IAMCR "boosted confidence"

Wajiha Raza Rizvi (left) and friend on a Hyderabad bus

Wajiha Raza Rizvi, a PhD student at University of the Punjab in Pakistan with a research interest in Pakistani cinema, received a travel grant to attend IAMCR 2014 in Hyderabad. Her paper, The censorship of visual pleasure in Pakistani film, was presented to the Gender and Communication Section. It was her second time attending an IAMCR conference and the experience left her with increased confidence in her work and abilities as a scholar.

IAMCR 2012 in Durban was my first introduction to one of the largest communication conferences in the world. I was surprised with the enthusiasm of the participants who had gathered from across the world and realized the scholars recognized it as a key conference in the discipline. I was also happy to see young and senior scholars gathering in one place, and to discover that the seniors considered the inputs of young scholars valuable.

IAMCR has an amazing variety of sections and working groups and one can select his/her own niche.

Though I was a new member and hardly knew IAMCR, the community accepted my self-nomination for election to the international council with open arms. I acknowledge that many senior researchers deserved the positions more than I and were rightfully elected to the positions. However, I was happy that they let me run and also later when my section accepted me as member of the abstract review committee. Both experiences increased my self-confidence.

IAMCR 2012 offered me a second gift when my paper was accepted for publication in a special issue of the Journal of International Communication on the Durban conference theme, North South Conversations. This was another important boost in my confidence in my workand ability. I learned I can write and be published by the renowned Routledge (Tailor & Francis Group). I would have never imagined this before.

Ever since IAMCR 2012, I had the desire to participate in future conferences of  IAMCR. However, I knew it would be difficult considering the cost factor. For this reason, I missed IAMCR 2013 in Dublin.

The IAMCR 2014 travel grant allowed me to attend a second conference and present my latest research to the Gender and Communication Section. I was glad to meet senior academicians—the intellectual community—from across the world. I appreciate they were interested in listening to what many women like me wished to share, and gave me feedback in person.

IAMCR is an encouraging experience all the way through. I shared a paper on the censorship of visual pleasure in Pakistani film and presented a paper for a colleague on the role of global elite media in interfaith dialog. I met with Indian researchers and professionals who wanted to work together with me on topics of common interest, or at least stay in touch.

I believe IAMCR puts together the most tolerant community who create a discourse on important issues across the world. I am most grateful to IAMCR for giving me a chance to present a paper to the world of communication and media professionals for a second time. I especially like the symposium on media education: the changes and challenges. It introduced me to the issues and concerns of the teaching faculty across the world.

IAMCR brings together positive thinkers with special openness to our respective positions and a desire to move forward together as much as possible.

On a closing note I wish to add that the IAMCR 2014 organisers in India rose above the many past differences between our two countries and welcomed scholars from Pakistan with the same openness they had for scholars from the rest of the world. I experienced exceptional gentleness and care at all stages of this travel to Hyderabad India.

Wajiha Raza Rizvi

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