[bestbits] Call for Applicants - 2016 Milton Wolf Seminar on Media and Diplomacy Emerging Scholars Program

Becky Lentz roberta.lentz at mcgill.ca
Fri Jan 8 14:22:37 EST 2016

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> Come Join Us in Vienna April 4-6, 2016! 2016 Milton Wolf Seminar on Media and
> Diplomacy Invites Applications for Its Emerging Scholars Program
> Initiated in 2001, the annual Milton Wolf Seminar in Vienna, Austria explores
> cutting edge issues related to media and diplomacy. It is designed to bring
> together a diverse group of individuals representing multiple perspectives and
> nationalities. Attendees include: diplomats, journalists, academics, NGO
> professionals, and graduate students. The 2016 Seminar will take place from
> April 4-6 and explore the theme: "The Paris Effect: Journalism, Diplomacy, and
> Information Controls."
> Each year the seminar organizers select approximately 5-10 outstanding
> advanced MA candidates, PhD students, post doctoral students, law students, or
> equivalents studying areas related to the seminar theme to serve as Emerging
> Scholar Fellows. Selected Fellows receive economy class airfare,
> accommodation, and a food and local travel stipend, which covers all costs of
> attending the Seminar. In exchange for full funding, Emerging Scholars attend
> all seminar discussions and events and serve as a member of our blogging team
> and author a 2000-word blog post documenting and analyzing the seminar
> discussions.  
> To apply for the 2016 Emerging Scholars Program, please send your CV, a cover
> letter outlining your interest in the 2016 seminar topic, and a completed
> application form (available here:
> http://www.global.asc.upenn.edu/the-milton-wolf-seminar-emerging-scholar-fello
> ws-program/ 
> <http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001cUCwNIyjKXdzuYnTE02cC-vu-yRzCkbgkCn8kUQtnVZHaj
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> 66hkIJmvP7XzTAhgXcOC3JhY8zg==> ) to Amelia Arsenault (aarsenau at gmail.com) by
> January 25, 2016.
> About the 2016 Seminar Theme
> On November 13, 2015, the world watched as a coordinated team of individuals
> claiming allegiance to the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) unleashed a
> wave of suicide bombings and mass shootings at concert halls, concert venues,
> and stadiums across Paris, which claimed the lives of 130 people and injured
> hundreds of others. The Paris attacks were only the latest in a long list of
> Islamic State actions during 2015 that spanned multiple countries and venues.
> The size and scope of the Paris attacks and their symbolic targeting of
> Western everyday-life locales, however, brought home the fact that the rise of
> ISIS, destabilization in Syria, and the related refugee crisis were not a
> "Middle East problem." No one and no country was safe.
> For the 2016 Milton Wolf Seminar on Media and Diplomacy, the Paris attacks
> provide an entry point for discussion of the multiple anxieties they brought
> to the fore in international relations: a renewed sense of urgency to combat
> ISIS, panic over the "dangers" of Muslim refugees, and alarm over how to
> reassert control over both geographic and informational borders.
> Milton Wolf 2016 also coincides with the centennial anniversary of the 1916
> Sykes-Picot Agreement, which effectively divided the Arab provinces of the
> Ottoman Empire into areas of French and British control. In the ensuing
> century, Sykes-Picot has become symbolic of the hubris of imperial powers and
> often credited with directly contributing to contemporary destabilization in
> the Middle East and by extension the rise of ISIS and related attacks. Its
> 100th anniversary provides an ideal occasion to consider the complex
> relationship between states with fixed geographic boundaries; states and non
> state entities as symbolic actors; and flows of media, information, and people
> across borders.
> Many have noted asymmetries in global media responses to the events in Paris
> and ISIS attacks in Beirut (November 12, 2015), Baghdad (November 13, 2015)
> and Boko Haram in Nigeria (November 17 & 18, 2015). Discussions about these
> asymmetries will take center stage at Milton Wolf 2016. Panelists will explore
> the role of actors across the geopolitical spectrum, from Western powers, to
> non state terrorist networks, to Iran, to Russia, to China. They will also
> discuss how recent events have opened up new geopolitical possibilities. For
> example, Iran, long a Western antagonist, has surfaced as a necessary ally
> against ISIS and Russia is collaborating with France in intelligence gathering
> related to terrorist activities. Discussions will consider the implications of
> a range of new and old media, individuals, and institutions in undermining and
> or reinforcing these trends.
> With a particular focus on the role of new and old media, panels will examine
> in detail:
> 1. the escalation and perpetuation      of narratives of global conflict and
> their implications for diplomacy;
> 2. how the interaction of the      press, diplomatic responses, and new media
> memes have shaped responses to      migrants and refugees;
> 3. apprehension about the porous      nature of contemporary media and
> information flows and the resurgence of      calls for states to be able to
> control internet and media systems and      content within their boarders as a
> means of ameliorating the threats to      geographic sovereignty;
> 4. the implications of these      activities for free expression and state
> information controls;
> 5. the legacy of Sykes Picot 100 years      later: one of the most significant
> attempts to divide geographic      territories as well as a key symbol of
> Western attempts to shape and      contain the Middle East;
> 6. and, the rise of new strategic      communication actors and practices
> designed to shape and control these      trends.
> More information about the 2016 Seminar and the Emerging Scholars Program can
> be found here: 
> http://www.global.asc.upenn.edu/events/the-paris-effect-journalism-diplomacy-a
> nd-information-controls/
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> BsTo5iZnVS73kqZ4aFgo66hkIJmvP7XzTAhgXcOC3JhY8zg==> .

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