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Presentation Guide

IAFOR Conference Presentation Guide

Whether you are a seasoned professional who has been presenting for many years, or a nervous first-timer, the following tips are intended to act as a simple guide or reminder.

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LibrAsia2017: Programme


Art and Narrative in the Public Sphere

Featured Panellists: Yutaka Mino & Tan Tarn How

Drawing on the conference theme of “History, Story, Narrative”, this panel will examine art as a medium for telling stories and creating narrative, and how curation can be used to contextualise and situate works of art.

In a comparative analysis encompassing divergent cultural perspectives, the panellists will discuss the politics and role of art, drawing on examples from both Singapore and Japan, and comparing and contrasting with other countries.

The panel will focus on the importance and continued relevance of art in the public sphere, addressing questions of how public art and public spaces can create stories and narratives, and how these narratives can assist in the construction and structuring of a national identity, including the following: How can art create a public dialogue? How can this dialogue be harnessed for the good of the community? And what is the role played by curation in contributing to the development of a local, regional and national community and economy?

Image | The Tower of the Sun (located in Osaka Prefecture) by Japanese artist Tarō Okamoto




Plenary Panel: History, Story, Narrative – Constructing History

Featured Panellists: Dr Brian Victoria, Professor Georges Depeyrot, Dr A. Robert Lee
& Professor Myles Chilton

This interdisciplinary history and literature panel will look at how histories are created and propagated and the difficulties involved in the inherently political act of writing of history. How does the “truth” act as heuristic and guide, and how is the concept abused to stifle dissent and impose order? This panel will draw on contemporary controversies and invite participation from delegates from around the world to address questions that include the following: How important is the construction of national history in the creation of personal and national identity? How does history shape our political decisions today? How do we go about building, revising and deconstructing history?

This panel will feature both historians and literary scholars and will explore the relations and tensions between fictional and historical narrative that are in many ways vital to definitions of literature, raising questions as to the “truth” of the history registered in literary texts as opposed to that of historical texts. The panel will also examine literature as alternative history, whether Fredric Jameson’s call to “always historicize!” is still relevant, the aliterary subversions of “official” history, the historicity of fiction, and, of course, the fiction of historicity.




D.T. Suzuki: how did Scholars get it so Wrong?

Featured Presentation: Dr Brian Victoria

D.T. Suzuki is best known for having introduced the Zen school of Buddhism to the West. His long life (1870-1966) has been praised by many scholarly and non-scholarly admirers alike as exemplifying the ideal “Zen life,” a life dedicated to peace and compassion. Yet, as early as his first book in 1896, Suzuki called on young Japanese soldiers to “regard their own lives as being as light as goose feathers.” During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5, Suzuki exhorted Japanese Buddhists to “carry the banner of Dharma over the dead and dying until they gain final victory.” And as late as June 1941 Suzuki informed Imperial Army officers: “It isn’t easy to acquire the mental state in which one is prepared to die. I think the best shortcut to acquire this frame of mind is none other than Zen.” This presentation asks how was it possible for Suzuki to garner such admiration in the West ever as he encouraged the Japanese people to die in wars of conquest. More importantly, it seeks to identify “lessons to be learned” for scholars, especially historians, as they research both individuals and the events surrounding them.



Kenzaburo Oe

Ambiguous Japan: A Study on Four Lectures of Nobel Prize Winner Kenzaburō Ōe

Spotlight Presentation: Dr Michele Eduarda Brasil de Sá

In 1994, Kenzaburō Ōe, the second Japanese writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, entitled his Nobel Lecture “Japan, the Ambiguous, and Myself”, dialoguing with his predecessor, Yasunari Kawabata, whose Nobel Lecture was entitled “Japan, the Beautiful, and Myself”. Confessing his quest for “ways to be of some use in the cure and reconciliation of mankind”, Ōe proposes a reflection on Japan’s role in the world by that time, having ascended by its technology, but not by its literature or philosophy. His Nobel Lecture aligns with three other lectures in different places and contexts: “Speaking on Japanese Culture Before a Scandinavian Audience” (1992), “On Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature” (San Francisco, 1990) and “Japan’s Dual Identity: A Writer’s Dilemma” (1986). This paper attempts to reflect on the writer’s perspectives expressed in his lectures, focusing on the following subjects: Japanese culture and identity, Japan between past and future, and the contributions of literature in the achievement of peace.

Image | Kenzaburō Ōe (Wikipedia)



The IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award Ceremony

ACAH/LibrAsia2017 is the proud host of the IAFOR Vladimir Devidé Haiku Award Ceremony, which will be held during the Plenary Session. Now in its seventh year, the Award was founded and is judged by distinguished poet and Croatian Ambassador to Brazil, His Excellency Dr. Drago Štambuk. It prides itself on its indiscriminate acceptance of all forms of haiku, regardless of whether in the traditional or modern style. This international, broad and unrestricted approach attracted a record number of 680 submissions from 60 countries in 2016 and this year is set to be its most prolific yet. The Award is currently open for entries. Only unpublished haiku and one entry per person will be considered.

Find haiku inspiration in our listings of previous winners and learn more about Dr Drago Štambuk’s conception of the award here.




Haiku Workshop

This annual workshop gives a background and history to haiku, the Japanese form of poetry that has become popular the world over. It will include readings of some of the most famous examples, and will invite participants to write their own poems, under the guidance of one of Japan’s most prominent haiku poets.

The workshop is run by Councillors of the Haiku International Association, Emiko Miyashita, a prominent and widely published haiku poet, award-winning translator and secretary of the Haiku Poets Association International Department in Tokyo, and Hana Fujimoto, a member of the Japan Traditional Haiku Association and writer for the haiku magazine Tamamo.



IDFA Conference Screening


As part of The Asian Conference on Media & Mass Communication (MediAsia), each year IAFOR hosts the IAFOR Documentary Film Award & Festival (IDFA).

The quality of submissions to our annual competition and the power behind these documentaries has been extremely impressive. The IDFA’s mission is to recognize and support documentarians in their efforts to expose truths and bring attention to the world’s untold stories.

IAFOR would like to honor the winners of the IDFA open competition with a series of screenings to be featured at our academic conferences throughout the year. Registered Delegates are invited to attend these screenings at no additional charge. IDFA screenings feature some of the most interesting and compelling documentaries relevant to the theme and spirit of our conferences. Please join us in celebrating the masterful work these documentarians have produced.

IDFA Screening Schedule:
(Screening Time(s) & Date(s) TBD)



The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award – 2016 Winners Screening


The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2016

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is an international photography award which seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists.

The Award is supported by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) and builds off of the strength of the IAFOR Documentary Film Award, now in its fifth year. Documentary has a rich history of exposing truths, telling stories, raising awareness and creating discussion — all practices valued at IAFOR.

Our 2016 award was judged by a panel of leading professionals in the field of documentary photography and photojournalism, including Paul Lowe, Simon Roberts and Ed Kashi.

Winners were announced at The European Conference on Arts & Humanities in Brighton, England. The Award followed the theme of the conference, with 2016’s theme being “Justice”. In supporting upcoming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

All delegates receive free entry to the award screening.



Conference Outline


Thursday, March 30, 2017

08:30-17:30: Pre-Conference Tour of Nara (optional extra)
15:00-17:00: Conference Registration & Information Desk Open
18:00-19:30: Conference Welcome Reception

Friday, March 31, 2017

09:00-12:00: Plenary Session & Conference Photograph
12:00-13:15: Lunch Break
13:15-14:45: Parallel Sessions
14:45-15:00: Break
15:00-16:30: Parallel Sessions
16:30-17:00: Break
17:00-18:00: Featured Speaker Session
19:00-21:00: Official Conference Dinner (optional extra)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

09:00-10:30: Parallel Sessions & Poster Session
10:30-10:45: Break
10:45-12:15: Parallel Sessions & Poster Session
12:15-13:15: Lunch Break
13:15-14:45: Parallel Sessions
14:45-15:00: Break
15:00-16:30: Parallel Sessions
16:30-17:00: Break
17:00-18:00: Featured Speaker Session

Sunday, April 2, 2017

09:00-10:30: Parallel Sessions
10:00-10:45: Break
10:45-12:15: Parallel Sessions
12:35-13:15: Lunch Break
13:15-14:45: Parallel Sessions
14:45-15:00: Break
15:00-15:45: Conference Closing Address

Monday, April 3, 2017

08:00-18:00: Post-Conference Tour of Kyoto (optional extra).

The draft version of the official Conference Programme is due to be published on March 1, 2017. All registered delegates will be notified of this publication.

Please note that this schedule may be subject to change.

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