CITY2018 Overview


Fearful Futures: Cities in the Twenty-First Century

July 13–15, 2018 | University of Barcelona & NH Collection Barcelona Constanza, Barcelona, Spain

We have reached a moment in international history that is one of potential paradigm shift. It is a moment when a problematic, but at least blandly progressivist, pro-multiculturalist movement toward “cosmopolitanism” (as Kwame Anthony Appiah might use the term) is being threatened by a far more destructive and potentially genocidal ethno-nationalism, the ferocity of which is fuelled by economic disparity, religious intolerance and retrograde ideologies regarding gender, race and sexuality.

In June 2017 an “International Municipalist Summit” was held in Barcelona under the banner “Fearless Cities”. The summit brought together mayors and municipal representatives from across the world over three days. “Fearful Futures: Cities in the Twenty-First Century” must obviously deal with parallel paradigms of concern as the Barcelona summit. However, the very title of that summit has an undertow of optimism. “Fearful futures” signals a concern that the future/s awaiting inhabitants of cities, towns and villages across the world during the remainder of the twenty-first century may be plagued by problems that have remained unresolved in the first eighteen years of this century. What kind of future awaits young people and the children being born today? Can we turn our societies around to re/create urban areas that are not only sustainable but safe for all inhabitants regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality and class? The challenge is enormous, perhaps impossible, and thus the future indeed fearful.

This international and interdisciplinary conference will bring together a range of academics, independent researchers, artists and activists to explore the challenges that we face in our twenty-first-century cities.

This conference will be held in parallel to The IAFOR International Conference on Global Studies 2018 (Global2018), and will provide a counter to the localised perspectives that can easily obscure the simple fact that many of the world’s major cities have now become, more than ever, global portals and places of international exchange. Registration for either of these conferences will allow participants to attend sessions in the other.

We invite academics from around the world to join us in the fascinating historical, cultural and artistic centre of Barcelona, to exchange ideas and participate in the continuing story of this city.

In conjunction with our Global Partners, including the University of Barcelona, we look forward to extending you a warm welcome in 2018.

The CITY2018 Organising Committee

Professor Emerita Sue Ballyn, University of Barcelona, Spain
Dr Montserrat Camps Gasset, University of Barcelona, Spain
Dr Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Professor Donald E. Hall, Lehigh University, USA
Professor Baden Offord, Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
Dr Cornelis Martin Renes, University of Barcelona, Spain

Key Information
  • Venue & Location: University of Barcelona & NH Collection Barcelona Constanza, Barcelona, Spain
  • Dates: Friday, July 13, 2018 ​to Sunday, July 15, 2018
  • Conference Theme: "Fearful Futures: Cities in the Twenty-First Century"
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: February 28, 2018*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: April 30, 2018
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: May 30, 2018

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.

The CITY2018 Final Abstract Submission Deadline has now passed.

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Programme

  • The Introvert and the City
    The Introvert and the City
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Liz Byrski
  • Writing the City: Buenos Aires in New Millennium Crime Novels
    Writing the City: Buenos Aires in New Millennium Crime Novels
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz
  • Catalonia’s Referendum on Independence from Spain
    Catalonia’s Referendum on Independence from Spain
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Bill Phillips
  • Football, Politics and the City
    Football, Politics and the City
    Keynote Presentation: Phil Ball
  • Visible Signs of Ageing: Representational flattery, ageing women and agency in women’s fiction
    Visible Signs of Ageing: Representational flattery, ageing women and agency in women’s fiction
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Liz Byrski
  • The way and wherefore of Spain’s current political crisis: Catalonia… again
    The way and wherefore of Spain’s current political crisis: Catalonia… again
    Featured Panel Presentation: Dr Montserrat Camps-Gaset & Michael Strubell
  • How can writers respond when the future looks fearful?
    How can writers respond when the future looks fearful?
    Featured Panel Presentation: Philip Ball, Gloria Montero and Professor Liz Byrski
  • ¡A España no hay presos políticos! / In Spain there are no political prisoners!
    ¡A España no hay presos políticos! / In Spain there are no political prisoners!
    Keynote Presentation: Dr Cornelis Martin Renes
  • The Cities We Fled
    The Cities We Fled
    Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Susan Ballyn, Professor Donald E. Hall & Professor Liz Bryski
  • IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

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Speakers

  • Dr Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz
    Dr Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz
    University of Delaware, USA
  • Phil Ball
    Phil Ball
    Author and Journalist
  • Gloria Montero
    Gloria Montero
    Novelist, Playwright & Poet
  • Dr Sue Ballyn
    Dr Sue Ballyn
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Michael Strubell
    Michael Strubell
  • Associate Professor Liz Byrski
    Associate Professor Liz Byrski
    Curtin University, Australia
  • Dr Montserrat Camps Gasset
    Dr Montserrat Camps Gasset
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Professor Donald E. Hall
    Professor Donald E. Hall
    University of Rochester, USA
  • Dr Bill Phillips
    Dr Bill Phillips
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr Cornelis Martin Renes
    Dr Cornelis Martin Renes
    University of Barcelona, Spain

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Organising Committee

The Organising Committee of The IAFOR International Conference on the City (CITY) is composed of distinguished academics who are experts in their fields. Organising Committee members may also be members of IAFOR's International Academic Advisory Board. The Organising Committee is responsible for nominating and vetting Keynote and Featured Speakers; developing the conference programme, including special workshops, panels, targeted sessions, and so forth; event outreach and promotion; recommending and attracting future Organising Committee members; working with IAFOR to select PhD students and early career academics for IAFOR-funded grants and scholarships; and oversee the reviewing of abstracts submitted to the conference.

  • Professor Baden Offord
    Professor Baden Offord
    Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
  • Dr Sue Ballyn
    Dr Sue Ballyn
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr Montserrat Camps Gasset
    Dr Montserrat Camps Gasset
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Professor Donald E. Hall
    Professor Donald E. Hall
    University of Rochester, USA
  • Dr Cornelis Martin Renes
    Dr Cornelis Martin Renes
    University of Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr Joseph Haldane
    Dr Joseph Haldane
    The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan

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Review Committee

  • Dr Ali Cheshmehzangi, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China, China
  • Rev. Amarachi Nnachi Ukoma, Ebonyi State University, Nigeria
  • Dr Anna Karin Jytte Holmqvist, Monash University, Australia
  • Dr Archana Bhattacharjee, Kakojan College-Dibrugarh University, India
  • Professor Mohamad Kashef, ALHOSN University, United Arab Emirates

IAFOR's peer review process, which involves both reciprocal review and the use of Review Committees, is overseen by conference Organising Committee members under the guidance of the Academic Governing Board. Review Committee members are established academics who hold PhDs or other terminal degrees in their fields and who have previous peer review experience.

If you would like to apply to serve on the CITY Review Committee, please visit our application page.

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The Introvert and the City
Keynote Presentation: Dr Liz Byrski

December 2012: I walk out of the building into the cold damp air and pause on the steps waiting for my heart to stop pounding, my legs to stop shaking, praying that I will not faint here in London, not vomit on the steps of the British Museum. Can I make it back to the hotel without making an exhibition of myself? Cautiously I make my way to a nearby seat, and sit, head tilted backwards, eyes closed, taking deep breaths until the feeling passes. Eventually I see a taxi draw up outside the gates and I get up and walk shakily towards it, waving at the driver. Seconds later I lurch into the backseat. ‘You all right, Love?’ The driver asks. ‘Fine thanks,” I give him the address of the hotel, and sit there, rigid, grasping the armrest so tight it hurts my fingers. I have been in London for 13 days, eight more than my tolerance level, and it’s the third time this has happened: one more day to go. I am an introvert in the city.

In this presentation I will consider my love-hate relationship with various cities in which I have lived, the reasons I have fled from them, the physical and emotional effects of being in any city, and my specific problem with being in London.

Read presenter biographies.

Writing the City: Buenos Aires in New Millennium Crime Novels
Keynote Presentation: Professor Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz

On October 27, 2002, María Marta García Belsunce met her death in her home in one of the exclusive gated communities known as “countries” in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. María Marta’s family members and doctor said that she had suffered a domestic accident, held a wake, and interred her. But a district attorney called for an autopsy: it revealed that she had five bullets in her head. The García Belsunce crime and its brazen cover-up immediately turned into a media sensation and became emblematic of things gone terribly wrong in the supposed bucolic bliss of the “countries.” It also became a “true crime” reference for several Argentine crime novels set in fictional “countries.” In these novels, the gated community serves as a venue to critique the new modes of class differentiation brought about by the neoliberal economic model. Their plots incorporate and transform the country-house setting popularised by Agatha Christie. Instead of offering reassuring closure and justice, they illustrate the absence of justice, denouncing the sense of impunity among certain elite groups.

This presentation discusses how recent Argentine crime novels are renovating conventions of the classic detective genre to engage pressing issues confronting not only Buenos Aires but also cities around the globe. Integrating insights from sociological studies, it considers how selected crime novels explore contemporary ills, such as drug and human trafficking, institutional and police corruption, and the exacerbation of class difference manifested in increased urban poverty and urban flight. Although these works inevitably present a grim conclusion in regard to justice, there is often a happy ending on the personal level, as the characters look to human bonding as a balm for ravaged souls.

Read presenter biographies.

Catalonia’s Referendum on Independence from Spain
Keynote Presentation: Dr Bill Phillips

On October 1, 2017, Catalonia held a referendum on independence from Spain. The Madrid government declared not only that the referendum was illegal, but that it would not happen, and deployed thousands of Spanish police and para-military guards to seize ballot boxes and papers, close down the polling stations and prevent voting from taking place. The response of the Catalan people was to occupy the polling stations - many of which were schools - days ahead of the vote to avoid them being locked down by the authorities. Printing presses and plastics factories were raided and material seized, and the Catalan finance ministry was searched for evidence of public money being used for voting purposes.

Despite Madrid's efforts, however, voting went ahead and more than two million people were able to cast their ballot. The Spanish police attacked a number of polling stations in which senior Catalan politicians were registered to vote. These included the President of Catalonia's polling station in Girona, numerous others in Barcelona, and the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament's polling station in Sabadell. The images of police violence against peaceful voters were broadcast around the world.

The count, conducted in a state of very real fear by many of the local electoral committees, returned an overwhelming result in favour of independence. Three days later the most successful general strike ever held in Catalonia was held in protest at Madrid's policy of violence, repression and refusal to negotiate. In the evening the Spanish king, Philip VI, appeared on television to address the nation; visibly angry with the Catalan people, he gave his unequivocal support to the Madrid government's actions and that of the police.

Read presenter biographies.

Football, Politics and the City
Keynote Presentation: Phil Ball

Football stadia have long been associated with political events and sentiments, confounding the rather pointless complaint that sport and politics should not mix. The city of Barcelona understands this only too well, where the old stadium Les Corts became an implicit shelter and focus for anti-Franco sentiment after the Civil War. On a smaller scale, football grounds have always been a vindication of local sentiment, a place where the pious can gather to support their representatives whilst at the same time reiterating their cultural exclusivity. We are "this" and you - the visitors - are not this.

With the assertion of identity a constant throughout human history, a more fragmented contemporary version has persuaded architects to transform the semiotic value of football stadia, since multi-national corporations posing as football teams can no longer be associated with anything resembling urban decay. Football stadia now stand apart from their urban surroundings - not necessarily physically apart, but visually and aesthetically divorced from the urban morphology that once created them. These are futuristic assertions, breaking with the idea that a football ground is somehow a sacred guardian of tradition. Barcelona has the Sagrada Familia, but it receives fewer visitors than the Camp Nou. Is this the new opium of the people, the antidote to a fearful future where identity and consensus will become increasingly harder to pin down? When all else fails for the new Winston Smith of some dystopian urban future, will he eschew rebellion, don his team scarf and head for the gleaming temple of fortnightly unison? One rather suspects he might.

Read presenter biographies.

Visible Signs of Ageing: Representational flattery, ageing women and agency in women’s fiction
Keynote Presentation: Dr Liz Byrski

We live in a mediated society in which the representational flattery provided by sympathetic and admiring images of people like us provide the reassurance that we are members of the tribe. The flattered self is a mediated self and that combination endows us with a sense of significance and agency. But at a time when we celebrate increased life expectancy and are urged to remain in the workforce much longer than previous generations, ageing women are largely absent from the representations of popular culture. The focus is on youth, beauty and sexiness, on staying young and looking younger, and the varied and dynamic lives of older and elderly women are sidelined into invisibility.

I was approaching sixty when, despite the growing number of ageing women living full and interesting lives, I couldn’t find novels that told those stories. Walter Benjamin suggested that writers are people who can’t find the books they want to read so they write them instead. I took Benjamin’s words as advice. In this paper I discuss my own experiment in developing a body of popular fiction deliberately designed to create a sense of agency among older women readers, and some of the responses to these ten, best-selling novels.

Read presenter biographies.

The way and wherefore of Spain’s current political crisis: Catalonia… again
Featured Panel Presentation: Dr Montserrat Camps-Gaset & Michael Strubell

"In 2010 Spain’s Constitutional Court issued a landmark ruling that inadvertently laid the ground for Sunday’s independence referendum in Catalonia.”

“In the largest demonstration Barcelona has ever seen, 1.5 million citizens according to the Catalan Police marched in Catalonia’s capital after the banner ‘Catalonia, Europe’s new state’.”

“In a vote in the regional Parliament, Catalan lawmakers voted 72 to 63 to a plan for independence from Spain by 2017. The Spanish Prime Minster promised to halt the move for independence.”

“Spain is enduring the most serious challenge to its territorial integrity since October 1934, when the Catalan authorities rose against the democratically elected government of the second republic”.

“Apart from Brexit, this is Europe’s greatest challenge since the wars in the Balkans”.

The media are full of dramatic headlines on Catalonia.

This Conference is being held in the midst of a serious institutional crisis which unfolds daily, and renders a detailed abstract – three months ahead – impossible or at least foolhardy. The extracts from media reports serve as a backdrop to our joint paper.

We shall try and provide the background delegates need to understand what has driven the situation to the recent events: a declaration of independence, an immediate takeover of direct rule, with dismissal of the Catalan government (now part in exile, part in pre-trial detention), forced elections, and every legal effort being made to prevent a majority in the new Parliament from forming a pro-independence government.

This means a brief overview of Catalonia’s 1000-year history, with particular attention to more recent events, and especially since the long-standing dictator, Generalissimo Franco, died peacefully in his bed in 1975. The three-way fugue since 2010, of Catalan civil society, Catalan politicians and Spain’s leadership, will frame the latter part of our presentation as will a consideration of the main values being claimed both by pro-independence and pro-Unionist sides.

Read presenter biographies.

How can writers respond when the future looks fearful?
Featured Panel Presentation: Philip Ball, Gloria Montero and Professor Liz Byrski

As the writer Nancy Kress remarked, "Fiction is about stuff that’s screwed up". She’s probably right, in the sense that some of the best writing has arisen from historically turbulent times – whether its focus was on the past, present or the future. Turbulent times have tended to produce equally turbulent responses from writers, often obliging them to use the future as a metaphor for the present – think Orwell’s 1984 written in 1948 as a contemporary response to totalitarianism. How fearful did the future look back in 1948 to Orwell, and how fearful does it look to us now, in 2018?

The news that we are on the brink of apocalypse may indeed be fake, but there is undoubtedly a current sense of unease about the future, in sharp contrast to the post-conflict era of the 1960s and 1970s when everything seemed possible, we made love and not war, and technology appeared to be offering us infinite horizons.

Enter the writer, to try to make sense of it all, or to just reflect and even comfort us. Maybe in troubled times, more people look to both fiction and non-fiction as succour, as a way of testing out their own hypotheses. The success of Yuval Noah Harari’s recent Homo Deus would seem to be proof of this – offering us an individual interpretation of how a fearful future might look, but also of how it might be avoided. On a more modest scale, with our future allegedly so fearful, what can writers offer now?

Read presenter biographies.

¡A España no hay presos políticos! / In Spain there are no political prisoners!
Keynote Presentation: Dr Cornelis Martin Renes

This statement was recently (April 11, 2018) made by the Spanish Minister of Justice, Rafael Català, in reply to the Catalan Separatist´s demand that he address the numerous arrests that had been taking place since the October 1 referendum on CataIan independence, on the unlikely charges of corruption, rebellion, sedition and terrorism. The minister followed this up by accusing Catalan separatists of bullying Spanish nationalists in Catalonia and worse.

Yet, Catalan separatism is characterised by its democratic, pacific character, avoiding acts of aggression at all costs. This feature is what earned the support of many inside and outside Catalonia after the state's violent interference with the referendum, which redefined the issue of independence as a lack of democracy. It also shows pacifism is not only a moral choice but a strategic device too - to defend the Catalan cause in a context of structural power deficit which furnishes the Spanish state with almost all means of oppression (police, army, judiciary) and financial and economic control.

I would argue that Spanish nationalist discourse covers up this imbalance by recourse to a pseudo-democratic discourse which claims victim status but in reality serves to impose the Spanish constitutionalist order, taking the separatist cause out of the political arena by criminalising it.

Read presenter biographies.

The Cities We Fled
Featured Panel Presentation: Professor Susan Ballyn, Professor Donald E. Hall & Professor Liz Bryski

In this panel, Susan Ballyn of the University of Barcelona and Donald E. Hall of Lehigh University will discuss the cities of their birth: Bath, England, UK, and Birmingham, Alabama, USA, respectively. While we often celebrate cities as places of vibrant artistic and cultural innovation and stimulation, cities can also feel like traps to some citizens if the values and priorities they embody are not compatible with the lives and interests of those inhabitants. In discussing their personal journeys out of their birth cities, the two panelists will pose questions to the audience for all to consider: What do we need from cities? How do some cities become lost in their pasts and therefore unable to embrace the changing needs of their populations? What causes some cities to languish, stagnate, and alienate, while other reinvent themselves and thrive? After speaking for 20-25 minutes each, the panelists will ask the audience to provide their own thoughts on cities as sites of pleasure and pain.

Read presenter biographies.

IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

As an organization, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In 2018, we are excited to launch a major new and ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative which uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges.

IAFOR is headquartered in Japan, and the 2018 inauguration of this project aligns with the 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when Japan opened its doors to the trade and ideas that would precipitate its rapid modernisation and its emergence as a global power. At a time when global trends can seem unpredictable, and futures fearful, the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative gives the opportunity to revisit the question of the impact of international relations from a long-term perspective.

This ambitious initiative will encourage individuals and institutions working across the world to support and undertake research centring on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia – from Gibraltar to Japan – and the maritime routes that went beyond, into the South-East Continent and the Philippines, and later out into the Pacific Islands and the United States. The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative will be concerned with all aspects of this contact, and will examine both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.

For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.

Dr Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz
University of Delaware, USA

Biography

Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz is Director of the Center for Global and Area Studies at the University of Delaware and Associate Professor of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American and Iberian Studies. At the University of Delaware, she has also served as Director of the Latin American and Iberian Studies Program and acting chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

She earned her PhD in Spanish from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her professional interests include 20th and 21st century Latin American literature and culture, with a specialization in the short story and crime fiction. She teaches courses on Latin American literature and culture as well as courses in Portuguese language.

Her books include a monograph on the short stories of Argentine writer, Julio Cortázar, entitled Mothers, Lovers and Others: The Short Stories of Julio Cortázar (State University of New York Press); an edited volume of poetry, photography, and essays addressing the 2001 crisis in Argentina, Crisis in Buenos Aires: Women Bearing Witness (Juan de la Cuesta Hispanic Monographs); and Argentina Noir: New Millennium Crime Novels in Buenos Aires (State University of New York Press, forthcoming). Professor Schmidt-Cruz’s articles have appeared in Hispanic Review, Latin American Literary Review, Bulletin of Spanish Studies, Letras Peninsulares, Chasqui, College Literatures, and MACLAS Latin American Essays, among other periodicals, and she has presented her research at conferences in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil, France, Canada, and the U.S.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Writing the City: Buenos Aires in New Millennium Crime Fiction
Phil Ball
Author and Journalist

Biography

Phil Ball is an author and journalist, based in San Sebastián. His book about Spanish politics and football, Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football was recently voted into the 50 Greatest Sports Books of All Time by 442 Magazine and was nominated for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in England. He wrote the first English-language history of Real Madrid ('White Storm') for the club’s centenary, and his weekly column on Spanish football culture, written for ESPN, ran uninterruptedly from 2001 to 2014.

He also works as an educational consultant for the Federation of Basque Schools and the University of the Basque Country (UPV). He is the co-author of the recent book about Content and Language Integrated Learning, Putting CLIL into Practice (Oxford University Press 2015), and his textbook series for the Basque competence-based curriculum was nominated for the ELTONS Innovation Award in London, in 2016. His comedy about education, 'The Hapless Teacher’s Handbook' (Ebury Press 2007) documents the trials and tribulations of being a young teacher in the English state system, and he is currently writing a work of fiction for children with a major UK publisher.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Football, Politics and the City
Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | How can writers respond when the future looks fearful?
Gloria Montero
Novelist, Playwright & Poet

Biography

Novelist, playwright and poet Gloria Montero grew up in a family of Spanish immigrants in Australia’s North Queensland. After studies in theatre and music, she began to work in radio and theatre, and then moved to Canada where she continued her career as an actress, singer, writer, broadcaster, scriptwriter and TV interviewer.

Co-founder of the Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples in Toronto (1972), she served as its Director until 1976. Following the success of her oral history The Immigrants (1973) she was invited to act as Consultant on Immigrant Women to the Multicultural Department of the Secretary of State, Government of Canada.

She organised the international conferences "Amnistia" (1970) and "Solidaridad" (1974) in Toronto to support and make known the democratic Spain that was developing in the last years of the Franco dictatorship, and in 1976 at Bethune College, York University, "Spain 1936-76: The Social and Cultural Aftermath of the Spanish Civil War".

With her husband, filmmaker David Fulton, she set up Montero-Fulton Productions to produce documentary films on social, cultural and ecological themes. Their film, Crisis in the Rain, on the effects of acid rain, won the Gold Camera Award American Film Festival 1982. Montero was consultant-interviewer on Dreams and Nightmares (A-O Productions, California) about Spain under Franco, a film that won international awards in Florence, Moscow, Leipzig and at the American Film Festival 1975.

Among her many radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are: The Music of Spain – a series of 18 hours which presented Spanish music within a social and historical framework; Segovia: the man and his music — a 2-hour special (Signature); Women and the Law (Ideas); Foreign Aid: Hand-out or Rip-Off (Ideas).

Since 1978 Montero has been living in Barcelona, where she has continued to write and publish novels such as The Villa Marini, All Those Wars and Punto de Fuga. Her poem Les Cambres was printed with a portfolio of prints by artist Kouji Ochiai (Contratalla 1983). A cycle of prose poems, Letters to Janez Somewhere in Ex-Yugoslavia, provided the basis for collaboration with painter Pere Salinas in a highly successful exhibition at Barcelona's Galería Eude (1995).

She won the 2003 NH Premio de Relato for Ménage à Trois, the first time the Prize was awarded for a short story in English.

Well known among her theatre work is the award-winning Frida K., which has toured Canada, played New York and Mexico and has been mounted in productions in Spain, Cuba, the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden and Latvia.

Photo by Pilar Aymerich.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | How can writers respond when the future looks fearful?

Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | My Barcelona – The City as Answer to a Personal Question
The 14th Doireann McDermott Lecture (2016) | Filling in the Lonely, Empty Places
Dr Sue Ballyn
University of Barcelona, Spain

Biography

Dr Sue Ballyn is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Centre for Australian and Transnational Studies Centre at the University of Barcelona from where she graduated with a BA in 1982. Her MA thesis on the writings of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes won the Faculty prize in 1983. In 1986 she won the Faculty prize again, this time for her PhD thesis on Australian Poetry, the first PhD on Australian Literature in Spain.

She joined the English and German Philology Department on graduation 1982 and has remained at the university ever since. In 1990 she founded the Australian Studies Program which was recognised as an official University of Barcelona Observatory - Studies Centre in 2000, known as CEA, Observatorio Centre d’Estudis Australians. It is the only Australian Studies Centre in Spain and one of the most active in Europe.

Over the last twenty-five years, Sue Ballyn’s research has been focused on foreign convicts transported to Australia, in particular Spanish, Portuguese, Hispanics and Sephardim, and she works closely with the Female Convicts Research Centre, Tasmania. She has published and lectured widely in the area, very often in collaboration with Professor Lucy Frost. May 25th 2018 will see the publication of a book on Adelaide de la Thoreza, a Spanish convict, written by herself and Lucy Frost.

More recently she has become involved in a project on ageing in literature DEDAL-LIT at Lleida University which in turn formed part of a European project on ageing: SIforAge. As part of this project she is working on Human Rights and the Elderly, an area she started to research in 1992. In 2020 a book of interviews with elderly women, with the working title Stories of Experience, will be published as a result of this project. These oral stories are drawn from field work she has carried out in Barcelona.

She was recently involved in a ministry funded Project, run out of the Australian Studies Centre and headed by Dr Bill Phillips, on Postcolonial Crime Fiction (POCRIF). This last project has inevitably intertwined itself with her work on convicts and Australia. Her present work focuses on Sephardi Jews in Asian diaspora, and the construction of ageing.


Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Keynote Panel Presentation (2016) | Global Studies in Challenging Times - Focussing on the Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Studies
Michael Strubell

Biography

Michael Strubell was born in 1949 in Oxford (UK). His father was English and his mother was and still is Catalan. They met during her family´s exile in England following the Spanish Civil War.

He has a degree in Psychology and Physiology (PPP) from Oxford University, an M.Sc. in Psychology of Education from the Institute of Education, London University, and a degree in Psychology from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he also received a Diploma in Advanced Studies.

His main fields of research have been language policy and planning and related topics, especially in the field of European minority languages.

He taught at international schools for eight years, before moving to Barcelona to work for the restored Catalan government (1980 to 1999), where he held several posts in the language planning agency, devoted to the promotion and recovery of Catalan. He is a member (and former secretary) of the Consell Social de la Llengua Catalana.

From 1999 to his retirement in 2014 he lectured at the UOC (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) in Barcelona in language planning and sociolinguistics. He was deputy director of the Estudis d'Humanitats i Filologia, and from 2001 to 2004 he was the director of the Humanities degree programme. He was a co-author of the White Paper on the Humanities degree (2005) written for ANECA, Spain’s Universities quality agency. He was executive Secretary and later Director of the Linguamón-UOC Chair in Multilingualism (2009-2014).

He is author (or co-author) of dozens of academic papers, and of eight books, as well as several Reports for European institutions. He has sat on the editorial boards of four academic journals in the fields of language policy and sociolinguistics.

He has been a consultant for the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, for language-policy-related missions to Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, the Russian Federation and other countries. He helped draft several sets of “Recommendations” on the rights of National Minorities, for the OSCE, and coordinated half a dozen European research projects.

Outside the academic world he is a board member of several private foundations in the fields of language, culture and the handicapped.

Without ever being a member of a political party, he has been actively involved in the Catalan independence movement. He chaired Catalunya 2003, a political association calling for greater self-government (2002 - 2005). Since 2007 he has been a member of anotherplatform, Sobirania i Progrés, promoting the democratic path towards the freedom of the Catalan people. He was one of the founders, in 2009, of the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, a grassroots organisation working for Catalonia's independence. It grew rapidly to over 30,000 members and, since 2012, has organised historic rallies and marches, particularly on Catalonia’s National Day (September 11) each year.

He is married, has two sons and a daughter, and his main hobbies are mushroom hunting, listening to classical music and hill-walking. He lives with his wife between Barcelona and Palamós (on the Costa Brava).

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The way and wherefore of Spain’s current political crisis: Catalonia… again
Associate Professor Liz Byrski
Curtin University, Australia

Biography

Liz Byrski is a novelist, non-fiction writer, former journalist and broadcaster, with more than fifty years experience in the British and Australian media. She is an Associate Professor in the in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry, at Curtin University in Western Australia, where she is also the Senior Fellow of the China Australia Writing Centre. Her PhD thesis: Visible Signs of Ageing examines representations of ageing women in fiction.

Liz is the author of ten best selling novels including Gang of Four, Family Secrets, and The Woman Next Door, more than a dozen non-fiction books including Remember Me, Getting On: Some Thoughts and Women and Ageing, and most recently In Love and War: Nursing Heroes. Her books have been published in the UK, France and Germany, and her articles and essays have been published in international newspapers, magazines and journals.

During the 1990s Liz was a Senior Policy Advisor to a Minister in the Western Australian Government. She is a former President of the WA Women’s Advisory Council to the Premier, and the Children’s Advisory Council.

Keynote Presentation I (2018) | The Introvert and the City
Keynote Presentation II (2018) | Visible Signs of Ageing: Representational flattery, ageing women and agency in women’s fiction
Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | How can writers respond when the future looks fearful?
Dr Montserrat Camps Gasset
University of Barcelona, Spain

Biography

Montserrat Camps-Gaset (Barcelona 1958) graduated in Classical Philology at the University of Barcelona in 1980. Her MA thesis on Maleficent Women in Archaic and Classical Greece won the Faculty prize. In 1985, she read her PhD thesis on Ancient Greek Festivals. In 1982, she also graduated in Theology in Barcelona. In 1989, she became Senior Lecturer at the Barcelona University. In 1992 and 1993, she went to the University of Leipzig thanks to a special development program of the DAAD for East Germany universities.

Apart from Catalan and Spanish, her native tongues, she speaks English, French and German fluently, has a good knowledge of Italian and Modern Greek and a basic level of Russian.
Her main interests are Mythology, First Christianism, Early Byzantine authors, and Classical Tradition. Her interests include folklore, women studies and national identity.

She has translated many works from Greek, German and Modern Greek into Catalan. She is currently working on the Catalan edition of Plato’s Laws in four volumes, and on a Catalan version of the Corpus Hermeticum. She has also translated books for children and youngsters from English and German into Catalan and Spanish. In 2013, she taught a Seminar on Literary Translation at the University of Leipzig.

She has published a book in French on Ancient Greek Festivals, and papers on Ancient Greek Religion, Women Studies, Mythology and EarlyChristianism, as well as Classical Tradition in modern writers. In 1998, she published a book of poetry.

At Barcelona University, she has been Head of the Greek Department (2001-2004) and Dean of the Philological Faculty (2004-2008), and has participated on the University Board for many years.
She is a member of several societies for Classical Studies and for Literature, such as the Catalan Pen Club.

Since 2008, she is a member of the CEAT’s Executive Committee. Thinking that academic activity must also include an engagement in communicating with a broader audience, she has undertaken the honour of codirecting the Centre as a new academic challenge for developing its capacity of producing and sharing knowledge.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The way and wherefore of Spain’s current political crisis: Catalonia… again
Professor Donald E. Hall
University of Rochester, USA

Biography

Donald E. Hall is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester, USA. Prior to moving to Rochester, he was Dean of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University, USA. Dean Hall has published widely in the fields of British Studies, Gender Theory, Cultural Studies, and Professional Studies. Over the course of his career, he served as Jackson Distinguished Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English (and previously Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages) at West Virginia University. Before that, he was Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at California State University, Northridge, where he taught for 13 years. He is a recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award at CSUN, was a visiting professor at the National University of Rwanda, was Lansdowne Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Victoria (Canada), was Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Cultural Studies at Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria, and was Fulbright Specialist at the University of Helsinki. He has also taught in Sweden, Romania, Hungary, and China. He served on numerous panels and committees for the Modern Language Association (MLA), including the Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion, and the Convention Program Committee. In 2012, he served as national President of the Association of Departments of English. From 2013-2017, he served on the Executive Council of the MLA.

His current and forthcoming work examines issues such as professional responsibility and academic community-building, the dialogics of social change and activist intellectualism, and the Victorian (and our continuing) interest in the deployment of instrumental agency over our social, vocational, and sexual selves. Among his many books and editions are the influential faculty development guides, The Academic Self and The Academic Community, both published by Ohio State University Press. Subjectivities and Reading Sexualities: Hermeneutic Theory and the Future of Queer Studies were both published by Routledge Press. Most recently he and Annamarie Jagose, of the University of Auckland, co-edited a volume titled The Routledge Queer Studies Reader. Though he is a full-time administrator, he continues to lecture worldwide on the value of a liberal arts education and the need for nurturing global competencies in students and interdisciplinary dialogue in and beyond the classroom.

Professor Donald E. Hall is a Vice-President of IAFOR. He is Chair of the Arts, Humanities, Media & Culture division of the International Academic Advisory Board.


Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Keynote Panel Presentation (2016) | Global Studies in Challenging Times: Focussing on the Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Studies
Dr Bill Phillips
University of Barcelona, Spain

Biography

Bill Phillips is a Senior Lecturer in English literature and culture at the University of Barcelona and head of the English and German Studies Department. He lectures on British poetry, crime fiction and other contemporary fiction. He has published widely on poetry, focusing particularly on the Romantic period, ecocriticism, ecofeminism, postcolonial studies, gender studies and popular fiction, including detective fiction, science fiction and zombies.

He is head of POCRIF (Postcolonial Crime Fiction: a global window into social realities), a research project on postcolonial crime fiction financed by the Ministerio de Economía y Competividad. The project’s team are members of the Australian Studies Centre, based at the University of Barcelona, and the group’s research forms part of the wider academic and investigative work carried out by the Centre.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Catalonia’s Referendum on Independence from Spain

Previous Presentations

Keynote Presentation (2016) | Crime Fiction - A Global Phenomenon
Keynote Panel Presentation (2016) | Global Studies in Challenging Times - Focussing on the Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Studies
Dr Cornelis Martin Renes
University of Barcelona, Spain

Biography

Dr Cornelis Martin Renes graduated from the University of Barcelona with a BA in 2001, an MA in 2006 and PhD in 2010. He joined the English and German Philology staff in 2001. His main teaching areas have been English poetry from the Renaissance to contemporary times, and postcolonial studies with a special emphasis on the Asia-Pacific area and Australia in particular. He wrote his thesis on indigenous Australian literature and identity formation. He co-directs the Australian Studies Centre at the university, which was recognised as an official University of Barcelona Centre in 2000. Since the 2000s his main area of research has been indigenous Australian literature, and more recently he has become a member of a research project, POCRIF, which looks at postcolonial crime fiction and is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education. He currently holds the positions of Adjunct Lecturer, Co-Director of the Australian Studies Centre at the University of Barcelona, and Member of the EASA (European Association for Studies of Australia) Board. He maintains steady contact with Australian academia through visiting fellowships.

Featured Presentation (2018) | ¡A España no hay presos políticos! / In Spain there are no political prisoners!

Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017)
Featured Panel Presentation (2016) | Postcolonial Crime Fiction - A Global Phenomenon
Professor Baden Offord
Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia

Biography

Baden Offord is an internationally recognized specialist in human rights, sexuality, education and culture. In 2012 he was a sponsored speaker to the 14th EU-NGO Human Rights Forum in Brussels where he spoke on ASEAN and sexual justice issues. In the same year he conducted a three-week lecture tour of Japan sponsored by the Australian Prime Minister’s Educational Assistance Funds post the Great Eastern Tohoku Earthquake in 2011.

Among his publications are the books Homosexual Rights as Human Rights: Activism in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia (2003), Activating Human Rights (co-edited with Elizabeth Porter, 2006), Activating Human Rights Education (co-edited with Christopher Newell, 2008), and Activating Human Rights and Peace: Theories, Practices, Contexts (co-edited with Bee Chen Goh and Rob Garbutt, 2012). His most recent co-authored publication in the field of Australian Cultural Studies is titled Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values (with Kerruish, Garbutt, Wessell and Pavlovic, 2014), which is a collaborative work with the Indian cultural theorist Ashis Nandy. His latest chapter, ‘Queer activist intersections in Southeast Asia: human rights and cultural studies,’ appears in Ways of Knowing About Human Rights in Asia (ed. Vera Mackie, London, Routledge, 2015).

He has held visiting positions at The University of Barcelona, La Trobe University, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and Rajghat Education Centre, Varanasi. In 2010-2011 he held the Chair (Visiting Professor) in Australian Studies, Centre for Pacific Studies and American Studies, The University of Tokyo. In Japan he has given lectures and research seminars at Chuo, Otemon Gakuin, Sophia, Tohoku and Keio Universities.

Prior to his appointment at Curtin University, he was Professor of Cultural Studies and Human Rights at Southern Cross University, where he was a faculty member from 1999-2014.


Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | Refuge: Refugee: Moonlight and Precarious Love
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
The 4th Kathleen Firth Keynote Lecture (2016) | Holding to Account: Visualising Human Rights and Cosmopolitan Betrayal
Keynote Panel Presentation (2016) | Global Studies in Challenging Times: Focussing on the Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Studies
Dr Sue Ballyn
University of Barcelona, Spain

Biography

Dr Sue Ballyn is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Centre for Australian and Transnational Studies Centre at the University of Barcelona from where she graduated with a BA in 1982. Her MA thesis on the writings of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes won the Faculty prize in 1983. In 1986 she won the Faculty prize again, this time for her PhD thesis on Australian Poetry, the first PhD on Australian Literature in Spain.

She joined the English and German Philology Department on graduation 1982 and has remained at the university ever since. In 1990 she founded the Australian Studies Program which was recognised as an official University of Barcelona Observatory - Studies Centre in 2000, known as CEA, Observatorio Centre d’Estudis Australians. It is the only Australian Studies Centre in Spain and one of the most active in Europe.

Over the last twenty-five years, Sue Ballyn’s research has been focused on foreign convicts transported to Australia, in particular Spanish, Portuguese, Hispanics and Sephardim, and she works closely with the Female Convicts Research Centre, Tasmania. She has published and lectured widely in the area, very often in collaboration with Professor Lucy Frost. May 25th 2018 will see the publication of a book on Adelaide de la Thoreza, a Spanish convict, written by herself and Lucy Frost.

More recently she has become involved in a project on ageing in literature DEDAL-LIT at Lleida University which in turn formed part of a European project on ageing: SIforAge. As part of this project she is working on Human Rights and the Elderly, an area she started to research in 1992. In 2020 a book of interviews with elderly women, with the working title Stories of Experience, will be published as a result of this project. These oral stories are drawn from field work she has carried out in Barcelona.

She was recently involved in a ministry funded Project, run out of the Australian Studies Centre and headed by Dr Bill Phillips, on Postcolonial Crime Fiction (POCRIF). This last project has inevitably intertwined itself with her work on convicts and Australia. Her present work focuses on Sephardi Jews in Asian diaspora, and the construction of ageing.


Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Keynote Panel Presentation (2016) | Global Studies in Challenging Times - Focussing on the Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Studies
Dr Montserrat Camps Gasset
University of Barcelona, Spain

Biography

Montserrat Camps-Gaset (Barcelona 1958) graduated in Classical Philology at the University of Barcelona in 1980. Her MA thesis on Maleficent Women in Archaic and Classical Greece won the Faculty prize. In 1985, she read her PhD thesis on Ancient Greek Festivals. In 1982, she also graduated in Theology in Barcelona. In 1989, she became Senior Lecturer at the Barcelona University. In 1992 and 1993, she went to the University of Leipzig thanks to a special development program of the DAAD for East Germany universities.

Apart from Catalan and Spanish, her native tongues, she speaks English, French and German fluently, has a good knowledge of Italian and Modern Greek and a basic level of Russian.
Her main interests are Mythology, First Christianism, Early Byzantine authors, and Classical Tradition. Her interests include folklore, women studies and national identity.

She has translated many works from Greek, German and Modern Greek into Catalan. She is currently working on the Catalan edition of Plato’s Laws in four volumes, and on a Catalan version of the Corpus Hermeticum. She has also translated books for children and youngsters from English and German into Catalan and Spanish. In 2013, she taught a Seminar on Literary Translation at the University of Leipzig.

She has published a book in French on Ancient Greek Festivals, and papers on Ancient Greek Religion, Women Studies, Mythology and EarlyChristianism, as well as Classical Tradition in modern writers. In 1998, she published a book of poetry.

At Barcelona University, she has been Head of the Greek Department (2001-2004) and Dean of the Philological Faculty (2004-2008), and has participated on the University Board for many years.
She is a member of several societies for Classical Studies and for Literature, such as the Catalan Pen Club.

Since 2008, she is a member of the CEAT’s Executive Committee. Thinking that academic activity must also include an engagement in communicating with a broader audience, she has undertaken the honour of codirecting the Centre as a new academic challenge for developing its capacity of producing and sharing knowledge.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | The way and wherefore of Spain’s current political crisis: Catalonia… again
Professor Donald E. Hall
University of Rochester, USA

Biography

Donald E. Hall is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at the University of Rochester, USA. Prior to moving to Rochester, he was Dean of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University, USA. Dean Hall has published widely in the fields of British Studies, Gender Theory, Cultural Studies, and Professional Studies. Over the course of his career, he served as Jackson Distinguished Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English (and previously Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages) at West Virginia University. Before that, he was Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at California State University, Northridge, where he taught for 13 years. He is a recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award at CSUN, was a visiting professor at the National University of Rwanda, was Lansdowne Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Victoria (Canada), was Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Cultural Studies at Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria, and was Fulbright Specialist at the University of Helsinki. He has also taught in Sweden, Romania, Hungary, and China. He served on numerous panels and committees for the Modern Language Association (MLA), including the Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion, and the Convention Program Committee. In 2012, he served as national President of the Association of Departments of English. From 2013-2017, he served on the Executive Council of the MLA.

His current and forthcoming work examines issues such as professional responsibility and academic community-building, the dialogics of social change and activist intellectualism, and the Victorian (and our continuing) interest in the deployment of instrumental agency over our social, vocational, and sexual selves. Among his many books and editions are the influential faculty development guides, The Academic Self and The Academic Community, both published by Ohio State University Press. Subjectivities and Reading Sexualities: Hermeneutic Theory and the Future of Queer Studies were both published by Routledge Press. Most recently he and Annamarie Jagose, of the University of Auckland, co-edited a volume titled The Routledge Queer Studies Reader. Though he is a full-time administrator, he continues to lecture worldwide on the value of a liberal arts education and the need for nurturing global competencies in students and interdisciplinary dialogue in and beyond the classroom.

Professor Donald E. Hall is a Vice-President of IAFOR. He is Chair of the Arts, Humanities, Media & Culture division of the International Academic Advisory Board.


Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Keynote Panel Presentation (2016) | Global Studies in Challenging Times: Focussing on the Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Studies
Dr Cornelis Martin Renes
University of Barcelona, Spain

Biography

Dr Cornelis Martin Renes graduated from the University of Barcelona with a BA in 2001, an MA in 2006 and PhD in 2010. He joined the English and German Philology staff in 2001. His main teaching areas have been English poetry from the Renaissance to contemporary times, and postcolonial studies with a special emphasis on the Asia-Pacific area and Australia in particular. He wrote his thesis on indigenous Australian literature and identity formation. He co-directs the Australian Studies Centre at the university, which was recognised as an official University of Barcelona Centre in 2000. Since the 2000s his main area of research has been indigenous Australian literature, and more recently he has become a member of a research project, POCRIF, which looks at postcolonial crime fiction and is funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education. He currently holds the positions of Adjunct Lecturer, Co-Director of the Australian Studies Centre at the University of Barcelona, and Member of the EASA (European Association for Studies of Australia) Board. He maintains steady contact with Australian academia through visiting fellowships.

Featured Presentation (2018) | ¡A España no hay presos políticos! / In Spain there are no political prisoners!

Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017)
Featured Panel Presentation (2016) | Postcolonial Crime Fiction - A Global Phenomenon
Dr Joseph Haldane
The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan

Biography

Joseph Haldane is the Chairman and CEO of IAFOR. He is responsible for devising strategy, setting policies, forging institutional partnerships, implementing projects, and overseeing the organisation’s business and academic operations, including research, publications and events.

Dr Haldane holds a PhD from the University of London in 19th-century French Studies, and has had full-time faculty positions at the University of Paris XII Paris-Est Créteil (France), Sciences Po Paris (France), and Nagoya University of Commerce and Business (Japan), as well as visiting positions at the French Press Institute in the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas (France), The School of Journalism at Sciences Po Paris (France), and the School of Journalism at Moscow State University (Russia).

Dr Haldane’s current research concentrates on post-war and contemporary politics and international affairs, and since 2015 he has been a Guest Professor at The Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, where he teaches on the postgraduate Global Governance Course, and Co-Director of the OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre, an interdisciplinary think tank situated within Osaka University.

He is also a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade, a Member of the International Advisory Council of the Department of Educational Foundations at the College of Education of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network for Global Governance.

From 2012 to 2014, Dr Haldane served as Treasurer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (Chubu Region) and he is currently a Trustee of the HOPE International Development Agency (Japan). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in 2012, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2015.

A black belt in judo, he is married with two children, and lives in Japan.