CARE Academic Freedom Study
CARE invites academics across the globe to participate in its ongoing study of academic freedom.
Would you like to share your experience with academic freedom at your institution?
CARE invites academics to participate in its ongoing study of academic freedom.
Would you like to share your experience with academic freedom at your institution?
In an ongoing study on “Faculty perceptions of academic freedom globally,” CARE is collecting narratives and experiences of faculty across the globe with academic freedom, seeking to identify the challenges to academic freedom as well as the potential solutions to it. The resulting report will form the basis of advocacy work carried out by CARE.
Please Note: The interview will be recorded and will take between 60 and 90 minutes, conducted over Skype. Your responses will be anonymized. The recording will be destroyed after the transcription of the interview.
RSVP your details below for the CARE Academic Freedom Study to register your interest and to receive further communication regarding the study.
RNZ aired Professor Mohan Dutta‘s opinion on Sunday 24th March 2019 on #ThreeMinutesMax: short, sharp opinions from commentators around New Zealand. Mohan Dutta is the Director of the CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and… at Massey University. He explains how the tragedy that took place in Christchurch was driven by the ‘hate industry’ and is connected to a global rise in Islamophobia
‘A window of opportunity’
But some analysts have been more explicit in their analysis, and suggested ending the threat posed by the alt-right and Islamophobia will only be achieved by shifting existing mainstream narratives about Muslims, both locally and internationally.
“The terrorist attacks in Christchurch reflect the global rise in Islamophobia – hatred toward Muslims – cultivated by political parties, media organisations, and a wide range of hate industries,” Mohan Dutta dean’s chair in communication at the New Zealand-based Massey UniversityUniversity, wrote last week.
Dutta also called for discussions “anchored in the voices of Muslims experiencing hate” as the “starting point to halting the global spread of Islamophobia”.
Mire agreed and called on New Zealand to set the standard in battling back Islamophobia and the rise of “alt-right extremist ideologies”, which he said threaten minorities “everywhere” in the world.
“It’s sad to think that a situation like this is what drives us to have these difficult and hard discussions,” Mire said.
“But we have a small window of opportunity, right now, and we must take it in order to ensure that such events never happen again.”
Follow us on Twitter: @CAREMasseyNZ
Read the detailed news article on #ALJazeera‘s website.
I had first met the Singapore Jolovan Wham in 2008 when I had started my ethnographic work with migrant construction workers in Singapore. Jolovan was with the Humanitarian Organization for Migrant Economics (HOME) and he generously shared his time and powerful insights about the exploitation of migrant construction workers and foreign domestic workers in Singapore. He gave me a scholarly tour of the oppressive conditions the migrant workers toiled in, the chilling effect of the crack-down on migrant worker activists that went under the label of the “Marxist Conspiracy,” and the importance of pushing the boundaries of the state to make space for migrant worker activism. What was so impressive about our interaction was Jolovan’s theoretical clarity about the underpinning principles of social change and his crystallized applications of the ways in which these concepts applied to the advocacy work he participated in.
When I returned to Singapore in 2012 to build the Ceter for Culture-centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), Jolovan was one of the first people I reached out to. My team and I spent many hours conceptualizing what would turn out to be the first CARE project in Singapore, a collaboration with home that sought to co-create communication infrastructures owned by foreign domestic workers. HOME was a natural choice for the project because of Jolovan’s leadership. In the very limited civil society space in Singapore, he was open and passionate about experimenting with what it meant to turn communicative infrastructures in the hands of domestic workers. The resulting campaign, the “Respect our Rights” campaign was created by an advisory board of foreign domestic workers, and was possible because of Jolovan’s commitment to creating spaces for the margins.
What I learned in 2008 and that I continued to be reminded in the years that followed is this. It takes tremendous courage and integrity to keep pushing in a structure where one is stigmatized for even asking basic questions about the taken-for-granted assumptions. In a system where rote reproduction of the ideology of the structure is the norm, accompanied by a culture of silence, it takes a lot of courage to start disrupting the very assumptions of the structure. In rendering visible the broken logics that formed the overarching ideology, Jolovan has participated in a wide range of creative performances that disrupt the PR spin selling the “Singapore model.”
It was only natural therefore that Jolovan was one of the three panelists at the conference on “Communication and Social Change” organized by CARE in Singapore. In the panel titled “Academic-activist partnerships,” he shared his insights about the importance of pushing for open discursive spaces where the voices of the margins can be heard.
This pushing for open spaces shaped Jolovan’s activism with freedom of expression in Singapore. In doing so, Jolovan had been marked. The usual state apologists that talk about tactics would say, “his tactics are too direct.” Others would quickly denounce his tactics as calling for state control.In these very apologies for the state one notices the culture generated by the absence of freedom of expression. That the very freedom to express oneself ought to be subject to some sad reference to context speaks volumes about the nature of freedom of expression in Singapore.
In 2016, Jolovan had invited the Hong Kong-based activist to appear over skype for a talk on strategies of social change. The talk was attended by 300+ participants, generated a discussion, and everyone went home after it. There were no visible outpourings of Occupy-style protests across the city.
He was charged in 2017 for violating Singapore’s public gathering laws for not seeking permission for inviting Mr. Wong and for not signing the police document. In a recent ruling , the court found him guilty and ordered him to pay S$7000 in fines or face 16 days jail.
The above charge is among a number of other charges that Jolovan is facing, including his organizing of a performance on the MRT of holding a book, “1987 Singapore’s Marxist Conspiracy, 30 Years On” with blindfolds on, to show solidarity with detainees of the Internal Security Act. Most recently, Jolovan is being investigated by the police for taking a photo holding a piece of paper, alone, outside the State Courts, calling for charges of criminal defamation against the activists Terry Xu and Daniel De Costa to be dropped.
CARE is concerned about the systematic targeting of Jolovan.
That one of Singapore’s best activists who has contributed powerfully to the rights of precarious foreign workers is being targeted for actively advocating for freedom of expression needs to be interrogated globally.
That a society that presents itself as a democracy and as the forefront of technology-enabled globalization based on connections across spaces is so threatened by a technology-based network of activists articulating their raises vital questions about the carefully cultivated image of the “smart” “Singapore model.”
The role of communication in addressing Māori health disparities: An appeal for voice
The Māori Affairs Select Committee on Māori health inequalities point to the entrenched disparities in health outcomes for Māori compared to Pākehā, highlighting the importance of examining and understanding the sources of these inequalities.
The sources of inequalities in outcomes in health and wellbeing is also the subject of the hearings of the Waitangi Tribunal, drawing on presentations that point to systemic structural racism that impact the experiences of Māori in the health system.
These inequalities in experiences of and with health and care are communicative, tied to the nature of interactions in health settings and in the various ways in which racism shapes these interactions.
In our research with the culture-centred approach to health and communication, we attend to the question of voice in the realm of unequal health outcomes. We suggest that the erasure of Māori voices in health interactions and in how the health system is constructed is integral to the perpetuation of inequalities.
Our approach therefore invites voices of those at the margins of society, voices that have been historically erased, as anchors for addressing the entrenched health inequalities.
We are honoured to be hosting Tāme Iti of Ngāi Tūhoe as our next activist-in-residence, and we will work with him in understanding this question of voice. His intervention from the Māori proverb “kanohi ki te kanohi” [dealing with it face-to-face] is a powerful solution to the marginalisation of Māori in health systems. Making the spaces for Māori voices to be heard in health systems and in spaces where knowledge is produced is a critical starting point for addressing inequalities in health and wellbeing outcomes.
When such voices from the margins of New Zealand society speak, they are meant to disrupt the unequal structures. The very act of speaking is meant to disrupt because it is only through disruption of powerful structures that erase voice can opportunities for solving inequalities be created.
Because for those in entrenched positions of power, voice is threatening, an invitation to voice is a direct challenge to the organising categories of power.
That within Universities and within mainstream structures of society a certain cross-section feels threatened with the voice of Tāme Iti speaking is a reflection of the communicative inequalities that constitute colonial structures. Under the guise of civility and appropriate conduct, voices that challenge the status quo and its inherently racist logics are strategically and systematically silenced. So for many of the free speech advocates within colonial structures, the right of an indigenous voice to speak can be sacrificed under the pretext of appropriate speech.
It is however in this very space of voice that interventions need to be made if inequalities in outcomes of health and wellbeing are to be addressed.
Professor Mohan Dutta
Director of Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE)
Dean’s Chair of Communication, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing
Dr Steve Elers
School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing
The Islamophobia industry is big business.
The shootings carried out by right wing White extremists in Christchurch are part of a global network of racist terror that are often legitimized, sponsored, and reproduced by the structures of the state.
The manifesto crafted by one of the White terrorists who carried out the terror makes reference to the U.S. President Donald Trump and draws on the hate propaganda that is a key element of U.S. public relations.
Islamophobia, the fear of the Muslim, is strategically manufactured through various forms of messages of hatred, legitimized and reproduced by the media, and manipulated by parties toward political gains.
The globalization of the Islamophobia industry
The Islamophobia industry is big business. The New Zealand shootings depict the wide reach of the industry and its global appeal.
From the transnational corporations feeding the “war on terror” to the digital media industries that profit from selling the hatred of Muslims to think tanks that are set up to cultivate strategically the fear of the Muslim, Islamophobia generates ratings, advertising dollars, and new markets for products of hatred.
Although projected as the work of the fringe right, the power of Islamophobia lies in seeding the hatred for Islam as a mainstream phenomenon, as a part and parcel of everyday civil discourse.
Digital platforms such as Swarajya Mag in India, and Centers such as the Center for Security Policy in the U.S. are established with the sole purpose of making mainstream the hatred for Islam through the circulation of the image of the Muslim invader that is antithetical to the ideas of civilization.
Propaganda narratives from U.S. to India
The narrative of the “civilization in threat” is strategically disseminated across spaces to seed and amplify Islamophobia. The manifesto circulated by the White supremacist terrorist in New Zealand is essentially anchored in the rhetoric of “White genocide.”
In the U.S., groups such as ACT for America led by Brigette Gabriel organize communities at the grassroots around the hatred for Islam, manufacturing the threat of the Muslim “other.” Setting up false narratives such as the “threat of Sharia law,” with over 750,000 members across the U.S., the organization positions itself as a national security organization, drawing up accounts of unwed Muslim migrant and refugee men who threaten White civilizational purity. Brigette Gabriel draws out links between the influx of Muslim refugees and the threat of rape, manufacturing the basis for the threat of “White genocide.”
In the White terrorist manifesto in New Zealand, the propaganda of “White genocide” is set up by comparing the fertility rates of White Europeans with fertility rates of communities of colour.
The global seduction of the narrative of Islamic rape culture is well evident in India in the Hindutva propaganda machinery.
The “love jihaad” narrative similarly manufactures a false account of Islamic rape culture, positioning Muslims as threatening the purity of Hindu culture. The narrative of Hindu genocide becomes the basis for manufacturing and circulating the threat of the Islamic invader, then being mobilized by the Hindutva forces in India to carry out systematic acts of violence.
The Zionist propaganda machinery produces the image and narrative of the Muslim other to silence any critique of its settler colonialism, occupation and apartheid policies toward Palestinians. A large proportion of the funding of the Islamophobia industry comes from Zionist organizations.
Islamophobic responses in India
The Islamophobia that is rampant in India prompts a cross-section of Hindutva forces to celebrate the attacks on the mosques in Christchurch.
For these Hindutva forces, the attack on the mosques is the appropriate and necessary response to the manufactured thread of Islamic terror.
Heuristically driven and devoid of evidence, these jubilations of the attack on the Muslims entirely miss out that the manifesto called for removing all coloured people (including Indians of all faiths) from what the terrorist articulation framed as White lands (of course ignoring the claims to land in New Zealand held by indigenous Maori). People of colour bear the burden of racisms that generate from White supremacy; Muslims bear this burden as attacks on their ethnicity as well amplified by the demonization of their faith.
The celebration of violence by Hindutva terror, although somewhat different in its framing and targeting of the other from the White supremacist terror, is a replica of White supremacist terror in its strategic deployment of violence to target Muslim minorities. Since 2015, at least 44 Muslims have been killed in India by cow vigilantes, driven by the narrative of civilizational threat.
For a global civilizational response
That terror has no place in civilized societies is the message that ought to form the basis for global response. In her bold and powerful speech following the terrorist attack, the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern issued this clarion call for zero tolerance of hatred by stating that the haters have no place in New Zealand society.
Across the globe, the fabrics of civilized secular societies are threatened by the politics of hate and fear mongering, legitimized through political parties and electoral processes. These political parties that operate on the circulation of hate need to be targeted strategically and their machineries of hate dismantled.
The global machine of Islamophobia ought to be dismantled by a civilizational narrative of love, understanding and dialogue, with the fundamental commitment to fostering spaces for diverse voices, peoples, worldviews and faith traditions.
In India, dismantling the hate apparatuses of the RSS and BJP are the urgent calls of the hour. In civilized societies such as in New Zealand and Singapore, diaspora groups that operate on the circulation of hate have no place. Identifying, categorizing and dismantling such groups is as important as it is to opening up calls for dialogue.
Hate, White supremacist hate and Hindu hate need to be stopped before they consume the discursive spheres of civilized societies.
Mohan J Dutta is Dean’s Chair Professor of Communication at Massey University, University of New Zealand. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right.
Article Source: www.thecitizen.in
Prof. Shiv Ganesh, from University of Texas at Austin , will be presenting a talk at CARE: Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation on –
Potentials and pitfalls of Microinterventions as an engaged ethnographic method
Monday 11,March 2019
12 noon – 1 pm
GLB1.14, Geography building, Manawatu Campus
Vided Linked to Auckland : AT4 & Wellington: 5C17
Mediasite live stream : https://webcast.massey.ac.nz/Mediasite/Play/4a2ab793db7d448eb2f327272542a2ad1d
Microinterventions—situated, small-scale, issue-based action in the context of long term ethnographic engagement—have considerable potential to enrich the quality of ethnographic research, and they can constitute an ethically responsive form of community-based research. Conversely, they can play into broader and vastly problematic narratives of researchers as imperial saviors, alienate communities from outsiders, and result in the continuing marginalization of already vulnerable groups. In this conversation, I discuss how one might consider the ethical imperative of engaging in microinterventions against the pitfalls of doing so, in the context of an ongoing field work project amongst Jenu Koruba tribal communities in Bandipur district and its environs in Southern India.
Activist Tāme Iti to take up residence at Massey
Well-known Māori activist Tāme Iti will be Massey University’s next activist in residence.
He will be on the Palmerston North campus from March 18 to 22 as the activist in residence, a programme where an activist shares ideas with academic staff.
The purpose of the programme is to generate knowledge and an activist brings in different experiences.
The theme of Iti’s residency is “decolonising ourselves – indigenising the university”. He will hold a public talk, workshop, and release a paper. All events are open to the public.
Iti will be hosted by the Centre for Culture-Centred Approach to Research and Evaluation, which is a research centre within the school of communication, journalism and marketing, and the Massey business school.
Professor Mohan Dutta, director of the centre and dean’s chair of communication, said Iti’s residency would empower the voices of the marginalised.
“Tāme’s knowledge and expertise provide key theoretical anchors for us to critically engage and interrogate colonisation and racism, and the structural conditions that reproduce inequality,” Dutta said.
He said this semester the centre was exploring inequality in health and wellbeing.
“Tāme’s name came up because of his work in communication opportunities and opportunities of voicing particular claims and how those will translate into inequality in outcomes, and in health and well being.”
As part of the theme, Tāme Iti said it was important to “know your enemy – hongi hongia te whewheia”.
“The enemy out there, and the enemy internally – in ourselves,” he said.
The centre hosts a different activist in residence each month.
Activist and former Green Party MP Sue Bradford was the first activist in residence in October.
Bradford worked with Dutta on a paper about the partnership between academics and activists in struggles of the oppressed.
Dutta brought the centre with him to Massey from the National University of Singapore. He is a leading scholar for health communication and is a researcher of indigenous rights and activism.
Source: Stuff Limited
Article & Image Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/111056676/activist-tme-iti-to-take-up-residence-at-massey