UNESCO CHAIR on SOCIAL PRACTICES
in Intercultural Communication
& Social Cohesion
THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MALAYSIA
UNIVERSITI KEBANGSAAN MALAYSIA
CALL FOR PAPERS
Throughout the world, there are ideologies of living together, sometimes translated into constitutions such as Australian multiculturalism, multiethnic Malaysia, the South African Rainbow Nation, etc., or national ideologies that have given rise to public policy as the model for managing ethnocultural diversity in Canada.
Beyond the instrumentalisation of cultural diversity by various tourism ministries, how do the different stakeholders implement these models in everyday life via their communication methods, whether in the social space or in the media?
The social reality of a cultural diversity takes shape only through the expression of the modes of communication within the social space (work, public service, school, university) and in the media (mass media and social media): The contribution of digitization potentially confers a character of ubiquity to intercultural communication, making its treatment more sensitive and its impact more decisive.
The aim of this conference is to study the variety of digital intercultural communication devices in their respective societal and organizational contexts, in order to measure their consequences on the social structure: forms of alienation, social stratification or, conversely, social cohesion.
Digitizing Intercultural Communication in Press and Media
The rapid development of new media has been the main force accelerating the trend of globalization in human society in recent decades. New media has brought human interaction and society to a highly interconnected and complex level, but at the same time challenges the very existence of intercultural communication in its traditional sense. It is under this circumstance that we see more and more scholars becoming involved in the investigation of the relationship between new media and intercultural communication. Emerging topical areas in this line of research mainly include three categories: (1) the impact of national/ethnic culture on the development of new media, (2) the impact of new media on cultural/social identity, and (3) the impact of new media (especially social media) on different aspects of intercultural communication (e.g., intercultural relationships, intercultural adaptation, and intercultural conflict). We, therefore, seek conference delegates willing to discuss this trend of research on the relationship between new media and intercultural communication.
Digitizing Intercultural Communication at the Workplace
Industry is a “part of an economy that produces material goods, which are highly mechanized and automatized” (Lasi, 2014). Ever since the beginning of industrialization, technological leaps have led to major paradigm shifts, which today are ex-post named “industrial revolutions”. The accelerated mechanization process that occurred in Great Britain gave rise to the first industrial revolution usually dated around 1780 (with the invention of steam engine by James Watt in 1769 as a triggering event) and based on steam power (Townroe, 1979). The second industrial revolution is generally synonymous with the intensive use of electrical energy, but one must omit that it was conceptually a holistic construct as the second industrial revolution spanned over forty-four years (from 1870 to 1914) and encompasses other aspects such as change in the organization of production, and rise of technological systems such railroad, telegraph, cities’ gas, water supply, and sewage systems (Mokyr, 1990). While some authors associate the third revolution with “widespread digitization” (Lasi, 2014), others equate more precisely with automation of production using computers, numerical control and programmable logic controllers (Bahrin et al, 2016) or even discuss the automation of services in the USA as a service sector revolution (Collier, 1983).
Industry 4.0 dictates the end of traditional centralized applications for production control. Its vision of ecosystems of smart factories with intelligent and autonomous shop-floor entities is inherently decentralized. Responding to customer demands for tailored products, these plants fueled by technology enablers such as 3D printing, Internet of Things, Cloud computing, Mobile Devices, and Big Data, among others create a totally new environment. Some of these technologies are operated at the level of individual level; some, such like manufacturing execution systems (MES) control organizations; the most disruptive ones (Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Mobile devices) reach out to the global economy, acting both as enablers and risk factors. Consequences of these technologies’ implementation can be read in the behaviours of social actors, but also in the organization of production in given manufacture, or in the design of public policies to protect data, notwithstanding fierce global competition over acquisition and exclusivity for big data as well as industrial espionage through increasingly intrusive connectivity. This sub-theme session looks actively for scholars interested in making sense of social actions and decision intertwined between micro and macro social spaces.
Digitizing Intercultural Communication in Arts and Music
Imagination, creativity, innovation, and problem-solving are intertwined in the process of art creation. These ingredients are at the same time the manifestation of diversity and the result of interaction, dialogue, and cultural influence, which promote new forms of cultural expression and permits cultural survival and adaptation. Without undervaluing the aesthetic dimension of art, this book highlights its communicative dimension and cultural pervasiveness. Art seen as a manifestation of intentionality, personal will, and social significance is analysed from the angle of its multiple impacts in cultural, political, economic, social, philosophical, or religious aspects of life in the public sphere. The communicative powers of music have been prized on numerous occasions, ranging from the more dubious experiments of presenting Beethoven to Amazon Indians2 to more “traditional” examples of using different music in education around the world. Also in more daily life, a kind of consensus exists on the positive power of music in inter-cultural (and inter-human) communication. This is put into words through expressions like ‘Music knows of no race’, ‘Universal music’ and ‘Music across boarders’.
Undoubtedly, music has the ability to communicate, also cross-culturally. The question is how and what it communicates. What exactly is the merit of different forms of artistic expression in the field of intercultural communication? How can art contribute to sustain or promote social cohesion in neighbourhoods, in the groups and community and in the larger society? How can art projects become part of the peacekeeping process in unstable, conflicting societies? Are there any strategies and good practices for creative industries to act as promoters of intercultural dialogue and an understanding of the Other? These are among the questions that could be discussed in depth by conference delegates. We also welcome particular interest papers elaborating on Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) and Music Encoding Initiative (MEI).
Digitizing Intercultural Communication for Cultural Heritage
R. Williams wrote in 1960 that “culture cannot be abridged to its tangible products, because it is continuously living and evolving” (Williams, 1960: 11). Adopted in 2003 and implemented in 2006, the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage was approved by 112 national governments (Logan, 2009: 14). The 2003 UNESCO Convention, following, common practice, describes intangible cultural heritage in the form of a list, “as oral traditions and expressions – such as epics, takes and stories, performing arts – including music, song, dance, puppetry and theatre, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge, and practices concerning nature and the universe – for example, folk medicine and folk astronomy, traditional craftsmanship, as well as the sites and spaces in which culturally significant activities and events occur” (Kurin, 2004: 67). The convention’s definition, although objectively inclusive, yet remains problematic as it excludes language (ibid, p. 69) and retains the ambiguous “folk” term as a descriptor. Phrases such as “Folk medicine” and “Folk astronomy” appear in the aforementioned definition, pertaining to the broader category of “Folklore”. According to Safinaz et al. (2001), the idiom “folklore” means “the traditional beliefs, myths, tales, legends, customs (practices of people) transmitted orally (Zafinaz et al, 2001: 164). The latter specification proves to be of utmost importance as it limits social diffusion properties of the folklore concept to the “oral transmission of knowledge from particular groups through education or experience, while cultural heritage is a social transmitted human work and thought, which is inherited” (ibid, p. 164). This session wishes to interrogate the shift from oral transmission to digital communication of such cultural heritage and therefore welcome related research proposals.
Digitizing Intercultural Communication for Food and Social Justice
Academic literature is flooded with academic papers examining the correlation of racialized neighborhoods with poor diet, leveraging especially on the notion of food deserts where residents have little to no access to healthy and affordable food (see Cummins and Macintyre, 2002; Wrigley et al. 2003). In the USA, Black neighborhoods often embody typical characteristics of food deserts, where “it is easier to get fried chicken than a fresh apple” (Brownell & Batlle Horgen, 2003).
Kwate argues that “in general, empirical research demonstrates an association between low area income and fast food prevalence in the US (Burdette & Whitaker, 2004: Stewart and Davis, 2005) and internationally” (Kwate, 2008: 36).
Kwate’s thesis presenting the association of racialized neighborhoods with poor diet leading to obesity is nonetheless debated, starting with Black and Macinko who ponder the causality of the racial composition of neighborhoods on obesity, stating that at best correlation appears “mixed” (Black & Macinko, 2008:2). Black and Macinko tend to stress more on the role of neighborhood features that either discourage or encourage physical activity. The heart of the debate thus stands on the determinism of the neighborhood upon public health. When the concept of neighborhood equates with the one of community, one tends to correlate the association of race or ethnicity to poor eating habits, the latter being subject to sole availability of “junk food” in the said neighborhood. Therefore typology of food outlets correlates with race or ethnicity, making fast food racially exclusive, at least in specified American urban contexts.
In this subtheme session, conference organizers wish to go beyond the junk food/poor racialized neighborhood dualism and investigate conceptually close dualisms or dualities beyond the Northern American context, focusing on the digital modalities of communication of such phenomena.
Such sub-themes are indicative and reflect solely our conference organization. The list of these sub-themes is not exhaustive. We welcome papers related to other conceptual sub-themes than the ones presented here above, as long as research proposals draw on the overall theme of the conference.
We wish to specify that we do not accept poster presentations. Only live paper presentations will be considered.
HOW TO SUBMIT AN ABSTRACT?
Interested scholars may submit a 300-word abstract, with a maximum of 5 keywords.
The abstract must indicate
Full name of author(s),
Institution(s) of affiliation,
Email(s) address of the corresponding author(s).
Police: Times New Roman.
Font Size: 12.
Interline spacing: 1.5.
If your paper is selected, acceptance will be notified two weeks after submission.
Kindly submit your abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org
Every delegate who will have presented a paper at the conference is entitled to publication.
There are two levels of publication opportunities:
Level 1: Full Paper in Conference Proceedings Book, to be published by the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) Press. For all delegates.
Level 2: Book Chapter in Edited Volume, to be published by the National University of Malaysia (UKM) Press. By invitation only.
Digitizing Intercultural Communication
Alienation versus Humanism
in Social Spaces & Media
7 - 9 June 2023
Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia
Town of MIRI, in the state of SARAWAK, on the island of BORNEO, Eastern MALAYSIA
Revealing a side of Asia unlike anywhere else, Sarawak is located in northwest Borneo island, giving access to the natural and cultural wonders specific to this island.
Sarawak is characterized by a high proportion of indigenous tribes, representing more than half of the state’s population. This state is the home of 27 ethnic groups with 45 different dialects, each group has its own unique stories, beliefs, traditions, and cultures. Its territory is also largely covered by jungle and mangroves, that you can contemplate in the state's diverse national parks.
Prosperous, lively and modern, Miri is the second-largest city in Sarawak. It is an important transport hub, facilitating all travel to visit Sarawak. From Miri, the Niah caves to Lambir National Park and Loagan Bunut National Park are accessible by land. Transport lines are available for Gunung Mulu National Park, the Bario Mountains, and Long San. Off the coast of Miri, coral reefs are an ideal place for diving and fishing.
Malaysia does not require a visa in many cases if the stay lasts less than a month (or three for some countries; for example, member countries of the European Union). Even if you don’t need a visa, you will need to present a passport valid at least six months after your return date and a return flight ticket.
Some countries require their citizens to obtain a visa prior to enter Malaysia. You may check about your own country’s status through the following link: https://www.imi.gov.my/index.php/en/main-services/visa/visa-requirement-by-country.html
There is no compulsory vaccination that is required to enter Malaysia. However, if you have recently (past 3 months) been to a country where yellow fever occurs (South America and sub-Saharan Africa), you must be vaccinated against the disease. The hepatitis A vaccine is highly recommended.
Ringgit Malaysia: shortened as MYR (international convention) or RM (local convention).
COUNTRY PHONE CODE
Bahasa Malaysia; English is widely spoken.
Equatorial climate. Usually between 23°C in the morning and 32°C for the rest of the day. Even though there will be no monsoon in June, we advise you to bring an umbrella. Finally beware of mosquitoes, especially if you venture in rural/semi-rural areas. You may bring an anti-mosquitoes with 50%DEET molecules.
Power plug and outlet type G – (similar to UK 3-pin model).
HOW TO GO THERE?
After most probably transiting through Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) you shall reach Miri airport as your final destination. Miri Airport is an airport located 9.5 km southeast of Miri, a city in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. The airport is the sixth-busiest airport in Malaysia and the second busiest in Sarawak. Miri Airport is a major hub for Malaysia Airlines and for MASWings. Miri Airport is a mere 10 minutes taxi ride from Pullman hotel.
COMMUTING TO YOUR HOTEL BY TAXI
Taxis are managed by the Miri Taxi Association and can be called by telephone 24 hours a day. All taxis are red and yellow cars. At the airport, taxis stands are located outside the baggage retrieval area. Buy a coupon at the taxi stand and go to the taxi station outside the terminal. An airport to hotel Pullman transfer will cost you about RM 20-25.
The smartphone application termed “Grab” is available around Miri and the costs are generally around half the price of a regular taxi.
OFFICIAL CONFERENCE HOTEL
The Pullman Miri Waterfront hotel has been selected to be the official venue for the 2023 ORBICOM conference in Sarawak. This 5-star hotel is centrally located in Miri, at the Waterfront Commercial Centre hub of the city, 5 minutes drive of Imperial Shopping Mall and Marina Beach. His view fronting the South China Sea, Miri River, and the city, makes it an ideal place for a relaxing gateway, dining and business meetings. This elegant-in-style full-service hotel incorporates restaurants and bars, a gym, a spa and meeting rooms. You will be able to benefit from a Web corner and free Wi-Fi in the entire hotel for your professional needs.
Room rates (special 2023 ORBICOM Conference delegate rate) range from RM 291.50 (about 70 USD for a superior room, single occupancy) to RM 503.50.00 (about 120 USD for a Deluxe executive in twin sharing) per room per night. Non-Malaysian citizens are required to pay visitor tax on top of these rates, equivalent to a flat amount or RM 10 per room per night.
There about 45 other hotels in Miri, ranging from 2 to 4 stars (Pullman is the only 5 star-rated hotel). If you are looking for alternative accommodation, we do advise to select hotels that are walking distance from the conference official hotel. Such close proximity hotels that are well-reviewed would be for example Imperial hotel (4 stars), Meritz hotel (4 stars), Kingwood Boutique Hotel (4 stars), Dynasty hotel (3 stars), Pacific Orient (2 stars). These hotels are accessible through Booking.com and Agoda.com platforms.
The following PDF guide provides an overview of some of the tours that can be taken for a half-day or a full day.
Tours cost between RMY 145 and 450 depending on the group size. Such as
- Miri City Tour: 4-5h
- Crocodile Farm 4h
- Lambir Hills National Park: 5h
- Brunei City Tour: 8h
You might want to contact Minda Travel Agency before arriving in Miri at email@example.com for further information. Bookings and payments will be made at the Pullman Waterfront Hotel lobby once in Miri during the Conference.
OPTIONAL PAYING DINNERS
Dinner on 8th June 2023 is a seafood-based dinner that will take place at Dragon Seafood Restaurant, half an hour by bus from Pullman Waterfront Hotel. Before dinner, there will be some cultural activities organised on the beach. All seafood is fresh, as you will be able to witness by yourself.
Cost: RM 95.00 nett per person (Chinese tea and water included). Bus transportation included. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Dinner on 9th June 2023 is a farewell dinner that will take place at Piasau Boat Club, which is a relatively short distance from Pullman Waterfront Hotel. The menu is prepared in barbeque style, with a mix of Western and Malaysian dishes. We will be dining on a terrace facing the South China Sea. Soft drinks are included in the menu; there is a bar where one can order a beer or other alcoholic drinks on their own account.
Cost: RM 95.00 nett per person (soft drinks included). Bus transportation included. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
You can decide to go for the two dinners, one dinner only, or none: it is really up to you. The selection of the two dinners (8th and 9th June) is recommended for our international delegates, as these will be great opportunities to experience the scenery, culture and cuisines of our beautiful State of Sarawak, worry-free.
All menus are pork-free. If you have any diet restrictions or food allergies, do let us know. We will advise the respective Chefs accordingly.
Payment options: you can pay directly using the Paypal button. If you prefer to make a bank transfer, kindly contact Dr Eric Olmedo at firstname.lastname@example.org
All dinner payments should be made by Friday 26 May 2023 at 5.00 pm, Malaysia time.
Shamsul Amri Baharuddin
UNESCO Chair holder in
National University of
Associate Project Officer
Communication for Development
New York City, USA
Work Psychologist, CEO
Performances & Communication
Contract Management Specialist
Airbus Defence & Space
Full access to all conference sessions for three full days, conference bag,
all coffee breaks, three lunches, Welcome dinner, and cultural activities.
*Dinner at Dragon Seafood restaurant on 8 June not included
In order to determine the appropriate amount for your payment, please refer to the table above.
The amount may be increased or decreased as necessary.
Full papers shall be submitted after the conference to acknowledge feedback from participants.
Specifications will be given at the end of the colloquium.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Kindly contact the conference secretariat: email@example.com
The Conference Chair: Dr. Eric Olmedo: firstname.lastname@example.org