[URBANTH-L]CFP: Postmodernism, Globalisation and the Media

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Mon Nov 15 11:55:26 EST 2004

 International Conference in Science and Humanities at the Mudra Institute
of Communication (MICA), Ahmedabad, India

Jointly being organised by Kogakuin University (Tokyo Urban Tech) and the
University of Limerick, Ireland

_Postmodernism, Globalisation and the Media_
To be held at MICA, Ahmedabad, India between March 5th to 7th, 2005.
How does one view contemporary times? There are many discourses about the
different ways of looking at the world. Ideological frameworks remain the
key. However, what is imperative is to engage in discourses that attempts to
bring out some sort of a perspective about the world. At a larger level,
these might be discourses which synthesize sciences as a whole. One of the
dominant frameworks in operation today is postmodernism.

As far as the concept of post-modernism is concerned, there are different
perspectives to the same. Moreover the term itself has been used to a wide
range of economic social and cultural phenomena. Philosophically,
postmodernism may be seen to demonstrate a suspicion to all embracing
systems of thought thanks to what Lyotard called 'les grans recits' or
meta-narratives of western thought. Lyotard's work may be linked to more
general strains of post - structuralist thinking (Hill, 1998) but as
mentioned earlier these may be seen to include a suspicion of 'totalising
theories'; an anti foundationalism that rejects all claims to 'absolute' or
'universal' foundations of knowledge. Postmodernism also stresses on the
heterogeneity and fragmented character of social and cultural 'realities'.
It also questions any attempts of any unified account of them.

Sociologically speaking, postmodernism has also been used to identify to a
new economic and social order. Here too ideas such as 'post industrialism'
or post modernity crop up. The reference here is to a period that follows
modernity. To be noted is that the periodisation itself is not always agreed
upon. Apart from that there are criticisms to it. The debates in
globalisation are an indicator in this regard. For example, the argument of
a globalised world is also carried repeatedly to enforce the inevitability
of globalisation. However as Tabb states, this idea of inevitability is in
itself an ideological construct and it is the product of political forces
acting through the powerful lobbies of government and media. This
inevitability represents a new phase and hence as Meiksins Wood (1998) says
there is an emphasis on cultural, ideological and psychological shifts, the
dissolution of old certainties, the disintegration of all political
foundations, the fluidity of "identities" and the "de-centred subject". It
has to be added here that while there has been a retreat from all grand
narratives, "this historic rupture, however, did not usher in the
post-modern epoch" (Meiksins Wood, 1998).

Science studies are also crucial. As Ziauddin Sardar states, its importance
lies solely as a vehicle for surveying, criticising and transforming our
knowledge practices more generally. Further more, it aims to introduce a
discourse of values in the practice and operation of science and open the
practice of science to democratic accountability; especially its
decision-making processes and power structures.

_About the MICA conference_
Even though the terrain of this conference is vast, the basic purpose of
this seminar is to engage in a dialogue to touch upon all sides to this
phenomenon. The purpose is to bring in scholars from science and humanities
for an interface. The other need for this conference is in its context.
There is a need to get into such inquiries primarily because of its
potential to bring in a range of scholars for a dialogue. The idea of
holding this conference is also to forge stronger academic links with the
participant universities for joint research.

The first International conference on Postmodernism was held at the Kogakuin
University, Tokyo, Japan in March 2004. The University of Limerick (Ireland)
was also an active participant in the conference. It was at this conference
that it was proposed that the follow up conference be held in India. This
proposal was accepted by the Mudra Institute of Communication (MICA),
Ahmedabad, India. It is now proposed that the conference be held between
March 5th -7th, 2005 at MICA.

The Tokyo conference was an overview of postmodernism with respect to
science and humanities. The MICA conference would be an extension to the
same with a focus on the arts and the media in the context of globalization.
Papers are also invited from related areas. Given the global scenario today
and the interplay of postmodernism in academic discourses, it is necessary
to delve deeper into the realm of social sciences. The underlying themes of
the India conference would be:

An enquiry into postmodernism in the realm of science and humanities in the
context of globalisation.

How the various dimensions of arts, cinema and the media are linked to the
process and,
It is also proposed that there be a one day focus on the south Asia region;
as the conference is being held in this region.

_Academic areas_
Research Papers are invited from scholars, academic and doctoral students.
Even though there is a specific focus with the keywords being postmodernism,
globalisation and media, papers with related focus in the realm of social
sciences are also invited. For instance the list could include the areas of:
Architecture, Artificial Intelligence, Business Studies, Environmentalism,
Feminism, Film, Information Sciences, International Relations, Literature,
Modern European, Languages, Philosophy and Art, Applied Physics, Physics,
Politics, Music, Robotics, Sociology.

All papers will be refereed. Please send abstracts and subsequently the
papers to the following address which in turn will be send to the area
chairs. The contact address is as follows:

Assistant Professor
MICA, Shela,
Ahmedabad, India 380058
Papers can also be emailed to:
postmodernism at mica.ac.in
mathew at mica.ac.in

The last date for submission of abstracts is January 15th, 2005. Full papers
 have to be submitted by February 15th, 2005.

All international participants would have to register for the conference.
The registration fee for the conference is 500 US dollars.
For Scholars from the Developing countries, the registration is 250 US
The registration fee for doctoral and other students is 150 US dollars.
Evidence of students' status is requested.

The registration fee covers boarding, lodging and transport on the days of
the conference. Apart from all meals, this also includes a trip to a local
site of historical importance.
For those who register before December 31st, 2004, there would be a 10% less
The registration fees can be paid by bankers' draft/cheque in the name of
"Mudra Institute of Communication" payable at Ahmedabad, India. Assistance
regarding this would be accorded.
An edited book from the papers presented by the scholars would be the
outcome of this conference.

_Conference participants_
Speakers for the Inaugural Session and the First Session (as of now):
Prof. Philip Scheslinger, University of Sterling, England
Prof. Atul Tandan, Director, MICA
Dr. Somnath Zutshi, Director, Seagull Arts and Media Centre, Calcutta, India
Prof Brian Coates, Department of Languages and Culture Studies, University
of Limerick
Dr. Sato / Prof. Setsuko, Department of Languages, Kogakuin University
Prof. Nandita Haksar, Former Professor of Law, Bangalore Law School, India
Area Chairs (as on 2nd October 2004)
Architecture: Prof. Tomoaki Nakashima, Kogakuin University
Literature: Dr. Eugene O'Brien, Mary Immaculate College, Ireland
Feminism: Kim Arnold
Physics: Prof. Takayoshi Komura, Kogakuin University
Politics: Dr. Matthew Canon, University of Limerick
Post modern Music: Prof. Mikael Fernstorm, University of Limerick
Robotics: Prof. Ishii, Kogakuin University
Sociology: Dr. Eoin Devereux, Professor of Sociology, University of Limerick
Artificial Intelligence: Prof. Eiji Yodogawa, Japanese Space agency
Philosophy and Art: Kieran Cashell

Asssitant Professor
Mudra Institute of Communication (MICA)
Shela, Ahmedabad, India 380058
Fax: 00-91-2717237945
Phone: 00-91-2717-237946
Email: mathew at mica.ac.in
Visit the website at http://www.mica-india.net/seminars/icsh.htm

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