Sheila McNamee Fulbright

FulbrightsSheila McNamee is Professor of Communication at the University of New Hampshire. She submitted the following discussion of her Fulbright award.

In 2012 I was a Fulbright Specialist at the University of Caldas in Manizales, Colombia. The invitation arose because, during this period, I was supervising an Assistant Professor at the University of Caldas in her PhD work.  Her PhD research was on the re-integration of former child soldiers into civilian life.  The opportunity to work with her research group, CEDAT, provided a living laboratory where the constructionist ideas I write about could be put into practice.

Sheila McNamee in Colombia
Sheila McNamee (second from left in back row) with colleagues and students in Colombia.

The project consisted of training in a social constructionist stance aimed at undergraduate and graduate faculty of the University of Caldas. Focus was on exploring how a social constructionist approach could be applied to specific areas such as social work, family development, social sciences, social research, conflict resolution and mediation. I was engaged in offering seminars, workshops and consultation with research groups. While most of my work was with faculty, some activities were extended to students and professionals from the academic community. The faculty with whom I worked were expected to begin a reflective process on teaching, research and professional practices, from a social constructionist approach and apply the knowledge acquired during the training, within the undergraduate curriculum, graduate curriculum, and social extramural programs such as “Tutor Home” and the “Center for family Intervention.” I worked with several research groups to offer advice on the specific projects being carried out at the moment as well as guidance on new projects. I worked a good deal with one research group, CEDAT. They develop processes in the area of conflict, violence and coexistence within the context of the Colombian conflict.  This is one of the strategic areas of research at the University of Caldas.

My work with CEDAT focused on conflict resolution and mediation, from a constructionist perspective. These topics are central to CEDAT’s focus on reintegration into civilian life of children and young people detached from the Colombian armed conflict. I engaged dialogical workshops with specific groups of professors with a particular focus according to the programs and needs: (1) a seminar on social construction and social work aimed to professors of the department of human development; (2) a training Workshop on constructionist research addressed to professors assigned with various research groups. These activities included Master students; (3) a training workshop on dialogue, conflict resolution and mediation; (4) a training workshop on family intervention for professors assigned to the department of family studies and the Center for family intervention staff; and (5) a seminar open to the academic community on social constructionist theory.

While these are all the “formal” activities in which I engaged, my own learning was expanded tenfold thanks to this Fulbright.  It was exciting working with research groups who were focusing on the long-standing and crippling conflict in Colombia.  This was an opportunity to take my work beyond local community and organizational conflicts and see how it could be put to use in an enduring cultural struggle.  The experience transformed my work and provided countless connections to both scholars and practitioners interested in working with dialogic ways of generating new forms of understanding.

Postmemory & the Contemporary World (Colombia)

Call for Proposals – Postmemory and the Contemporary World
International Interdisciplinary Conference in Medellin, Colombia
April 27 and 28, 2017

Organizers: University of Gdańsk, Poland; Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Colombia; InMind Support, Poland

Venue: Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellin, Circular 1 No. 70-01, Bloque 7, Piso 3, Medellín, COLOMBIA, Barrio Laureles (click here for details about Medellín)

Deadline for proposals: 28 February 2017

Conference Highlights

This version of the conference intends to bring together not only disciplines but also regions and scholars who work on the similar problems on the material of different geographical reason. In addition, the conference aims to combine arts and other sciences and the other is to how memory works for peace, with a special interest in setting our work on postmemory in the current context of the Colombian peace process.

Keynote addresses in the conference will feature scholars from Colombia, Poland and Brazil specializing in topics of urban violence, memory and artistic expressions. In addition to the academic events, the program will also include two city tours.

Conference Description

Coined by Marianne Hirsch in the 1990s, the term postmemory by now entered various disciplines who search to understand how memory form our identity and how we position, articulate or just make sense of our place in the society and our relations with it. The term postmemory problematizes the concept of memory by bringing attention to the memories that are not exactly personal but that keep on shaping one’s life and one’s way of seeing the world.

In the previous editions of our memory conference, which brought together more than five hundred scholars from around the world, we looked at the relationship between memory and solidarity (“Solidarity, Memory and Identity”, 2012 and 2016), memory and dreams (“Dreams, Phantasms and Memories”, 2013), memory and forgetting (“Memory: Forgetting and Creating”, 2014), memory and nostalgia (Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia, 2015) as well as memory and trauma (“Memory, Trauma and Recovery”, 2016).  During this year’s conference we would like to concentrate on the phenomena of postmemory and how it keeps on shaping the contemporary world.

We are interested in all aspects of postmemory: in its individual and collective dimensions, in the past and in the present-day world, and in its potential to direct the future. Whose memory is postmemory: that of generations, communities, nations or families? How is it maintained and passed on? What is the role of imagination in its creation? What is remembered and what is forgotten? Is it always the memory of traumatic experience? How can it be taught and studied? These are some of the questions that inspired the idea of the conference.

Medellín, Colombia, has been chosen as a place for this conference not by chance. Colombia is the country of the troubled past that quite successfully has been processing it on its way of recovery. The conference wants to establish and promote a dialogue between scholars, countries and continents, therefore, inviting papers of different geographic and cultural focus.

We would like to explore the phenomenon of postmemory in its multifarious manifestations: psychological, social, historical, cultural, philosophical, religious, economic, political, and many others. As usual, we also want to devote considerable attention to how these phenomenon appears in artistic practices: literature, film, theatre or visual arts. That is why we invite researchers representing various academic disciplines: anthropology, history, psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, politics, philosophy, economics, law, literary studies, theatre studies, film studies, memory studies, migration studies, consciousness studies, dream studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, medical sciences, cognitive sciences, and urban studies, to name a few.

Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case studies, theoretical inquiries, problem-oriented arguments or comparative analyses.

We will be happy to hear from both experienced scholars and young academics at the start of their careers, as well as doctoral and graduate students. We also invite all persons interested in participating in the conference as listeners, without giving a presentation.

Overall Suggested Topics (Check the conference website for details)
• Individual experiences
• Collective experiences
III.  Remembering and Forgetting
• Representations
• Feelings and Practices
• Institutionalization
VII.  The Contemporary World
VIII.  Colombia: peace process

Submission Process

Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) of your proposed 20-minute presentations, whether in English or Spanish, along with a short biographical note, by February 28. 2017 both to Prof. Wojciech Owczarski (wowczarski1 AT and Prof. Polina Golovatina-Mora (postmemory2017 AT Confirmation of acceptance will be sent by March 1, 2017.

IAMCR 2017 (Colombia)

IAMCR 2017
Cartagena, Colombia

On Friday 20 May 2016 IAMCR president, Janet Wasko, and Uniminuto Rector, Leonidas López Herrán signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see IAMCR’s 2017 conference taking place in Cartagena, Colombia from 16-20 July.

The theme of the conference will be New Discourses and New Territorialities: Cultural and political mutations and communication. The local organising committee, chaired by longtime IAMCR member Amparo Cadavid, Dean of Uniminuto’s Faculty of Communication, is preparing an exciting academic and social programme what will, among other things, expose participants to some of the new communication work emanating from Latin America, Colombia and the beautiful Caribbean city of Cartagena.

The host Institution is Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios – UNIMINUTO, School of Communications, in cooperation with other Colombian and Latin American universities and institutions such as CIESPAL (Centro Internacional de Estudios Superiores en Comunicación para América Latina – International Centre for Advanced Studies in Communication in Latin America), FESCOL (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Colombia), la Universidad Javeriana, the Universidad del Norte, the Universidad de Cartagena, the Universidad Tecnológica de Bolivar and the Fundacion para el Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (the foundation that was established by Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a longtime resident of Cartagena).

CFP Conference of the Americas (Colombia)

“Communicative Convergences: Mutations of Culture and Power and Change in the Academic Field in the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula”
Medellin, COLOMBIA: Sunday October 4, 2015
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 PM

This conference will be part of the XV Meeting of the Latin American Federation of Schools of Social Communication (FELAFACS), to be held from October 5 to 7, 2015 in MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA. We invite all to participate also with presentations and assistance in the XV Meeting of FELAFACS. The deadline for submission of papers to the XV Meeting of FELAFACS is February 28, 2015.

The American Federation of Schools of Communication (FELAFACS) and the National Communication Association (NCA) signed in 2010 a Memorandum of Understanding which formalized the relationship that began in 1997 with the first Communication Conference of the Americas, in the City of Mexico. The aim of this agreement is to establish a long-term cooperation to promote dialogue among communication scholars in the Americas, and share their perspectives on research, teaching and practice of communication to foster new ways of collaboration.

In the spirit of this understanding, the two associations support the celebration of the XI Conference of Communication of the Americas to be held in Medellin, COLOMBIA on Sunday, October 4, 2015. This conference is held as part of the XV Latin American Meeting of Schools of Social Communication (FELAFACS) to be held from 5 to 7 October 2015 in City of MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA.

The XI Conference of the Americas communication allows communication scholars of the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula to grow and create international connections to share their projects, perspectives, and experiences in the field of research, teaching and practice of communication in universities and organizations.

Panel 1: “Mutations of Culture and Communication in the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula”
Proposals for this panel may address issues related to specific cultural mutations and their impact on changes in communication in any of the countries of the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula. The context of these cultural and communication change is open (hence may be in the social, political, cultural, urban, rural, technology, business, academic, religious, environmental, etc. context). We seek proposals for theoretical essays or research (done or in progress) that are provocative and original, and analyze the relationships between cultural change and its impact on communication mutations.

Panel 2: “Mutations of Power and Communication in the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula”
Proposals for this panel may address issues related to specific mutations Power and its impact on Mutations in the communication in any of the countries of the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula. The context of these mutations power and communication is open (hence may be in the social, political, cultural, urban, rural, technological, business, academic, religious, environmental, etc. context). We seek proposals for theoretical essays or research (done or in progress) that are provocative and original, and analyze the relationships between mutations of power and its impact on communication mutations.

Panel 3: “Transformations in the Academic Communication Field in the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula”
Proposals for this panel may address issues related to transformations in the Academic Communication Field produced by cultural or specific mutations in any of the countries of the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula. We seek proposals for theoretical essays or research (done or in progress) that are provocative and original, and analyze the relationships between cultural mutations and power in the academy and its impact on communication within the academy mutations level governance, teaching, research and practice.

Requirements for Proposals:
Those interested in presenting at one of these panels (1.2, 3) must submit an abstract (abstract) of 2-3 pages with the given topic to present. The deadline is 28 March 2015. Authors of accepted proposals should send your manuscripts by September 15, 2015. Each panelist will have 10 minutes to make their presentation.  Proposals may be in Spanish, English or Portuguese.

Please send proposals in Spanish to: Dr. Agrivalca Canelón. Sabana University, Bogotá, Colombia. Please send proposals in Portuguese to: Dr. Ricardo Carniel Bugs, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain / Brazil. Please send proposals in English to: Dr. Luis Felipe Gómez, San Jose State University, San Jose, California. USA.

LSLP Micro-Papers

The LSLP Micro-Papers are a series of conceptual, one-page papers intended to introduce key elements of literacy and how they fit within our frameworks. This series, edited by CID affiliated researcher Dr. Raúl A. Mora, drew inspiration from our Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue series. These micro-papers are authored by student researchers and other affiliated researchers from the Literacies in Second Languages Project at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellín, Colombia, as a space to promote their research in the field of alternative and 21st century literacies.

We invite you to check out both the LSLP Micro-Papers and the Literacies in Second Languages Project website.

Polina Golovátina-Mora researcher profile

Researcher ProfilesDr. Polina Golovátina-Mora is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Sciences at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, in Medellín (Colombia).

Polina Golovatina Mora

She is an instructor for the PhD Program in Social Sciences and a Faculty Affiliate at the MA in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages. Her current teaching duties focus on introduction to epistemology and graduate seminars on language, culture, and power. She has been a lecturer and visiting professor at universities in Russia, Czech Republic, and Colombia. She has also been a visiting researcher at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Dr. Golovátina-Mora has a doctoral degree in history (Urals Federal University) and a master’s degree in Russian and Eastern European Studies (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), the latter as a Fulbright Scholar. She was an Erasmus Mundus Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pultusk Academy of Humanities in Poland.

Her scholarship ranges across different languages and topics. A multilingual writer, she has published and presented her work in English, Russian, Polish, Czech, and most recently, Spanish. Her work includes articles and book chapters on historiography, representations of social processes (collective memory and identity construction, responses to the social structures and pressures). She has presented her work, including conference presentations, plenaries, and invited talks, in Colombia, the United States, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland, Turkey, Russia, Germany, and Italy. Her most recent research features narrative inquiry and discourse analysis studies on monstrous theory and how fear is constructed in contemporary cities and societies and through popular culture (especially in light of the renaissance of the vampire genre). Recent work (along with her husband, Dr. Raúl A. Mora) includes discussions of social and curricular constructions of bilingualism and multiculturalism and the use of Bourdieusian frameworks to analyze culture.

You can find out more about Dr. Golovátina-Mora’s scholarship through her website and her profile.

Raúl A. Mora Researcher Profile

Researcher ProfilesDr. Raúl Alberto Mora is at present an Assistant Professor in the School Education and Pedagogy Graduate Program at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB), in Medellín, Colombiam where he also coordinates the MA in Learning and Teaching Processes in Second Languages (ML2).

Raul Alberto Mora Velez

He is also a faculty affiliate at the PhD in Social Sciences at UPB and the PhD in Education at Universidad Distrital in Bogotá. Dr. Mora’s current teaching duties include preservice language courses and graduate-level seminars on research and literacies in second language contexts. He holds a PhD in Language and Literacy and an MA in Teacher Education, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a Fulbright Scholar and belongs to the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

He has written peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on issues of language teaching, literacy, and qualitative research. He has presented conference papers (both on site and virtually) and has participated as plenary speaker in Colombia, Argentina, Spain, India, Vietnam, the United States, and Russia. In addition, he has been a guest lecturer at different universities in Colombia and Spain. He is at present an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, where he also serves as Editor for the Advocacy/Policy Department section. Other editorial duties include the International Review Board for the HETL Review and the Editorial Boards for PROFILE and HOW Journals in Colombia. Dr. Mora also sits on the Advisory Committee for the Colombian Fulbright Commission and has been an educational adviser for the Colombian Ministry of Education.

His research work features membership in the Language and Culture Research Group at UPB and the Teacher Education Research Group at Universidad Distrital. He also chairs the Student Research Group on Second Language (SRG-L2) at UPB. A qualitative researcher by choice and training, he has specialized in the education of novice researchers at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Most of his research includes ethnographic approaches and action research, interspersed with elements of case study research, narrative inquiry, and discourse analysis.

His current research agenda covers the fields of alternative literacies, critical discourse analysis, world languages, socio-cultural theory, and issues of bilingualism and multiculturalism. His research on literacies include the analysis of English literacies in urban spaces of Medellín, Colombia, the description of English literacies in virtual gaming communities in the city, and the development of frameworks to discuss the evolution of the notion of literacy in languages other than English. His work on world languages includes the development of conceptual frameworks that defy the traditional binary of second/foreign language and respond to the language ecologies present in today’s world. Recent studies on critical discourse have analyzed the social imaginaries of teachers in advertisements for online courses and the idea of the trickster in Colombian comedy. His most recent work on Socio-cultural theory has analyzed media and the situation of teacher education in Colombia through the use of Pierre Bourdieu’s social frameworks. Finally, his work on bilingualism and multiculturalism (most of it in tandem with his wife, Dr. Polina Golovátina-Mora) intends to look at the multiple dimensions of bilingualism to give it a stronger social dimension.

You can check Dr. Mora’s website for more details about his academic interests, teaching, and research endeavors, as well as his profile.