IAMCR 2011 Presidential Conversation on Cities, Communication and Cosmopolitanism

istanbul14th July, 2011

During IAMCR's annual conference in Istanbul, Annabelle Sreberny,  president of the association, is organising and hosting a "presidential conversation" focused broadly on the cosmopolitan environment of cities, echoing the conference theme.

The intention of these Presidential Conversations is to bring interlocutors from diverse disciplinary fields outside our main academic areas to debate with us. The focus of this session is broadly on the cosmopolitan environment of cities, echoing the conference theme.

Sami Zubaida argues that cosmopolitanism is not new but was a prevalent ethos in Middle Eastern cities. Shail Mayaram argues that cosmopolitanism is being lost in many contemporary cities with the onslaught of consumerist globalization. Cees Hamelink's intervention describes the Urban Communication Foundation, an organization keen to promote analysis of the communicative potential of cities.

Sami Zubaida, "Cosmopolitan Moments in Middle Eastern Cities"

s_zoubaidaSami Zubaida is Emeritus Professor of Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck, University of London, Research Associate of the London Middle East Institute, SOAS, and Professorial Research Fellow at the Food Studies Centre, SOAS. He has held visiting posts in Cairo, Istanbul, Beirut, Aix-en-Provence, Paris, Berkeley CA, and was Global Visiting Professor at the NYU Law School in 2006. His work is on religion, culture, law and politics in the Middle East, and on food history and culture. His main book include: Islam, the People and the State (3rd edition 2009); A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East (co-edited with R Tapper, 2000); Law and Power in the Islamic World (2003); Beyond Islam: A New Understanding of the Middle East (2011).

Shail Mayaram,  "Decosmopolitanizing Cosmopolitan Cities"

s_mayaramShail Mayaram is Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.  Her publications include Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003); Resisting Regimes: Myth, Memory and the Shaping of a Muslim Identity (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997); coauthored with Ashis Nandy, Shikha Trivedi, Achyut Yagnik, Creating a Nationality: The Ramjanmabhumi Movement and the Fear of Self  (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995); coedited with Ajay Skaria and MSS Pandian, Subaltern Studies: Muslims, Dalits and the fabrications of history  vol 12 (Delhi: Permanent Black, 2005); edited, The Other Global City (New York and London: Routledge, 2009) and Philosophy as Samvada and Svaraja: Dialogical Meditations on Daya Krishna and Ramchandra Gandhi (Shimla and Delhi: Indian Institute of Advanced Study, forthcoming). A current book project is titled, Nationalism in the time of Imperial Terror: From the Pax Britannica to the Pax Americana . Her current interests are in an intellectual history of cosmopolitanism, in secularity in the nonwest and in the project of swaraj in ideas or decolonizing knowledge. Professor Mayaram’s attendance has been supported by the Urban Communication Foundation.

Cees Hamelink, "Urban Communication Foundation"

c_hamelinkDr. Cees J. Hamelink is Emeritus Professor of International Communication at the University of Amsterdam and Emeritus Professor for Media, Religion and Culture at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.  He is currently Professor for Technology and Information Management at the University of Aruba, and Professor of Human Rights and Public Health at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. He is also the editor-in-chief of the International Communication Gazette and Honorary President of the International Association for Media and Communication Research. He is author of 17 monographs on communication,  culture, and human rights. Professor Hamelink received life-time achievements awards from the International Communication Association and the World Association for Christian Communication. He has been consultant to many national governments and to agencies in the UN system.

The Urban Communication Foundation has provided support for this Presidential Conversation.