Monday, November 1, 2010

Cultural Diplomacy as a Listening Project

One week left before the cultural diplomacy conference at American University's School of International Service.

The one-day conference, co-sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Council and the MountainRunner Institute, focuses on one of my favorite themes: listening as an act of diplomacy.It will be held on November 8, 2010, 12:00-4:30pm in the SIS Building's Founder's Room on the AU campus. (directions).

The conference will address three major areas within the greater subject of Cultural Diplomacy:
  • New Social Media and Public Diplomacy 2.0
  • Educational, Cultural Exchanges
  • Cultural Intelligence: Does it include listening?
Speakers will include:
  • Nicholas Cull, Professor of Public Diplomacy, USC
  • Rick A. Ruth, Director of the Office of Policy and Evaluation, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Edward O’Connell, President, Alternative Strategies Institute, Inc.
  • Sherry Mueller, President, National Council for International Visitors
  • Andrew Kneale, Cultural Relations Project Manager, British Council USA
  • Ben Connable, former head, Marine Corps Cultural Intelligence Program
  • J.P. Singh, Associate Professor of Communication, Technology and Culture, Georgetown University
From the event description:
This one-day event will build upon last year’s successful conference, “Culture’s Purpose and the Work of Cultural Diplomacy.” Our previous meeting provided an opportunity for productive exchange among central stakeholders in the future of cultural diplomacy. It encouraged them to address the question of the efficacy of the concept of culture – how culture works – in the context of cultural diplomacy efforts, as at once: an expressive tool, representative of particular “values,” a vehicle of communication, carrying out creatively transformative effects upon international relationships, or a variety of soft power, among others. While representing diverse starting points and conceiving the role of culture in multiple ways, a notable emergent consensus among the participants in last year’s conference was the urgent need to better understand the cultures of the people with whom we are engaged rather than to continue to promote the virtues of our own culture.... We might summarize the diverse concerns expressed during our previous conference as convergent calls for better “listening,” that is, the need to become better participants in a cultural diplomacy more thoroughly conceived as dialogue. Indeed, we might suggest that, regardless of how culture is understood to be relevant for diplomacy – conceived as a constituent element of public diplomacy, strategic communication, cultural exchange, nation branding, or as initiatives in culture and the arts – a persistent failing of cultural diplomacy as a dimension of public diplomacy has been its radically underdeveloped appreciation for the process of communication as a meaningful cultural act. We propose the need for greater attention to the relationship between culture and communication in diplomacy.

If you wish to attend, please contact my fabulous and only mildly chaotic colleague Yelena.
Want to know more? Click here or e-mail one of the conference organizers: Robert Albro, Craig Hayden or Anthony Quainton.

No comments:

Post a Comment