The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2018

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 Hotel, 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.


Speakers

  • Professor Georg Adlmaier-Herbst
    Professor Georg Adlmaier-Herbst
    Berlin University of the Arts, Germany
  • Keiko Bang
    Keiko Bang
    Bang Singapore Pte Ltd
  • Stuart Galbraith IV
    Stuart Galbraith IV
    Film Historian
  • Professor Kaori Hayashi
    Professor Kaori Hayashi
    The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Professor Yutaka Kubo
    Professor Yutaka Kubo
    Waseda University, Japan
  • Professor Chie Niita
    Professor Chie Niita
    Waseda University, Japan
  • Timothy W. Pollock
    Timothy W. Pollock
    Osaka Kyoiku University & Hagoromo University of International Studies, Japan


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), University of Barcelona (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

Biography

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
Keiko Bang
Bang Singapore Pte Ltd

Biography

Keiko Hagihara Bang is the founder and CEO of Bang Singapore Pte Ltd, a boutique media firm focused on fandom, influencers, branded content, e-commerce and technology-led storytelling. Her 35-year career spans time serving as a reporter for media such as CNN, NHK and what is today CNBC, and as a creator of critically-acclaimed independent documentaries for the world, from the Asia-Pacific region. She has produced more than 50 award-winning films including: Zheng He: Emperor of the Seas, Mysterious Hanging Coffins of China, Guge: The Lost Kingdom of Tibet, Jackie Chan, John Woo, Hip Korea, Secrets of the Samurai and many others.

In Japan, she successfully created a landmark co-production with PBS, TV Asahi and ZDF of the first non-Japanese documentary on the Battleship Yamato as seen from the Japanese point of view. Bang also worked for 5 years with the Ministry of Information and Communications (Somusho) on pioneering co-production schemes which engendered more than 40 hours of programming between rural Japanese broadcasters and other Asian countries, and culminated in Bang’s launch of Asian Side of the Doc (French) in Tokyo, the first ever major documentary conference to be held in Japan. Bang was also the first independent Asian production company to rank on Realscreen’s “World’s 100 Most Influential Documentary Companies”. In addition to her work on the creative side, Keiko is a serial entrepreneur and has worked with more than 150 companies, 7 governments and 50 media partners on co-productions, country branding and C-Level media strategy across twenty-four countries in Asia. Bang is a Member of the International Academy of Arts & Sciences, Chairperson of the New Media Taskforce and Advisor to the Documentary Committee of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, and to the VR Braintrust (IDFA). She is also a Member of the Asian Academy Awards, and Advisor to the Emerging Future Institute, The Rohingya Blockchain Project, and Teach North Korean Refugees. She is the Founder of The Beautiful Minds Global Girls’ Education Broadcaster Project with UNESCO.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Fearful Futures: Are we Awoke?
Stuart Galbraith IV
Film Historian

Biography

Kyoto-based film historian Stuart Galbraith IV has had a long and varied career, but throughout it all he has demonstrated a great respect for the past and a strong conviction that it should be preserved for future generations. An archivist for Warner Bros. and a researcher at MGM, he worked as a “film detective” tracking down long-lost original camera negatives and sound elements, and earlier helped initiate film preservation projects and procedures for the USC-Warner Bros. Archives.

Mr Galbraith is the author of seven books, including the critically acclaimed The Emperor and The Wolf, a joint biography of Toshiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa, which was used as the basis for the 2015 documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai from Academy Award–winning documentary maker Steven Okazaki. In addition to contributing to Blu-ray and DVD commentaries, essays, and documentaries for films as varied as Battles without Honor and Humanity and Tora-san Our Lovable Tramp, Mr Galbraith has continued to produce many, many Blu-ray and DVD reviews.

His latest preservation project has been more personal, renovating a traditional 200 year-old Japanese house in the mountains of northern Kyoto Prefecture, helping to preserve a minka built at a time when samurai still roamed the country.

Featured Presentation (2018) | A Past Worth Saving: Reflections on a Lifetime of Cultural and Film Preservation in Hollywood and Japan
Professor Kaori Hayashi
The University of Tokyo, Japan

Biography

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: http://www.hayashik.iii.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Indifferent Publics – The Challenge of Japanese Media Today
Professor Yutaka Kubo
Waseda University, Japan

Biography

Yutaka Kubo is currently an Assistant Professor at the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum at Waseda University, Japan. He received his BA in English with a concentration in Film Studies from Framingham State College, USA, and his MA and PhD in Human and Environmental Studies from Kyoto University, Japan. His research focuses on the exploration of queer sensibility in post-war Japanese cinema and on the films and TV dramas of Keisuke Kinoshita in particular. His other research interests include the representation of queer aging in Japanese cinema, the role of mobility in post-3.11 mourning films, and private/public spheres in home movies.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The State of Film Studies in Japan
Professor Chie Niita
Waseda University, Japan

Biography

Chie Niita is a lecturer and adjunct researcher at Waseda University, Japan. Her research focuses on American cinema and media history, with particular interests in sound technology and performance in theatre, film, and radio. She has also worked on Japanese movie theatre and exhibition practices in the pre-war period. Before she received her PhD from Waseda University in 2012, she worked as a Visiting Assistant in Research at Yale University and a Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. She is currently teaching courses related to Film Studies, such as Film Theory and Hollywood Cinema and Japanese Cinema History, both in Japanese and in English at Waseda University (SILS), Hosei University (GIS), and the University of Tokyo.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The State of Film Studies in Japan
Timothy W. Pollock
Osaka Kyoiku University & Hagoromo University of International Studies, Japan

Biography

Timothy W. Pollock currently lectures on film and visual culture at Osaka Kyoiku University and at Hagoromo University of International Studies, Japan. He received his BA in Religious Studies from the College of William & Mary, USA, and an MA in Applied Linguistics from Monash University, Australia. His research is focused on the development of standards and practices in classic Japanese cinema in general, and on the later films of Ozu Yasujiro in particular. He has also presented papers in subjects as diverse as education and ethics, all of which were structured around the idea of dramatic visual narratives. A long-time resident of Japan, he also worked as an assistant editor on the second edition of the Genius Japanese-English Dictionary.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The State of Film Studies in Japan