Speakers

Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. This page provides information about presenters. For details of presentations and other programming, please visit the Programme page.


  • Nasya Bahfen
    Nasya Bahfen
    La Trobe University, Australia
  • Virgil Hawkins
    Virgil Hawkins
    Osaka University, Japan
  • Roger Horn
    Roger Horn
    Filmmaker, Germany
  • Erina Ito
    Erina Ito
    Asahi Shimbun, Japan
  • Michael R. Ogden
    Michael R. Ogden
    Zayed University, Dubai
  • Kwame M. Phillips
    Kwame M. Phillips
    John Cabot University, Italy
  • Timothy W. Pollock
    Timothy W. Pollock
    Osaka Kyoiku University & Hagoromo University of International Studies, Japan
  • Arianne Rourke
    Arianne Rourke
    The University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Gary E. Swanson
    Gary E. Swanson
    University of Northern Colorado, USA (fmr.)

Previous Speakers

View details of speakers 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
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
Roger Horn
Filmmaker, Germany

Biography

Roger Horn is an award-winning filmmaker who utilises Super 8mm, digital, found home movies, and YouTube videos in his ethnographic and experimental video works. Roger holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town where his written thesis, Memories, material culture, and methodology: Employing multiple filmic formats, forms, and informal archives in anthropological research among Zimbabwean migrant women was accompanied by several films. Additionally, he has lectured in visual anthropology, documentary production, film studies, and cinematography drawing upon his 20+ years of production experience and research across multiple disciplines for inspiration.

Influenced by theory and methodology from visual anthropology, documentary, and experimental film traditions, his experimental and unconventional ethnographic films have screened at multiple high profile film festivals including the 65th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival and multiple screenings at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. In additional to his concentration on migration, Roger has spent over a decade researching and filming among transgender vineyard workers in the wine lands outside of Cape Town, South Africa culminating is multiple films. The first of these films, The Sisterhood (2010), was short-listed for the Basil Wright Prize at the 13th Royal Anthropological Institute International Festival of Ethnographic Film in 2013 and was nominated and awarded at several additional film festivals worldwide.

Roger recently relocated from South Africa to Germany where he continues to research and document African migration.

Featured Panel Presentation (2019) | Observation vs. Immersion: Trends in Contemporary Visual Anthropology
Erina Ito
Asahi Shimbun, Japan

Biography

Erina Ito is a veteran journalist with over two decades of experience writing for the Asahi Shimbun, the second-highest circulating newspaper in Japan. She has reported on the Academy Awards, as well as film festivals in Japan, Busan, Venice, Frankfurt, Cannes and Berlin. Ms Ito, as part of the paper’s Culture and Life News Departments, has been a pioneer in reporting on issues of gender equality in the Japanese film industry, and has more recently reported on gender issues in Japanese politics and business for the Asahi Shimbun’s News Department. She has also written for Elle Japan on solutions proposed for problems experienced by women in the Japanese workplace, which were identified in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Recognised for her groundbreaking work on gender equality by the Japanese media, Ms Ito has interviewed women in the arts all over the world on their efforts to achieve gender equality in the fields of arts and entertainment. Her work is notable for the depth and range of its research and the unique international angle she brings to her writing on the state of gender equity in Japan, and her background in photography has enabled her to illustrate her work with her own photos and to produce multimedia content for the Asahi Shimbun website. After her recent transfer to the Asahi News Department, Ms Ito has brought her experience, knowledge and research from two decades of reporting on gender issues in the Japanese film and entertainment industries to her reporting on Japanese politics and business, including the recent rise of female legislators.

Keynote Presentation (2019) | Gender Equality in the Japanese Film Industry
Michael R. Ogden
Zayed University, Dubai

Biography

Michael R. Ogden has over three decades of combined experience as a teacher–scholar and media storyteller. A former Peace Corps Volunteer (Fiji, 1982-1984), Dr Ogden’s academic research and consulting experience has focused on electronic media, the impact of technology, and policies governing culture and the creative industry – especially in the Pacific Islands. He has published many journal articles and book chapters focused on sociopolitical issues in cultural policy as well as the impact of ICTs on society and indigenous communities (as both actor & agency). Dr Ogden has previously been affiliated with the University of the South Pacific (Fiji), the East-West Center (Hawaii), the National Institute for Multimedia Education (Japan), the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Thames Valley University’s College of Music and Media (London), and Central Washington University (USA) where he holds Emeritus Professor status as the founding Director of the interdisciplinary Film & Video Studies program. Presently, Dr Ogden is Professor of Media Production & Storytelling and former Assistant Dean in the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University in Dubai, UAE.

Dr Ogden’s creative focus is on independent documentary, narrative film, and interactive/immersive media. He is a member of the U.S. Television Academy and the International Cinematographers Guild. His professional experience in broadcast television and the entertainment film industry includes work as a camera operator, director of photography, creative editor, director (single & multi-camera), production manager, and scriptwriter. His most recent project is a feature-length documentary focused on Irish-India migration and identity entitled, An Gorta Mór: Passage to India (2019) which has already collected many award laurels at numerous film festivals.

Dr Ogden’s academic focus is the history and future of the documentary as well as the impact of media technology on the evolution of storytelling. Ever cognizant of the issues surrounding representation of “The Other,” Dr Ogden’s storytelling approach is a function of his being an academic and a storyteller of mixed-ancestry, living and working between cultures.

Ogden’s latest co-authored book is entitled, Single Camera Video Production (6th Ed.), published by Focal Press/Routledge (2014). He is also the author of a comprehensive chapter on the history, present, and future of cinema technology published in Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals (16th Ed., Routledge, 2018). Finally, he has a forthcoming article entitled "Interactive/Transmedia Documentary: Convergence Culture Meets Actuality Storytelling" in a special edition of the open-source, multi-lingual journal INTERIN, entitled Visualities and Intermedialities (Dossie, N.25, V.1, 2020).

Kwame M. Phillips
John Cabot University, Italy

Biography

Kwame M. Phillips is assistant professor in the Department of Communications and Media Studies, John Cabot University, Italy, specialising in visual and sensory media production, ethnographic documentary, visual anthropology and audio culture. Phillips’s work centres on multidisciplinary engagement and focuses on resilience, race, and social justice. He received his PhD in Anthropology and Film and Media Studies from Emory University in 2014 and is a former Filmmakers Without Borders fellow.

His 2016 film, Welcome to Pa Pae is a short ethnographic documentary focusing on the life-world of a Karen hill tribe community in Northern Thailand. Uniting both participatory and observational documentary modes, the film offers an intimate view into the daily lives of one of Thailand’s most remote populations.

He is co-author (with Dr. Shana Redmond) of the chapter “‘The People Who Keep on Going’: A Radical Listening Party” in The Futures of Black Radicalism. He is also co-creator (with Dr. Debra Vidali) of the multi-sensorial sound art work, “Kabusha Radio Remix: Your Questions Answered by Pioneering Zambian Talk Show Host David Yumba (1923–1990).”

His recent articles include “Collisions of Memory, Voice, Sound, and Physicality though a Multi-sensorial Radio Remix Installation” with Dr. Debra Vidali for the Seismograf journal and “Reverberations and Dislocations of the Archive: Aspirations, Inhabitance, and Remixed Installation,” with Dr. Debra Vidali, submitted to Visual Anthropology Review for the special issue “Bodies of Archives/Archival Bodies.”

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
Arianne Rourke
The University of New South Wales, Australia

Biography

Dr Arianne Rourke is an Associate Professor at The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Faculty of Art & Design, she is a Deputy Director and Fellow of the UNSW Scientia Education Academy (SEA). Arianne is also Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and has had her research published in over 90 National and International publications and contributes her expertise on the editorial boards of six International education journals. Her research is in higher education pedagogy, specifically focusing on investigating methods for improving the use of visuals in instructional design to assist in promoting the long-term retention of learning. Recently she co-curated with Dr Vaughan Rees, an 8 book series titled: Transformative Pedagogy in the Visual Domain, published by Common Ground Research Networks, that received the 2018 Publisher’s Award of Excellence.

Featured Presentation (2019) | "Media, Communication and Film as a Catalyst for Change: How Animations in Teaching International Students (TIS) Project Become Public Pedagogy" (co-authored with Kim Snepvangers)

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