The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2018

The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film

Conference Theme: "Fearful Futures"

We have reached a moment in international history that is one of potential paradigm shift. It is a moment when a problematic, but at least blandly progressivist, pro-multiculturalist movement toward “cosmopolitanism” (as Kwame Anthony Appiah might use the term) is being threatened by a far more destructive and potentially genocidal ethno-nationalism, the ferocity of which is fuelled by economic disparity, religious intolerance and retrograde ideologies regarding gender, race and sexuality. The possible global futures we face are fearful, indeed, and in an era of information and disinformation, fake news, and hysterical polemic, are sometimes made out to be inevitable.

In this context, the arts, humanities, media and cultural studies play an important role in tracing the genealogy of the present moment, documenting it, and charting different paths forward, inviting such questions as how does culture replicate itself (or critically engage itself) in the classroom, in literature, in social media, in film, in the visual and theatrical arts, in the family, and among peer groups? How do we rise to the challenge of articulating a notion of human rights that also respects cultural difference? How do cultural representations of the environment abet or challenge the forces driving climate change? What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual activist as teacher, writer, artist, social scientist and community member? What are the responsibilities of both traditional and non-traditional media? How do we make sense of the ideologies driving hatred and intolerance, and posit different models of social engagement and organisation? Looking to the past, what do we learn about the challenges of today?

This international and interdisciplinary conference will bring together a range of academics, independent researchers, artists and activists to explore the challenges that we face in the twenty-first century. While we have every right to fear the future, we also have agency in creating that future. Can we commit to a cosmopolitanism that celebrates difference and that challenges social inequity? On our ability to answer to that question affirmatively likely hangs our very survival.

The organisers encourage submissions that approach the conference theme from a variety of perspectives. However, the submission of other topics for consideration is welcome and we also encourage sessions within and across a variety of interdisciplinary and theoretical perspectives.

Join us in 2018 in Tokyo to consider how we as educators do not only survive, but also positively thrive, in these uncertain and changing times.

The Local Context: Tokyo and Japan

We are very excited to welcome you to The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia), held this year in the bustling metropolis of Tokyo, the capital of Japan, and the centre of the most populous metropolitan area on earth. Tokyo is a breathtaking place of remarkable architecture, light and colour, where hypermodern and tradition meet in a unique juxtaposition. Our beautiful conference venue is situated in the very centre of the city, near the national parliament, and between the sedate grounds of the Tokyo Imperial Palace, and the towering skyscrapers of Shinjuku.

Japan is a country with a hugely rich and influential media tradition going back a thousand years and is characterised by constant and brilliant conversations between popular and high culture and media in various forms; from the popular themed romance and action of the world’s first novel (Tales of Genji) a thousand years ago, through the mass-produced works of Hokusai and Hiroshige, and to the manga which developed over many centuries to now become a globally popular phenomenon. From the page to the screen, anime such as Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z have been widely appreciated, and their creators and directors enjoy great respect; Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away remains Japan’s biggest box office hit; underlining its immense crossover appeal. Tokyo is also the home of a strong domestic film industry that has counted some of the world’s most important and influential directors, from Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi and Ichikawa, through to Yamada and more recently Kitano and Miike. The country also has a strong and eclectic music industry, often eclipsed in the international imagination by J-pop, manufactured groups, and the associated “tarento” and “idol” industries, which hint at the darker and exploitative side of show business.

While Japan has had a strong journalistic tradition, press and media freedom has been declining recently (according to various sources such as ‘Reporters Without Borders’), and censorship and self-censorship have been increasingly documented in a context of a rising domestic political nationalism. In a country where media and political powers have enjoyed a cosy and much-criticised relationship, there remain questions about the media’s ability to hold power to account, and uncomfortable comparisons with the past.

Regardless of your field of study or areas of interest, Tokyo offers a great and exciting stage for IAFOR to hold its ninth MediAsia Conference, and we look forward to welcoming you in the autumn!

The MediAsia2018 Organising Committee

Dr Ana Adi, Quadriga University, Germany
Dr Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Dr Virgil Hawkins, Osaka University, Japan
Timothy W. Pollock, Osaka Kyoiku University & Hagoromo University of International Studies, Japan
Dr James Rowlins, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore
Dr Paul Spicer, Hiroshima Jogakuin University, Japan
Professor Gary E. Swanson, University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)
Dr Eva Rose B. Washburn-Repollo, Chaminade University, USA

Key Information
  • Venue & Location: Toshi Center, Tokyo, Japan
  • Dates: Tuesday, October 09, 2018 ​to Thursday, October 11, 2018
  • Conference Theme: "Fearful Futures"
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: May 24, 2018*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: July 24, 2018
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: August 24, 2018

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.


  • Professor Georg Adlmaier-Herbst
    Professor Georg Adlmaier-Herbst
    Berlin University of the Arts, Germany
  • Professor Kaori Hayashi
    Professor Kaori Hayashi
    The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Dr Ana Adi
    Dr Ana Adi
    Quadriga University, Germany

Why Join an IAFOR Conference?

The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) welcomes academics from all over the world to our interdisciplinary conferences held in Asia, Europe, North America and the Middle East. Our events provide a unique international, intercultural and interdisciplinary environment in which to hear the latest world-class research and network with leading academics, professionals and practitioners.

Our conferences are meticulously planned under the direction of prominent academics to ensure that they offer programmes of the highest level, and are supported by some of the world’s leading academic institutions, including the University of London (UK), Virginia Tech (USA), Barcelona University (Spain), Waseda University (Japan), University of Sussex (UK), Medill School of Journalism (USA), Moscow State University (Russia) and The University of Tokyo, (Japan).

By facilitating dialogue between the world’s academics and thought leaders, IAFOR has become a pioneer in providing the research avenues and visionary development solutions that are necessary in our rapidly emerging globalised world. We welcome you to engage in this expanding global academic community of individuals and network of institutions, and look forward to seeing you at one of our future events.

Professor Georg Adlmaier-Herbst
Berlin University of the Arts, Germany

Professor Georg Adlmaier-Herbst is an internationally recognised expert in communication. He is the Scientific Director at the Berlin Career College of the University of the Arts Berlin. He is also a guest professor at the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and the Latvian Culture Academy in Riga, and lecturer in Communication Management in two executive MBA programmes at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Dr Adlmaier-Herbst is a member of the Institute of Electronic Business’ "Council of Internet Sages", he has been voted a “Professor of the Year” (Social Sciences 2011), and has also written 22 books, many of which have been translated.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | When All the Research Says Otherwise but Fear Remains: On the Role of Facts in Dealing with Future Fears
Professor Kaori Hayashi
The University of Tokyo, Japan


Kaori Hayashi is Professor of Media and Journalism Studies at the Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, the University of Tokyo. She has also served as Managing Director of the University of Tokyo Newspaper as well as a member of Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization (an independent self-regulatory organization of the broadcasting industry in Japan) and a board member of the Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien (German Institute for Japanese Studies).

Besides conducting research and education at the University of Tokyo, Kaori Hayashi also holds several academic as well as professional offices, such as membership of the Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organization (a third-party organization in the broadcasting industry), guest researcher at the Asahi Shimbun, and board member of the Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien (German Institute for Japanese Studies). She is also a member of the board of the Japan Society for Mass Communication and Journalism Studies.

She was a Visiting Scholar at Northwestern University, at Goldsmiths, University of London as well as at Freie Universität Berlin as a recipient of the SSRC/Abe Fellowship for the year 2016-17. Her most recent English publications include “A journalism of care”, In Rethinking Journalism Again. Societal Role and Public Relevance in a Digital Age. Edited by Chris Peters and Marcel Broersma, Routledge, 2016, 146–160. She has also published a book in Japanese titled “メディア不信 何が問われているのか(Media Distrust: What are the real issues?”)in 2017, in which she compares media distrust in the USA, the UK, Germany and Japan. For her publication list, please see:

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Indifferent Publics – The Challenge of Japanese Media Today
Dr Ana Adi
Quadriga University, Germany


Dr Ana Adi is Professor of Public Relations/Corporate Communications at Quadriga University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany and the chair of the Digital Communication Awards.

Dr Adi defines herself as a digital humanist, her research, teaching and consultancy on the strategic uses of digital and social media in a variety of communication fields including public relations, political communication and corporate social responsibility. More recently her research and consultancy have focused storytelling, protest communication and evaluation of communication.

Dr Adi is a member of the core research team of the Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor, a bi-annual survey launched in 2015/2016, and part of the global Communication Monitor series, which provides valuable insight into the communication industry and its future, assessing the impact of digital technologies, social media, mobile communications, and the need for strategic focus to align communication outcomes to organisational goals.

She is also the editor of the upcoming Protest Public Relations: Communicating dissent and activism (Taylor & Francis, edited by Ana Adi) and the co-editor of #rezist – Romania’s 2017 anti-corruption protests: causes, development and implications and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Digital Age (2015, Emerald).

Originally from Romania, Dr Adi obtained her PhD from the University of the West of Scotland, UK having investigated from a framing perspective the discourses about China, the Olympics and human rights during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games of activist groups, Olympic organisers, international media and online public. Prior to her studies in the UK, Dr Adi has graduated from institutions in Romania and the United States, the latter as a Fulbright Scholar.

Her work is showcased on

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Presentation information will be added here shortly