraduate level or above students and staff to undertake an exchange programme that will last for 1-12 months. The grant will cover their travel costs, monthly allowance, and tuition fees for participants to study at partner universities in Europe and South East Asia.

The nine universities in the consortium partnership include Université de Provence (France), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HK), City University London (UK), Università di Pisa (Italy), Universität des Saarlandes (Germany), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), National Taiwan University (Taiwan), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and University of Macau (Macau).”

For further details, see the original press release from PolyU.

Using Poetry to Build Intercultural Dialogue

“Peter Zsoldos, ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Egypt, discussed poetry, translation and its role in the future of intercultural dialogue at the third In Translation lecture this semester, calling for greater intercultural dialogue through creative means. At his lecture titled “Translation, Poetry and Diplomacy: New Horizons for Intercultural Dialogue,” Zsoldos, a diplomat, poet and translator, championed the idea that cultural diplomacy, dialogue and interaction can be used as proactive instruments to develop better and more nuanced relationships with countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. “To understand is to share an interest,” he said. “The aim is to find out what makes others tick.”

Zsoldos has a diplomatic career that spans more than 20 years, the last 10 of which have been spent in the Middle East serving the Slovak Republic’s foreign service in various capacities. In 2000, Zsoldos became the ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the Gulf Cooperation Countries. For the past three years, he has lived in Cairo. As a student, he was interested in literature and religion, and wrote his doctoral thesis about Afro-Cuban religious systems, colloquial Spanish spoken in Cuba and Cuban literature in the 20th century. In the diplomatic corps, Zsoldos asserts that cultural diplomacy should be a tool to counter stereotypes, bias and prejudice.

“There is a saying: take two opposites and connect the dots and you have a line,” Zsoldos noted. “Intercultural dialogue can change long-held positions and attitudes. While changing attitudes is always a work in progress, it is diplomacy and artists that are the first to see and connect these dots.”

Zsoldos is the author of five books that have been translated into different languages, two of which are trilingual books (Arabic, English and Slovak) that he co-authored with renowned Emirati poet and translator Shihab Ghanem. Their first book Pearls and Dates: Poems from the United Arab Emirates won the Best Book of the Year prize at the 2003 International Book Fair in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Their second book, Contemporary Poems from the Arabian Peninsula, was published in June 2010. The books are a translation of Slovakian poetry into Arabic and vice versa. For Zsoldos, the idea stemmed from a desire to better publicize the great works of Arab poets and authors in the Slovak Republic. “I was looking for something that will bring a new viewpoint to Europe,” he said. “By expanding the body of literature, we are hoping to also expand the greater dialogue.”

Zsoldos has observed that in the post-September 11 era, many works that had not yet been translated from Arabic are now available in Slovak. “Recently, many major Arabic works have been translated into Slovak such as the Quran, the complete One Thousand and One Nights and some of the works of Naguib Mahfouz,” he noted. In the future, Zsoldos wants to continue to build cultural and diplomatic bridges as well as translate the works of Slovak and Arab authors and poets, a pastime he greatly enjoys. “It is a wonderful feeling,” he said. “There is a process of creation that takes hold. I feel as though I am taking off the clothes of the poem, until there is nothingness, and then redressing it in the words of another language.”

Originally published by the American University in Cairo.

Making Dialogue Effective

The Dialogue Society in London is holding a series of panel discussions examining the question of how to make intercultural dialogue work.

“Those working with intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the community or professional level face a range of challenges regarding its effectiveness. We are asked, or ask ourselves, such questions as:

     

  • Does what we do make or contribute to a tangible difference to society in any way?
  • Does our work, whether directly or otherwise, reach beyond the sympathetic to those whose attitudes and behaviour are an actual threat to peace and social cohesion?
  • Are the relationships that our work initiates across cultural or religious boundaries of a meaningful and lasting kind?
  • Is our work part of something broader that is capable of effecting change on a grand scale?
  •  

This series is intended to occasion focused and constructive discussion of such questions among a range of people concerned with relationships between different cultural, religious or social groups, in their professional lives or at the community level.

Findings and conclusions will be published. It is hoped that the series will be replicated at three independent UK branches of the Dialogue Society, allowing us to draw on a wider range of perspectives in collating findings.

Objectives

  • To encourage interprofessional dialogue, interaction and cooperation between people working on intercultural/ interreligious dialogue, peace and social cohesion.
  • To foster dialogue between people engaged with dialogue at the personal or community level, and those concerned with the same questions in a professional capacity.
  • To explore and clarify the questions of what effectiveness in dialogue is, and whether and how it can be measured.
  • To find a range of creative and practical answers to the question of how dialogue can be made effective by

       

    • identifying and promoting current best practice and
    • identifying and promoting promising future possibilities.
    • To share these answers among all participants of the series and more widely.”
    •  

  • Originally posted on the Dialogue Society website; see further information there.

     

    One World Scholarships-Developing Countries

    “The One-World-Scholarship-Programme is directed at students from developing countries at Austrian Universities and is meant to contribute to the peaceful coexistence of people from different countries of origin by enhancing equal opportunities, dialogue, intercultural know-how and partnership. It has been established within the Austrian Cooperation for Education, and together with the other programmes it supports their concerns (struggle against poverty, resource conservation, peace-keeping etc.), the establishment and expansion of accordingly qualified personnel and the advancement of educational- and economic systems (capacity and institution development) with lasting effects.
    It is complementary to other scholarship programmes and laid out globally, it enhances the ability for independent, creative, critical and self-determined thinking and acting and shall strengthen the competence for innovative problem solving strategies. The OWS contributes to the socially required production of knowledge and awareness, it promotes a global perspective and the creation of the globally educated citizen. It attaches a high significance to regional, international and trans-cultural networks. The programme is co-financed (government, church and private funds and own resources of the recipients of the benefits) and significantly contributes to the economic, social and cultural development of the southern countries.”
    For further information, see the original posting at the Afro-Asiatisches Institut site.

    Dialogue award for Eco Peace

    “ECOPEACE Friends of the Earth Middle East, an organisation jointly established by environmentalists from Palestine, Jordan and Israel and member of Friends of the Earth International, will on Friday 3 December receive the 2010 Anna Lindh Foundation Euro-Mediterranean Dialogue Award, at a ceremony to be held in Brussels.

    Taking place this year on the theme of ‘Intercultural Dialogue for Ecological Sustainability’, the Dialogue Award is unique in the fact that it is bestowed and voted upon by members of the Anna Lindh Foundation’s region-wide Network of 3,000 civil society organisations working across the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

    The ceremony will be followed by a debate on the theme “Can Intercultural Dialogue Prepare Social Change to Address the Ecological Challenge.”

    ECOPEACE Friends of the Earth Middle East is a civil society organization, conducting trans-boundary research projects and promoting cross border dialogue for ecological sustainability in the region, a fair share of natural resources of the Jordan Valley, and a just peace.”

    For further details, see the original announcement on the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument [ENPI] site.

    Asia-USA Partnership Opportunities

    Symposium on ASIA-USA Partnership Opportunities (SAUPO)
    April 8, 2011 Friday
    Call For Papers and Presentations
    Topic Areas: All areas of arts and humanities, business, information sciences, education, social sciences are invited

    The Kennesaw State University (KSU) Asian Studies Program announces the Call for Papers and Presentations on a new global interdisciplinary Symposium on Asia-USA Partnership Opportunities.  The goal of this conference is to share ideas in a unique format which addresses the interests of scholars, practitioners, and administrators in working together between the USA and Asian countries such as China, Japan, Korea and India. This symposium will serve as a platform for governments, universities and corporate entities to address critical strategic needs of the businesses they intend to serve in Asia and the U.S. Speakers from multinational companies with operations in Asia and the USA will be present, as well as academicians to discuss both domestic and global concerns between these nations. Diplomats and policy makers from China, Japan, Korea, India and the U.S. will be present at the conference as well. Dr. Jagdish Sheth, renowned scholar and world authority in the field of marketing, will be the featured dinner keynote speaker.
    The theme of the 2011 conference is: Globalization and Asia-USA partnership
    Consistent with the theme of the Conference, the submitted papers and presentations are expected to address the following questions:
    1. Given the future global political, business and cultural climate, what changes in common business and operational processes and practices are required to create and sustain a competitive advantage for Asian-owned companies in the USA?
    2. What are the challenges and opportunities American businesses need to pay attention to when doing business in Asia or with Asians?
    3. What do companies need to understand about the interplay among governments, politics, cultures, and business practices in Asian societies?
    4. What actions should be taken by businesses, academic institutions and governments to be more proactive as well as responsive to the complexities characterized by this Globalized Era?

    The following represent some of the paper and presentation topics of interest:
    *Identification of current opportunities, challenges, and threats in creating and sustaining competitive advantages
    *Exploration of processes and practices of managing multinational corporations
    *Examination of governmental policies toward businesses and specific industries
    *Knowledge and skills of intercultural practice in successful business relationships
    *Theories and emergent research on the interplay between businesses, governments, and politics
    *Corporate Social Responsibility in American and Asian contexts
    *Opportunities for non-profit organizations between Asia and the U.S.

    Abstract Submission Guidelines:
    1. One page abstract of 250-300 words to be submitted by January 15, 2011: Full paper submission by March 1, 2011.
    2. Abstracts should be sent to asianstudies@kennesaw.edu.
    3. Subject line of the email, indicate 2011 SAUPO Conference Paper Abstract  where “X† stands for the letter that specifies the primary theme or category for your paper as described below.
    4. Primary theme or category for your paper and presentations (choose one):
    A. Opportunities, challenges, and threats in creating and sustaining competitive advantages
    B. Processes and practices of managing various sized businesses
    C. Governmental policies toward businesses and specific industries
    D. Intercultural communications in successful business relationships
    E. Theories and practices on the interplay between businesses, governments, and politics
    F. International or global education
    G. Other Emphasis

    Selected papers from the conference may be eligible for publication in a special issue of the Journal of Emerging Knowledge on Emerging Markets (JEKEM). If you would like to have your paper considered for publication in JEKEM, please submit the full manuscript of the paper by 15th January 2011. Manuscripts must be prepared by SMA Style Guidelines. Manuscripts will be double-blind reviewed for acceptance according to JEKEM procedures. Please indicate in the email submission of your abstract if you would like your manuscript to be considered for publication in JEKEM.
    Note: At least one author of each accepted paper (abstract) must attend the conference and present the paper.
    The location of the conference at Kennesaw State University, located outside Metro Atlanta, Georgia, serves as an ideal venue for such a gathering of this momentous scale.
    Questions regarding the Call for Papers may be directed to:
    Dr. Leila Borders (aborder4@kennesaw.edu, Dr. Sarasij Majumder (smajumde@kennesaw.edu), or Dr. Guichun Zong (gzong@kennesaw.edu), Co-Chairs of the Program Committee
    More information about the conference can be found at www.kennesaw.edu

    [originally posted to CRTNET by Heeman Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Rd. Mail Drop #2207, Kennesaw, GA 30144, Tel. 678.797.2078, Fax. 770.423.6740, email: hkim21@kennesaw.edu]

    Book of Travels

    “In partnership with the British Council Maslaha has built an online exhibition about the constant mix of conversations that have occurred between Islamic people, cultures, societies and Europe. Maslaha is a new web-based organisation closely linked to the Young Foundation in London which aims to provide a greater understanding of Islam and its practices for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In mid-June 2010, the online version has been launched at www.thebookoftravels.org.

    To make things even more interesting, Maslaha also built a physical exhibition which was on display in mid-May 2010 at Bethnal Green Library in East London.

    The theme of this exhibition is travel – both of individuals and also ideas across time and geographical boundaries. In particular, the project focuses on a 17th century Turkish traveller, Evliya Çelebi, who wrote extensively of his travels to Europe and North Africa in his book, Seyahatnâme: Book of Travels. This exhibition aims to capture the sense of curiousity that drives exploration, and the human desire to investigate and learn more about different cultures and experiences.

    Read Book of Travels: How the Ottomans shaped London, Raheel Mohammed’s introduction to the exhibition at the BBC London website.”

    For more information, go to the British Council’s description of the project.

    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.