Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Amity Dubai hosts global mass comm conference

My plenary session on "the death of journalism?" and desinformación online.
In June, I had the privilege of talking about mass communication and the law as a plenary speaker at the International Conference on Current Practices and Future Trends in Media Communication at Amity University Dubai (#CPFTMC2019).  I'm indebted for the opportunity to my long-time friend and colleague Dr. Manish Verma; to Dr. Fazal Malik, dean of humanities, arts and applied sciences at Amity Dubai; and to Prof. Marut Bisht at Amity Dubai.

Dean Fazal Malik and Professor Manish Verma
They gave me the latitude to talk about my nascent theoretical framework for analyzing legal responses to the problem of media misinformation / disinformation —colloquially if ambiguously termed "fake news," or unambiguously, as I prefer, in Spanish, desinformación.  My rubric ranges from non-responses, what I call "the Wild West" approach, to authoritarian responses.

The best of the conference of course came from what I was able to learn from my colleagues of such far-ranging experiences, backgrounds, and focuses of study.  I'll comment on some photographic highlights here, though this testimony will not express how deeply this program enriched my experience in comparativism.


Top paper honors went to Abdulla Saad of Amity Dubai. I was fortunate to serve as a judge on his panel, and his presentation was a favorite of mine. A mass communication scholar and proclaimed leading world expert on karak chai, Abdulla is researching online humor in the face of the gravest of circumstances, such as oppression and war.

Interdisciplinary presenters brought perspective to problems in mass communication. Social media researchers Fathima Linsha Basheer and Sudha Bhattia are considering the implications of this factoid: ten minutes' tweeting yields 13% oxytocin increase in brain.  Oxytocin is also known as "the love hormone."

"Dr. G.," Dr. Geentanjali Chandra, is the head of the law school at Amity Dubai.  Amity Dubai is the only school outside of India accredited to allow its graduates to sit for the bar in India.

Dr. G. kindly invited me to talk to a law class. Students studying at Amity Dubai are astonishingly diverse. The UAE creates a curious dynamic: Indian migrants--already an intrinsically diverse population--make up some quarter of the population of the Emirates and have established multi-generational households. Yet they remain Indian citizens. As a result, the young generation has a unique global identity.




Amity Dubai studded the scholarly program with creative contributions from the range of student talents fostered at the university, including fashion, dance, and film. Film students spent just one week creating a short-film horror project titled, "Out of Order." I'm getting in the ground floor as a fan of up-and-coming director Ruslan Baiazov.

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