CFP: Rhetoric Discourse and the Communicative-Dialogical Mind

Sent this morning > May be of interest / Keeping it here to refer back to:
CALL FOR PAPERS

Focusing on wide-raging domain of rhetoric communication, the conference addresses past and present issues ranging from Aristotelian Rhetoric to cognitive-oriented linguistic approaches. It is argued that our communicative minds operate beyond cool reason by mixing up semantic domains in multimodal frames both in mass and networked communication. Metaphor use in specialist and popularized discourse contexts must also be accounted for in view of the pervasiveness of imaginative processes in terminology coinage in different areas of expertise.

Researchers from different areas of knowledge and persuasions, from Antiquity to the Present, are invited to present paper proposals, focusing on one of the following themes:

  • Political Rhetorics and mass communication

  • Metaphor and Terminology

  • Metaphor and different approaches

  • Multimodal Communication

  • Digital Discourse and variation

The congress sponsored by The Center of Linguistics and the Center for Classical Studies of the University of Lisbon  features plenary sessions with keynote speakers, and parallel sessions for paper presentations.

Working languages: Portuguese and English.

We welcome:

•  individual proposals for a 20 minute-paper;

•  joint proposals for thematic panels with 3 papers.

Please include the following information with your proposal:

•  full title of your paper / of your panel and respective papers;

•  abstract (ca. 350 words per paper), optionally with a short list of bibliographical references;

• a short biographical note (ca. 150 words).

Please note that:

• All paper proposals will be peer-reviewed;

• Deadline for proposals: February 28, 2017;

•  Notification of acceptance: February 19, 2017 (first proposals); March 31, 2017 (extended deadline);

•  Proposals should be submitted by e-mail in MS Word or PDF format to communicativemind@letras.ulisboa.pt with the  subject header: Abstract proposal.

See more at: http://communicativemind.wixsite.com/intconference 

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Diversity Initiatives in UK Media

This is a quick post rounding up some of the diversity initiatives, keynote speeches and policy document links. These are ‘texts’ I’ve come across when exploring the recent changes being fought for and advocated regarding diversity, representation and changes to UK broadcasting. All of them are publicly available, but I collate them here with a view to mapping out the contemporary terrain of UK broadcasting. The combination of governmental lobbying with industry involvement (and petitioning), is arguably creating new frameworks to improve the UK media ecology. Media ecology is a term to denote the study of media, through looking at the technology that media consists of, the communication that occurs through it and how they affect human environments.

However there is still a tendency within New Media scholarship that situate these changes, termed as political or national as belonging “In Real Life”, as though they do not touch upon or progress all media environs or have an impact globally. Especially as the driving force of many of these changes to the UK broadcasting, is under the banner of ‘Diversity’, a theme concerning identity/ies that resonate across global diasporas. Diasporas that are increasingly becoming connected through ‘cyberia’¹, cognisant of their history and practices and communicating for understanding and change.

A couple of years ago, in 2014, I fervently followed Lenny Henry’s call for action and diversity. Henry launched a petition to affect change through parliament, to boost the number and positions of workers from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, or else there would be a mass boycott of the licence fee. In short, action was called for. Meaning significant changes needed to be made and promoted, made visible, through lobbying the then culture minister Ed Vaizey. Here’s an article by Tara Conlan on The Guardian, which also showcases the “call to action” video that was sent out. A video that collects and projects narratives around how “diversity” or rather differences are encountered by media professionals who are marked as different in the industry. Started up in April 2014. This change came off the back of published polls and research, whose findings prompted calls for ‘media regulators to be more vigilant in addressing coverage of combustible subjects such as immigration and race.’² The poll by the Runnymede Trust found that ’78 per cent of respondents of all ethnic backgrounds believe that media portrayal of minorities encourages discrimination’².  The media is important to people across the world, as it gives people a sense of who they are, what they’ve been and who they can become. In that vein the people across the media industries, within all positions came together to be visible in their calls for change toward media institutions and governments.

A few months later in 2014, ’50 leading creative figures’ sent an open letter to the BBC director general, Tony Hall and the executives of ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BSkyB – in short the broadcasting corporations that oversee our great media institutions. Articles here, and here. This time however, the call for change was clear. Dismayed at the numbers (5% of employees in creative industries are BAME despite making up 12.5% of population), the call was to ring-fence money to create a stable environment for BAME talent both behind and on screen. To increase the quality of programming. A similar economic framework exists to fulfil programming coming from outside of the London area, but here again these industry professionals feel the focus is on quantity, or ‘box-ticking’ perhaps,  rather than good-quality creative productions.

Now, lets be clear the pace of change has been slow. But by placing spotlights on the lack of diversity in media institutions, across the UK and even in the US, progress is arguably being made. It’s significant that the changes are being called for in the two culturally imperial centres of the world, the US and the UK. All of which reached mediated peak in 2016, so very recently. We’ve seen the ‘#OscarsSoWhite’ campaign, the ‘#BritsSoWhite‘ campaign, ‘#BlackLivesMatter’ – all of these requests from media environments, themselves communicated through mediation and technology show how identity has become a salient problem that must be countered with.

At the beginning of 2016, Idris Elba was invited by MP Tessa Jowell to give a keynote address Parliament on Diversity in the Media, full video of the address is here , a transcript that omits certain things is here. Also, an article by Paul Revoir at The Guardian that gives an overview and contextualising Elba’s career alongside other British talent, who feel the UK media industry needs change is here. Though the focus seems to be on celebrities, or the most visible a number of other persons have also got together to enact change. A debate occurred in parliament in April, 2016, though I must note it seems sparsely attended.

 

The tying together of Government and British media broadcasting has been there since the inception. But as the government resolves to make key changes and monitor our traditional media industries for the sake of equality, the key market of “new media” is often seen as a separate entity over which no control can be exerted. Despite the fact that the UK government is moving a number of legislation through Parliament that has affects upon the overall media ecologies around us, and will no doubt have repercussions on representation, connections and communication for years to come.

 


¹ J. Dean (2011) Communicative Capitalism: Circulation and the Foreclosure of Politics in Cultural Politics (Vol 1: 1 ; pp 51-74). Berg.

² I.Burrell (2014) ‘Media coverage of ethnic minority Britons ‘promotes racism’ in The Independent. Thursday 9 January 2014. Link

 

Quick Note: Today’s Round Up

Today I delved deeper into the link between economy, capitalism and digital platforms considering how individuals or rather the differences between individuals are manifested upon digital platforms.

I read further into Milanovic’s paper on global inequality – in order to ground me in a social policy framework and vantage point. This is because I awoke to the need to really dive deeper into social policy, reform and advancement in the UK context. I wanted to combine and reflect upon this field of inquiry in relation to my own work so that I could combine the economic (or as it turned out the class) barriers that exist so  that I may question why they exist also. I then moved to re-reading Neil Selwy’s work on reconsideration of social policy creation and it’s dichotomous natures. I finish my afternoon reading Jodi Dean’s paper on ‘comunicative Capitalism’. I found the talk and the implications raised by  helped to refocus my work.

I shall provide more in-depth notes (and less banter) tomorrow evening.

Response to – B.Milanovic (2011) ‘Global Inequality: From Class to Location, from Proletarians to Migrants’

This is a short paper of twenty-one pages, so in the interest of fairness and transparency it should be noted that most papers raise more questions than they answer. So my response in large part is questioning and relating this paper to other fields of inquiry or practice, but this response is more experimental exercise in collating the notes that the reading raises within me and in relation to my larger intellectual interests. To clarify the following post and any future ones.

Milanovic structures the paper under four headings that provide an accessible and easy-to-follow rationale. Beginning with accessing the ‘Global inequality in the mid-19th century’, the reader is presented with the centrality of Marx and Engels’ text The Communist Manifesto. The main take-home point of this sections is that based upon economic and historical data, as well as Marx and Engels’ work inequality in the past was structured as being between classes and less in terms of belonging to certain countries.

The paper then moves to assessing ‘Global inequality in the early 21st century’. To maintain a comparative baseline with the preceding calculations from the mid-19th century, Milanovic uses price levels and PPPs¹ extrapoltaed from the 1990s, rather than the more recent versions of 2005. As the 2005 version gives an overall higher global inequality. To pause here, the talks of ‘Gini points’, or Gini co-efficients as some may know it, runs a little over my head reminding me of A Level Maths. But I do find it interesting that inequality within countries and between them has increased greatly in 15 years, though Milanovic provides transparency and his methodological framework I wonder why the 2005 numbers were not used? However, positively he does signpost the data from 2005 in a footnote and provide the Gini points that would have been presented had he used the 2005 data. There is also two further citations to papers by Milanovic in 2011 and 2012, that most likely expand on the more recent data figures judging by the titles. What is quantitatively presented, through a three graphs, a table and  a lot of global data is that inequality still persists and that the inequality is present within countries and between them also. But that the gap between the poorest members of the rich and poor global societies was the widest according to the data indications. This leads to Milanovic assessing that something other than simply, income or wage must be focused on. However, almost as a homage to Marx and Engels’ call, we are led towards Milanovic viewpoint that this focus away from merely an economic viewpoint into the “global poor”, to addressing other factors may help create a political economy based upon their commonality of interests.

The final two sections addresses the loss of a global class-based proletariat revolution as advocated by Marx and Engels. A brief, if a little basic presentation of Europe and America in relation to theme migration is presented, titled ‘From “permanent revolution” to “fortress Europe and America”‘. Though there is some historical contextualisation, mainly in terms of mid-19th and mid-20th century movements of workers, communism and “revolutions” there remains a huge gap as far as I am concerned. The gap being the arguably greater part of capital, labour and migration.. the role of Slavery, demarcation of difference, Euro-centric Empires and Imperialism, which continues even today in the 21st century through the cultural, technological and political imperialism impressed upon the world through the USA, UK and Euro-centricised global institutions (UN, IMF, Catholic church). The paper concludes with relating how Communism, as well as its global revolutionary power as championed by Marx and Engels, may have eroded due to the economic socio-cultural improvement of the poor in rich or “richer than most” countries. Milanovic then states that ‘Analogously, the problem of migration will disappear, or become manageable’ (2011; 18). This leads me to conclude that the paper pays undue emphasis on economic data, variations and power, with very little focus on connection, the mediation of difference and the webs of social significance upon which all future policy making is built upon, globally. Though I understand this is chiefly and primarily an economic paper, I am somewhat dismayed that a paper with such rich historical and political history contextualising does not bring into the fore the role of colonialism, imperialism and the ‘spectre of difference’ upon the global economy’s stage.

This response will now be highlighted through the quotes that I found interesting, under which I will have my typed up margin comments.

 

‘Being proletarian was thus a global condition, they held, and being global, it presented an ideal basis on which international solidarity of the working class could be built. Proletarians were equally poor and exploited everywhere and they could liberate themselves and usher in classless societies only in a common effort that knew no national borders.’ (Milanovic, 2011; 2)

Seemed this feeling was present in the mass political and social movements of early 2000s (against Iraq War, G8 summits, Bankers Crisis, Occupy movements)
⇒The “Golden Age” of International Networked Global Solidarity
⇒So what is changing now?
⇒Seems hard to do (common effort/no national borders) considering turn to provinciality and nationalisms.

↔These are borne out of Demarcation of Difference
SO – How is Difference manifested in the Digital now? (also on Digital and through the Digital)
→ with respect to the contemporary UK context

‘The similarity in economic conditions would, in turn, lead to the concordance of economic interests and to the emergence of solidarity among workers of different countries. Ultimately, it would culminate in a worldwide revolution’ (p.3)

They [Engels and Marx, by extension Milanovic too, due to his omission] did not factor in Differences between countries
›Socio-cultural
›political
›religious/philosophical
& the
›mediation‹
or
›communication‹
.. of these types of differences it seems.

‘We can reach the same conclusion that the main income cleavage was the one between classes, and not between countries…’ (p.5)

But does this not erode/take away the contemporary change to income and inequality cultures. As globally these are more important, these factors of economic, inequality and difference are centralised and visible due to a move away from free movement. Across Empires old and new, through a marking/etching out of difference onto our Bodies?
One is no-longer caught between class – country (or the wider Empire as it was then) But marked.trapped within a spider web matrix.

‘To fix the ideas, we can call the between-country inequality “locational” because it depends on the differences of mean incomes between various places (countries), and the within-inequality, “class” inequality because it depends on different individuals, living in the same country, having different incomes and belonging to different social groups. (p.5)

“locational” differences
-Figure that these are entrenched deeper that “class” inequalities in contemp. societies, perhaps because allure of class is still there?
– But a good framework / term to begin to move and compare the mediation of differences between countries.
In both terms/terrains “Difference” is still there *and* forms a major part of this.

‘Not only is the overall inequality between world citizens greater in the early 21st century than it was more than a century and a half ago, but its composition has entirely changed; from being an inequality determined in equal measure by class and location, it has become preponderantly an inequality determined by location only. This fact is of great political and economic significance.’ (p.7)

Exactly what I just said overleaf.
How is it of political and economic significance?
How can we change the factors that determine inequalities?

‘…the ratio between wheat wages of English and Indian unskilled laborers around 1850 (Broadberry and Gupta, 2006, quoted above)… the UK/India unskilled wage gap has increased from around 3.3 to 1 in 1850 to more than 9 to 1 today… it keeps the level of skills constant across time, and focuses on the very low skills representative of those who are at the bottom of the income pyramid.’ (p.14)

Where did data from 1850 come from? Did it include EVERYONE? Does not take into consideration the expansion of neo-liberal globalisation and the burgeoning structure of world economy – in which key national players effectively “working” their national poliy for another international government. i.e. Indian as service status and centers for UK

‘…in terms of political economy, the commonality of interests between the poor and unskilled workers in the rich world and the poor and unskilled workers in the poor world is hard to detect if we focus on their economic conditions only. This is of course a major departure from a situation which existed a century and a half ago.’ (p.14)

⇒ Small diagram – looking at economy and money only – tells nothing. Basically.
⇒ So what else should we have to look at now?
→Perhaps…
Difference & How Difference is Done? through the following:
› Education
› Media
› Socio-cultural Informing / Education
› Governing
› Policies Affecting all these

‘…it must be a world of huge migratory pressures because people can increase their incomes severalfold if they migrate from a low mean-income location to a high mean-income location’

‘Only if knowledge of these income difference could be somehow hidden, and not widely-shared, could we expect that people would not want to migrate. But this is most patently not so in the era of globalization, instant communication, and broad access to TV, movies and Internet.’ (p.16)

Why hidden? Why hide it?
Surely the rich who are able to + are migrating should stay and focus on goal for all / or else allow those affected to form part of the conversation.

‘ [the conflict between] capital and labor was the main political issue that influenced several generations of thinkers, politicians, social activists, and ordinary people, this is no longer the case today. Globally, the issue has receded in importance as the objective conditions that gave rise to it have changed.’ (p.16)

Would agree capital and labour still v. important, now for people. Especially “poor” people even in  rich countries like UK.
But mostly a question of difference me thinks, is coming to the fore. Why is there difference? How are we different? When should this difference by acknowledged and when not? How does this difference affect them personally?

‘To quote Engels again – but now ten years after The Communist Manifesto: “…the English proletariat is actually becoming more and more bourgeois.” (p.16)

“comparatively” were they really bourgeois or performing class in order to gain access to places still yet closed to them?

‘…it is the problem of uneven development between the countries and, associated with it, the pressure of migration emanating from poor countries.‘ (p.17)

Really emanating from there? – From poor countries?
⇒Not from the Empire?
⇒OR the historical – political – cultural valuation of migration and Empires and the movement of these.

‘These issues have been exacerbated by the current economic crisis and the unexpected great difficulties that many European countries have had in “absorbing” migrants, particularly those with Islamic background. Thus, in a close succession, both British and German Prime Ministers have declared the “multiculaturalist” model, which was supposed to be Europe’s answer to migration, to have failed. Angel Merkel, moreover, pronounced such a model unambiguously “dead”. (p.20)

Pre-2011
Interesting.
“absorbing” know its in scare quotes BUT cant help feeling uneasy and excited.
Milanovic finally talking of socio-cultural and post-colonial thinking.

‘Europe is surrounded by countries whose demographic profiles are exactly the opposite of the European’ (p.21)

That’s not a scary phrase at all (!)
Particularly as older – more politically active people in Europe are scared of being overun or their legacies being taken from them.
⇒No wonder technology & economic is what is used to dominate the poorer countries or world as well as the “migrant” / different / deviant people within “their” Borders.

‘It will be driven by the self-interest of individuals but its ultimate result would be a reduction in global inequality and global poverty Aid and migration ought to be regarded as two complementary means for achieving these goals.’ (p.21)

Agree BUT –
– How is Aid:
›created?
›assigned?
›accessed – promoted? reported?
– ALSO –
– How is Migration:
›occurring?
›safeguarded?
›framed?


END  OF NOTES


¹The PPP Knowledge Lab defines a PPP as “a long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration is linked to performance

 

 

Quick Note: Today’s roundup

So today’s readings have taken me from reading through 2011 working paper titled ‘Global Inequality: from Class to Location, from Proletarians to Migrants’ by Branko Milanovic (2011). A different formatted version can be found here, there may be some discrepancies. I then moved onto looking at the question of inequality in terms of mediation, visibility, and the issues of diversity/inclusion in a UK sense. I turned to watching video recordings of talks given to the UK Parliament, the world’s media stage, along side exploring diversity charters, policy documents and reports by the think tank Runnymede Trust.

I aim to provide a more in-depth note on the various reports and papers I read and media in due course. But suffice to say, in terms of my interest and research project I am alternating between the arena as being worth as one of global interest and one of individual structuring and construction. I see my domain of exploration as the later, but still find it hard to fully verbalise in a written manner what I am trying to etch out. However, in pushing myself to follow the unravelled thread to a neater package in the form of a more manageable project and location-specific data, I aim to combine a wider appreciation for the terrain, as well as using the populist methodological tendency to look at and the continuation a truly diverse and better serving community

 

 

 

 

FutureLearn Course – Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism

This morning I signed up to an 6 week online course, which starts on the 16th of January 2017. The course is run on the Future Learn platform, is completely free and entitled ‘Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism‘. It should take only 3 hours a week, so I’m hoping to fit it in without too much bother.

The course seems interesting as it explores the British Empire through 6 themes;

  1. money
  2. violence
  3. race
  4. religion
  5. gender and sex
  6. propaganda

Having read the lead educator, Richard Toye’s blog post, ‘Why is the British Empire still so controversial?’ , highlighted as a taster for the course, I was hooked in by the focus on both the historical and documented Empire, it’s continuing colonial legacies (which extends longer than you may think) but most of all by the notion of ‘informal empire’.

For too long as a British-born, Muslim woman of South Asian descent,the ability to label, structure and vocalise all the stories, histories and continuing ripples that I see as a large messy uneven web has been so damn hard. The connection to web technologies has in part helped, but also made it a little difficult. Though I now definitely know more, and I’m able to connect to more data and refer to more anecdotal evidence and narratives, lets face it the colonial capitalistic patriarchal carnival just continues. As I sit a little overwhelmed and unsure of how best to attack the many problems I see before me. While simultaneously forging my way through contemporary society and it’s many messed up unfolding scenarios that I can trace back to historical legacies that allowed some to hold power of others. Then justify this power through questionable systems. Systems that allowed people, lands and traits to be classified, homogenised for the purposes of promotion/defamation and then this new “logics” to be legitimised as “rationales”, interwoven with the scientific, cultural, political and social advancements of the world in a great many directions. Some directions brought great worth to some of the Empire’s subjects and some directions a great deal of pain.

I know for a experiential fact I am not alone in what I perceive. In my feelings that I live in a society unequal towards too many and in so many ways. That I am both part of a global village, a global identity, a great big society but also shut out from it. A society that refuses to acknowledge the many doors it shuts in our faces, the many anxieties and insecurities it induces and the many hoops it lines up for everyone to always jump through. Whilst continually measuring our progresses, putting us under increased surveillance, gathering so much data about us that we tend to see and project ourselves in terms of narrow descriptions. This feeling is felt across many, many fault lines of ‘diversity’, many tribes constructed through ‘data classification’ and throughout the length and breadth of this country (as well as in various parts of our historically colonised world).

You could argue that these tools extends to out online environments.  Online platforms could be fooling us into thinking we are both a consumer and a producer, a spectating observer as well as a fundamental cultural constructer, however is it not just another type of social carnival? A virtual one that looks to be a revolution but only projects and protects the very people served historically by colonialism, patriarchy and capitalism?