Making a Difference – Representing/Constructing the Other in Asian/African Media, Cinema and Languages–representingconstructing-the-other-in-asianafrican-media-cinema-and-l.html

The list of speakers will be confirmed in due course

Date: 16 February 2012Time: All Day

Finishes: 18 February 2012Time: All Day

Venue: Russell Square: College BuildingsRoom: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference


Annual Conference for the Consortium for African and Asian Studies (CAAS)

Each individual has the need to define ‘the Other’ in opposition to oneself.  Theories on Otherness such as Lacan’s or Simmel’s, emphasize that ‘we’ need ‘them’ to define our own identities. This need to define oneself can also be taken to a broader socio-cultural level, where the construction of Otherness is used in order to define who belongs to a respective culture and society, who belongs to a region, an ethnic group or a nation. Choosing who to include and who to exclude, helps to create a sense of unity and identity. In our globalising world, representations of Otherness grow increasingly influential and the issues more complicated, with implications for international relations. Otherness, serving as a sphere of projection for the desires of oneself, can assume multiple roles. As the threatening, enemy-like Other, as a refuge, as role-model, the appropriations are numerous, but all of them are united by the fact that the Other assumes the shape required by those who are creating this Other to contrast or complement their Self. Otherness is also constructed by language (i.e. what characters say and how they say it).  Reflection on the representation/construction in the media can also help individuals gain understanding of languages, cultures and intercultural communication.

The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars from across the world to discuss the representations of ‘Otherness’ in Asian and African media cultures. The usual focus of research on Otherness is the gaze of the Other towards the West or vice versa, but rarely is research concerned with images that non-Western societies have of other non-Western societies. Consequently, we shall explore how Otherness is constructed when the ‘Other’ cannot be considered as totally ‘alien’, but when familiarity might also be of vital importance.


Provisional Programme


All participants have to register.

Conference Fee
Cancellation and refund policy

Cancellations must be reported in writing to the Conference Manager, Jane Savory on  Cancellations must be received by 2 February 2012 in which case registration fees will be refunded, less a £5 processing fee.  No refund will be given to cancellations received after 2 February 2012.

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4892/3

Sponsor: British Academy and the SOAS Faculty of Languages and Cultures

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