Doctoral Student Delivers Presentations at Two International Conferences
In pursuit of more intercultural knowledge and the proliferation of her academic interests, a doctoral student at UKZN’s Centre for Communication, Media and Society (CCMS), Miss Rhoda Abiolu, presented papers at the Conference of the African Studies Association in Germany (VAD), and the 24th International Conference of the International Association for Intercultural Communication Studies (IAICS) in Chicago in the United States.
The titles of the presentations were: (1) A Comparative Study on the Representations of ‘South Africanness’ and ‘Congoleseness’ in Modes of Christian Worship Among South Africans and Congolese in Durban, South Africa (VAD); (2) A Comparative Study on the Patterns of Representation in Christian Music Preferences Among South Africans Who Attend a South African or Nigerian Church (IAICS), and (3) Glocalised Features of Big Brother Mzansi, Idols South Africa and Survivor South Africa (IAICS).
Two of the papers contained detail from her current PhD thesis on Christian music and identity formation, while the other featured information from her master’s dissertation on global localised features of reality television franchises within the South African media landscape.
VAD, a biennial conference of the Association of African Studies, was hosted by the Institute of African Studies and the Centre for Area Studies at Leipzig University in Germany, while IAICS, an annual convergence of cultural scholars from around the world, was hosted by the College of Communication at the DePaul University in Chicago.
The VAD conference boasted 60 panels and round tables with participants and delegates from Germany, Africa, the United States, Europe, and other countries around the world. It kick-started with a Young Scholars’ Conference on networking and networks before the commencement of other conference panel discussions. The IAICS was equally diverse with international educators and scholars from the United States, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda, Asia, Europe, Russia, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, and other parts of the world participating in the various panels and discussions.
During the welcome address of the VAD conference in Leipzig, the President of the African Studies Association in Germany Professor Katja Werthmann highlighted trans-local and transnational relations within Africa, those between Africa and other world regions, and the historical trajectories that have occurred due to these relations.
Beyond the academic presentations, there was a guided city tour of Leipzig, while Abiolu enjoyed a tour of Chicago which included the Bean, and the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Zoo.