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2015 Waterhouse Family Institute Conference Seeks to Explore Postcolonial Perspectives on Media and Communication

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Villanova, Pa. – The United States and many other countries across the globe have a long history of being colonized. Many of today’s scholars tie current global conflicts to the continuing legacies of colonization and to 21st century modes of colonization. Over the past two decades, postcolonial theory has become increasingly influential in addressing the role played by global media and communication in perpetuating and alleviating injustice. Yet, there has never been a scholarly conference on postcoloniality and communication held in the United States. Recognizing this, Villanova University’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society is presenting a groundbreaking conference, “Communication, Postcoloniality, and Social Justice: Decolonizing Imaginations” from March 26-29, 2015.

The Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI) was founded in 2010 and is housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It was founded to emphasize the role of communication in the creation of a more just world thanks to a $3 million grant from Villanova alumnus Lawrence Waterhouse, Jr. ’59 CLAS, founder and chairman of Waterhouse Investor Services, Inc. The WFI’s mission is to highlight the centrality of communication in igniting social change. The WFI annually sponsors research grants for scholars whose projects embody and extend its mission awarding grants and supporting projects that speak to its mission. It also helps support Villanova students who are doing internships at the Vatican and at the United Nations in Rome.

Continuing WFI’s focus on social change, this year’s Conference seeks to explore how communication scholarship may help in understanding postcolonial cultures and questions of global (in)justice. To this end, the Conference will seek to look at and deconstruct the normal frameworks by which media and communication is consumed and explore ways in which communicators can become more responsive and sensitive to eastern and southern global logics. By viewing communication in these terms, the WFI Conference challenges students, scholars, and professionals to reflect upon the impact current communication and media has and the ways in which these can be influenced to enact social change.

The event is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University. There will be three keynote speakers for the event, as well as 15 plenary speakers.

The keynote speakers are:

  • Arjun Appadurai, PhD, professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, speaking on “Media, Modernization Theory and Postcolonialism”;

  • Inderpal Grewal, PhD, professor and chair of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality, and professor in South Asia Studies, and Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies at Yale University, on “Violence and Protest: Towards a Feminist Critique of the Neoliberal Security State”;

  • Ravi Sundaram, PhD, professor at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, India, on “Disturbed Territories: The ‘Global South’ in the Post-Digital World.”

The conference will take place at the Villanova Conference Center. Registration fees are $250 for faculty and $200 for students. To learn more about the Conference, please click here