Organising Committee

The Organising Committee of The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia) is composed of distinguished academics who are experts in their fields. Organising Committee members may also be members of IAFOR's International Academic Advisory Board. The Organising Committee is responsible for nominating and vetting Keynote and Featured Speakers; developing the conference programme, including special workshops, panels, targeted sessions, and so forth; event outreach and promotion; recommending and attracting future Organising Committee members; working with IAFOR to select PhD students and early career academics for IAFOR-funded grants and scholarships; and overseeing the reviewing of abstracts submitted to the conference.


  • Nasya Bahfen
    Nasya Bahfen
    La Trobe University, Australia
  • Joseph Haldane
    Joseph Haldane
    The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
  • Bradley J. Hamm
    Bradley J. Hamm
    Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, USA
  • Virgil Hawkins
    Virgil Hawkins
    Osaka University, Japan
  • Timothy W. Pollock
    Timothy W. Pollock
    Osaka Kyoiku University & Hagoromo University of International Studies, Japan
  • Paul Spicer
    Paul Spicer
    Hiroshima Jougakuin University, Japan
  • Gary E. Swanson
    Gary E. Swanson
    University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)

Previous Organising Committees

View details of organising committees at past MediAsia conferences via the links below.

Nasya Bahfen
La Trobe University, Australia

Biography

Nasya is a former journalist whose research looks at the intersections of new media, sport and diversity. She runs the Masters in Journalism at La Trobe University where she is a researcher with the Centre for Sport and Social Impact. Nasya teaches journalism and sports journalism and is also the postgraduate research coordinator for media (looking after Masters by Research and PhD students in journalism and communications).

Her previous academic work includes how race is framed in Australian journalism through sport, interview choice among young journalism students covering diversity, the incorporation of social media in journalism education, and internet use by southeast Asian and Australian Muslim youth. Her recent co-authored book (on the back of an Australian Research Council grant) explores building resilience among Jewish, Muslim, and other culturally diverse groups targeted in cyber racism, while another recent project compared social media use among Muslim students in Melbourne and New York city where she was a visiting scholar with NYU’s Center for Religion and Media.

She has a PhD in the sociology of the media and worked as a reporter and producer for fifteen years at Australian public broadcasters SBS and ABC. Her writing and commentary on sport and diversity has been published in places such as Melbourne’s Age and New Daily newspapers, the Jakarta Globe, the Straits Times, and the Brunei Times. She’s also produced hour long radio documentaries for ABC Radio National and ABC Grandstand Digital.

Nasya’s former students number in the hundreds and work in newsrooms and media roles across Australia and the world. She is regularly interviewed by Australian and international broadcasters on issues of diversity in the media, and diversity in sport. When she isn’t working on a book on sport and social inclusion, or acting as an AFL multicultural ambassador, Nasya plays indoor soccer and learns KPop dance routines.

Presentation (2019) | Australia and Asia: Media and Identity in a Time of Change
Joseph Haldane
The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan

Biography

Joseph Haldane is the Chairman and CEO of IAFOR. He is responsible for devising strategy, setting policies, forging institutional partnerships, implementing projects, and overseeing the organisation’s business and academic operations, including research, publications and events.

Dr Haldane holds a PhD from the University of London in 19th-century French Studies, and has had full-time faculty positions at the University of Paris XII Paris-Est Créteil (France), Sciences Po Paris (France), and Nagoya University of Commerce and Business (Japan), as well as visiting positions at the French Press Institute in the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas (France), The School of Journalism at Sciences Po Paris (France), and the School of Journalism at Moscow State University (Russia).

Dr Haldane’s current research concentrates on post-war and contemporary politics and international affairs, and since 2015 he has been a Guest Professor at The Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, where he teaches on the postgraduate Global Governance Course, and Co-Director of the OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre, an interdisciplinary think tank situated within Osaka University.

He is also a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade, a Member of the International Advisory Council of the Department of Educational Foundations at the College of Education of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network for Global Governance.

From 2012 to 2014, Dr Haldane served as Treasurer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (Chubu Region) and he is currently a Trustee of the HOPE International Development Agency (Japan). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in 2012, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2015.

A black belt in judo, he is married with two children, and lives in Japan.

Bradley J. Hamm
Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, USA

Biography

Bradley J. Hamm is a full professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, USA, serving as the dean from 2012 to 2018, where he oversaw Medill's programs in Chicago, Washington, DC, and San Francisco in addition to its home campus in Evanston. Previously, he was Dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism in Bloomington and Indianapolis, USA.

Hamm's PhD is in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina, USA. He received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina, USA, and an undergraduate degree from Catawba College in North Carolina, USA.

He also served as the interim dean and associate dean of the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina, USA. Hamm has taught in study abroad programs in Japan, China and the United Kingdom and started his career as a newspaper reporter. His teaching and research interests are in journalism history and media theory, particularly agenda setting theory.

He served as a trustee for the Poynter Institute and is a judge for the Scripps Howard National Journalism Awards. He serves as an independent, non-executive member of the Board of Directors for Next Digital media company of Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Virgil Hawkins
Osaka University, Japan

Biography

Dr Virgil Hawkins holds a PhD in International Public Policy from the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, where he currently serves as associate professor. He is also a research associate with the University of the Free State, South Africa.

Before joining OSIPP, Virgil Hawkins was an assistant professor at the Global Collaboration Center, Osaka University (2007-2010), and has also served with the Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) in Cambodia (technical advisor, 2002-2004), and in Zambia (country director, 2004-2007).

Virgil Hawkins is also a co-founder of the Southern African Centre for Collaboration on Peace and Security (SACCPS). His prime research interest is in the media coverage of conflict (and the lack thereof), most notably in Africa. His most recent book is Communication and Peace: Mapping an Emerging Field, edited with Julia Hoffmann (Routledge, 2015).

Featured Presentation (2019) | Climate Coverage: Getting More and Getting it Done Right

Previous MediAsia Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | Introduction of Osaka University’s Global News View Database
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. He has presented papers in fields as diverse as film, semiotic theory, ethics and education, all of which were structured around the central theme of the power of multi-modal, dramatic visual narratives.

His film research is focused on the development of standards and practices in classical Japanese cinema in general, and on the later films of Ozu Yasujiro in particular, while his work in the field of semiotics has focused on the applicability of social semiotic theory to the analysis of Japanese cinema and Japanese visual culture in general.

In ethics and moral philosophy he has analyzed how ethical dilemmas are presented in contemporary Hollywood cinema, and how the presentation of these dilemmas within a dramatic, visual narrative influences our reading of them. He is currently investigating how the very modes and frameworks through which ethical dilemmas are communicated can subtly influence the deliberative process of the target audience.

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 (2019) | Observation vs. Immersion: Trends in Contemporary Visual Anthropology

Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The State of Film Studies in Japan
Paul Spicer
Hiroshima Jougakuin University, Japan

Biography

Dr Paul Spicer is currently an Associate Professor at Hiroshima Jougakuin University in the beautiful city of Hiroshima. He was previously employed by the University of Portsmouth as a lecturer within the School of Creative Arts, Film and Media, where he co-ordinated the courses Japanese Cinema and Culture, and East Asian Cinema. In 2001 he decided to return to education, and began a degree programme at Portsmouth. He successfully graduated in 2005 with a BSc (1st Class Hons) in Entertainment Technology. In 2007, he began work on his doctoral thesis entitled ‘The Films of Kenji Mizoguchi: Authorship and Vernacular Style’. He completed his thesis in August 2011, and successfully sat his Viva Voce at the University of Portsmouth the same year. Dr Spicer’s research lies primarily in the area of film and cultural studies, and his current work focuses upon the relationship between film and Japanese socio/political issues between 1965 and 1975.

Gary E. Swanson
University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)

Biography

Gary E. Swanson is the former Mildred S. Hansen Endowed Chair and Distinguished Journalist-in-Residence at the University of Northern Colorado, USA. From 2005-2007 Professor Swanson was a Fulbright scholar to China and lectured at Tsinghua University and the Communication University of China. In summer 2008 he was Commentator for China Central Television International (CCTV-9) and their live coverage of the Beijing Olympic Games. Swanson repeated his assignment covering the London Olympics for CCTV-4 in the summer of 2012. Previously, he was professor and director of television for nine years at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where he taught mostly graduate broadcast students. He has been an educator for 26 years; 20 years spent teaching at the university level. Swanson is an internationally recognized and highly acclaimed documentary producer, director, editor, photojournalist, consultant and educator. He has given keynote speeches, presented workshopsretd and lectured at embassies, conferences, festivals, and universities throughout China, South Africa, India, Papua New Guinea, Japan, The Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Greece, Germany, Jordan, Spain, Portugal, Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Swanson has compiled a distinguished professional broadcast career spanning 13 years: From 1978 to 1991, Swanson worked for the National Broadcasting Company where he was honored with national EMMYs for producing and editing: The Silent Shame, a prime-time investigative documentary; Military Medicine, a two-part investigative series on NBC News; and Hotel Crime, an investigative news magazine piece. Swanson was an editor for "breaking news and features" for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, the Today Show, Sunrise, Sunday Today, NBC Overnight, A Closer Look, Monitor, and other prime time news magazines. Swanson covered "breaking news" in 26 states and Canada for the network including trips and campaigns of presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton. Swanson was the Fulbright distinguished lecturer and consultant in television news to the government of Portugal in 1989. In 1992, he covered the XXV Olympics in Barcelona, Spain for NBC News as field producer and cameraman. Swanson has earned more than 75 awards for broadcast excellence and photojournalism including three national EMMYs, the duPont Columbia Award, two CINE 'Golden Eagles,' 16 TELLYs, the Monte Carlo International Award, the Hamburg International Media Festival's Globe Award, the Videographer Award, The Communicator Award, the Ohio State Award, the CINDY Award, the 2011 Communitas Outstanding Professor and Educator award, the 2013 Professor of the Year award, and many others. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana with a Bachelor's degree in Education in 1974, and a Master's degree in Journalism in 1993.

Professor Gary E. Swanson is a member of IAFOR’s Academic Governing Board. He is Chair of the Media & Film section of the International Academic Advisory Board.

Roundtable/Panel Presentation (2019) | Deepfake

Previous MediAsia Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2017) | Fake News and the Attack on America’s Freedom of the Press