EPRIE 2017: Migration, Integration & Belonging (South Korea & Japan)

Applications are being accepted for participation in EPRIE 2017: ‘Migration, integration, and belonging’, to be held from June 21 to July 3 in East Asia (South Korea and Japan).

As an intercultural exchange program, EPRIE (Exchange Program for Regional Integration in East Asia and Europe) aims to contribute through enhanced dialog to improving cooperation among neighboring countries in East Asia and Europe, and to support the process of integration in each region. By strengthening transnational relations, EPRIE shall actively contribute toward promoting international understanding.

Participants will compare historical developments before and after the Second World War, examine the political and social dimensions of mutual relations, and analyze relevant regional cooperation and challenges. Each topic will be dealt with various perspectives and will be presented with the assistance of specialists from the field of politics, economics, academia and media.

In addition, key competencies in intercultural cooperation will be mediated. Through intensive collaborations at the seminar, a network will be created that shall seek to serve long-term cooperation.

Organizer is the Korea Verband e.V., a politically independent association based in Berlin.

Eligibility

Target groups are young people aged between 25 and 35 years from Europe (mainly France, Germany, Poland) and East Asia (mainly China, Japan, Korea). Program participants will include young professionals, and postgraduate students in Master and Research degrees from the field of Area Studies as well as from the disciplines of History, Social and Communication Sciences, among others.

Application deadline will be on Sunday, March 26, 2017

CFP Roles of Communication on a Regional Conflict

Journal of Asian Pacific Journal (JAPC) Special Issue Call for Papers

The Roles of Communication on a Regional Conflict: Antipathy, Nationalism, and Conflicts in Territorial Disputes among China, Japan, and South Korea

Submissions are encouraged from scholars that use different theoretical and empirical approaches to the special issue of Journal of Asian Pacific Communication on the role of communication (e.g. legal, diplomatic, and public discourses) in territorial disputes among China, Japan, and South Korea. Territorial disputes between China and Japan over Diaoyu (Chinese) or Senkaku (Japanese) island and between Japan and South Korea over the Dokdo (Korea) or Takeshima (Japanese) island have escalated particularly in recent years and given rise to concerns about peace and security in the region. The special issue will examine the roles of communication and discourse on their political, cultural, historical, and economical aspects of the territorial disputes with a focus on the key internal and external factors shaping current and future relations. The articles will examine communication and discourse in institutional and political settings, i.e., in and around organizations, in the media, and on the internet. They will focus on how use of language and non-verbal symbolic systems in specific, esp. institutional, communicative contexts, including face-to-face diplomatic interactions/conversations, news release, and popular cultural texts such as films, music, animation, television drama, etc. impact the territorial disputes.

(1) News Coverage on the Disputes: Articles may examine how news media cover the disputes and the accompanying debates on international and domestic levels by conducting content (quantitative) or textural (qualitative) analysis of newspaper articles or broadcasting news contents in two territorial disputes among three nations (or comparative studies). They may also examine how media represent conflict and its potential impact on the audience.

(2) Public Opinion and Propaganda: Although territorial disputes are one of the most fraught issues among states, how public opinion and official and unofficial propaganda on territorial disputes varies within states and what explains the variation are often overlooked. Some articles may examine the dynamics of messages and see how public prioritizes and processes nationalistic, historical, and economic considerations over such disputes. They may hypothesize, for example, that younger generations are more likely to support some level of compromise while older generations would take a more a hawkish stance.

(3) Political and Diplomatic Communication: There are inevitable political aspects in disputed territories. The role of the U.S. can be an explosive force in these disputes. Although the U.S. may maintain the neutrality in the territorial disputes among three nations, the U.S. concerns that China’s muscle in the region could escalate the conflicts with neighboring Vietnam, Malaysia, and Philippine and Japan. The U.S. may support their territorial disputes in order to counter China’s regional hegemonic ambition. The papers may examine rhetorical aspects of political communication (emails, news releases, press conferences, legal action threats, languages of peace and conflicts) in these disputes.

(4) Role of Social Media and Bloggers: Angry and reasonable participants of social media have escalated various international conflicts including the territorial disputes. Papers may analyze social media, internet, and cyber warfare on the disputes among three nations and see how these disputes are mediated, produced, received, and reconstituted.

(5) Role of Popular Cultural Texts: These disputes have been constructed and deconstructed through comics, television dramas, films, dance, theaters, and music in three nations. They are also largely consumed and shared in internet. Papers may explore how these popular cultural texts can personalize and frame the disputes and make the readers to frame of references in their opinions on the topic. Or analyze the texts based on power, ideology, and discourses.

All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this special issue. Manuscripts must be submitted online. All submissions will go through a regular double-blind review process and follow the standard norms and processes. The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2016. Submissions should be emailed to Eungjun Min.

Santoi Wagner-microgrant report

NCA Micro Grant Report
Santoi Wagner, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Eun Sung Park and Dr. Santoi Wagner
Drs. Eun Sung Park and Santoi Wagner

In May 2013, with support from a Center for Intercultural Dialogue micro grant funded by the National Communication Association, I traveled to Seoul, South Korea, to meet with Dr. Eun Sung Park of Sogang University. We are both applied linguists, though we have different research concerns: my interests lie at the interface of language and social interaction while Dr. Park’s work has centered on cognitive aspects of second language acquisition. However, given our professional roles in working with TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) teachers, we share common interests in second language teaching and learning, and how to effectively educate teachers in both theory and practice. I am currently the Acting Director of TESOL at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Dr. Park is an Associate Professor of TESOL/Applied Linguistics and Director of the General English Education Program at Sogang. Although we had corresponded briefly via email about the possibility of working together, we had not previously had the opportunity to engage in an extended discussion. I envisaged our conversation to be an exploratory step to examine an issue that has been of particular interest to me over the past few years: how well do Master’s TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) programs prepare international students to teach in classrooms in their home countries that may be very different from those experienced via study and fieldwork in their graduate programs?

My preparations for the trip were fairly smooth. While the micro grant did not quite cover the entire airfare to Seoul, I was fortunate to able to fund the remainder through my faculty conference/travel fund. One of the more difficult aspects of preparation was to find a suitable time to travel given my teaching responsibilities and the fact that I wanted to be able to meet with Dr. Park while her university was still in session. By planning several months in advance, I was able to schedule my summer teaching to fit in with my plans to travel as soon as my spring semester had finished. This also gave me time to track airfares to ensure I found the best price possible (I used a tracking and notification tool available on Kayak).

Dr. Park was very generous with her time while I was visiting. We had broad and informative discussions, ranging from the teacher training and credentialing process in South Korea and the changing environment of English teaching there in terms of a greater emphasis on oral skills, to the career paths of graduates who have studied overseas and returned to Korea. Very interestingly, Dr. Park described how, in her experience, native English speaking teachers are perceived by students at her university to be better teachers than non-native English speaking teachers, but how more often than not, it is the non-native English speaking teachers who receive better student evaluations. This particular theme was not one that I had initially considered, but we brainstormed on the various ways we might go forward with this idea, including accessing and analyzing the available data, and we will follow up our discussion on email and hopefully arrange a meeting at a conference in the United States next year.

During my time in Seoul, two opportunities arose that I had not originally planned for. Firstly, Dr. Park arranged for me to observe a graduate class she was teaching, ENG 6217: Second Language Acquisition. The class was conducted in English as the program has a number of overseas students. Dr. Park asked me to speak to the students about studying in the United States and to answer questions about applying to doctoral programs there. I enjoyed this experience as it enabled me to engaged directly with the students (and to do some promotion of my home institution’s program!)

Dr. Wagner with students
Dr. Wagner with students

Secondly, I was also able to meet with a former graduate student from my home institution who was teaching English at Sogang. Our conversation was particularly beneficial as we talked about her experience of a TESOL Master’s program in the US and how it had prepared her for teaching in Korea. Two rather surprising issues arose. One was the unrealistic expectation held by international students on entering the Masters program with regards to the ease of finding a good teaching position in their home country after they complete their degree. The other related issue was the perception of the most significant benefit from obtaining the degree. Rather than improving one’s pedagogy or knowledge about teaching, as I might have posited, the former student pointed to the increase in her authority that stemmed from her students’ knowledge of her educational background. Although my methodology in my original project proposal is centered on the micro-analytic examination of classroom interaction, this meeting underlined the usefulness of such conversations in generating ideas and developing possible themes for further inquiry.

I am deeply appreciative of the time I spent in Seoul, and for the NCA micro grant that enabled me to make such a trip. Although I initially had formulated quite firm proposal ideas, the conversations I had were extremely valuable in opening up my perspective about the possible and effective ways to further my research goals, and possibly expand them to encompass new directions for my work. I feel that the grant’s support of “participation in intercultural dialogue through academic interactions” is especially important in the exploratory stage of research. Dr. Park and I are not in the same sub-fields of our discipline, and so this type of in-depth conversation might be less likely to happen through regular conference or peer contacts. Phone, email, or even video-conferencing would have been poor substitutes for this type of exploratory discussion: I am grateful for the opportunity to meet potential collaborators in person, engage in face-to-face interaction, and establish productive professional relationships.

[NOTE: Santoi Wagner’s original project proposal is available here.]