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A New Era in Cultural Diplomacy

CPD 2014 Annual Conference

Cultural diplomacy is often conceived of as part of a country’s foreign relations, in that cultural dialogue can sometimes achieve what political dialogue cannot. It is an example of “soft power”― the possibility of communicating through culture and ideas to achieve national interests.

In an increasingly distributed global system, emerging-economy countries are now paying greater attention to culture and communication as part of the symbolic domain of their national power in global affairs. But their efforts remain little understood or even noted.

On February 28, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy hosted a major conference on cultural diplomacy in emerging markets at USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

This conference explored the cultural diplomacy efforts pursued by a number of countries with emerging economies. Panelists aimed to enrich our understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing institutions of cultural diplomacy in contemporary times. It was our goal to shed light on the bigger, broader issues of the role and potential of culture and public diplomacy in a multipolar world.

8:15am - Conference Registration

8:45am - Welcome & Opening Remarks

• Ernest J. Wilson, III, Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and Dean of USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
• Jay Wang, Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy and Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

9:00am - 10:30am - Cultural Diplomacy: Continuity and Disjuncture
This panel addressed the adaptations and changes that cultural diplomacy has undergone in the 21st century, considering the multitude of actors now present in the cultural diplomacy sphere. 

• Nicholas J. Cull, Director, Master of Public Diplomacy Program, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism (chair)
• Senem Cevik, Assistant Professor, Ankara University, Turkey
• Judy Mitoma, Professor (Emerita) of World Arts and Cultures, UCLA
• Katerina Tsetsura, Gaylord Family Professor of Strategic Communication & Public Relations, University of Oklahoma
• Daya Kishan Thussu, Professor of International Communication and Co-Director of India Media Centre, University of Westminster

10:45am - 12:00pm - Confucius Institutes: The Globalization of Chinese Soft Power
The Confucius Institutes are a platform for Chinese cultural diplomacy through language learning and cultural exchanges. This interdisciplinary panel of experts examined the Confucius Institutes’ operations the United States and South Africa. This panel on the Confucius Institutes was co-sponsored by the USC U.S.-China Institute.

• Clayton Dube, Executive Director, USC U.S.-China Institute at the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism (chair)
• Falk Hartig, Post-doctoral Researcher, Frankfurt Inter-Centre-Programme on New African-Asian Interactions AFRASO at Frankfurt University, Germany
• Jennifer Hubbert, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Lewis & Clark College
• John Layton, Assistant Superintendent, Lafayette School Corporation
• R.S. Zaharna, Associate Professor, School of Communication and Affiliate Associate Professor, School of International Service, American University

12:30pm - 1:30pm - Lunch and Conversation: GREAT Britain in Emerging Markets
How was Great Britain's global campaign received in emerging economies? This lunch conversation explored the challenges and successes.

• Andrew Pike, Deputy Director, Prime Ministers' Director of Strategic Partnership for the GREAT Campaign
• Jay Wang, Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy and Associate Professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism

1:30pm - 3:15pm - Dialogues Through Film
Film festivals are flourishing around the world, yet their role in fostering cultural exchange remains under-examined. This panel explored how film festivals are a platform for creating shared cultural space. 

• Nicholas J. Cull, Director, Master of Public Diplomacy Program, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism (chair)
• Samuel Douek, Director, HOLA Mexico Film Festival 
• Vladek Juszkiewicz, Executive Director, Polish Film Festival Los Angeles
 Hope Obioma Opara, President & Founder, EKO International Film Festival.
 Yasemin Yilmaz, Co-Founder, L.A. Turkish Film Festival

This conference was co-sponsored by the USC Center for International Studies.

To view photos from the event, please click here. To view the full conference report, please click here. To watch videos, please click here.



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