Published : Monday, 17 July, 2017 10:10 AM



The 14th of July was a momentous occasion in MICA. It saw the first Research Colloquium of the academic Year. To commence this wonderful proceeding, MICA invited Prof. Asthana from the Middle Tennessee University, Department of Journalism.

The audience was duly welcomed by Ms, Sindhu Eradi, Research Committee Student Member. Subsequently, Prof. Varsha Jain, Co Chair of the Research Committee duly welcomed the guest speaker. This was finally feted by Prof. Anita Basalingappa, the Chair of the FPM program who offered the guest a commemoration from MICA. Moving forward, the audience was able to gauge that the speaker was an active and highly acknowledged scholar who has contributed extensively to visual communications, globalisation, media and communication. He has also scripted key programs on the behest of All India Radio.  From his rich experience with the UNESCO and the U.N. Global Forum and as a project, Prof. Asthana delivered a spell binding discourse on “Media Pedagogy, Youth and Violent Extremism”.


The pertinence of the issue and its depth was not lost on the audience. Thus, anxiety produced by violence, issues of gender violence and their consequences were closely dealt with the speaker and the audience. In answer to such complex questions, he was able to offer solutions through media education, media extremism and media and children. The purpose was quite direct: cultivate and nurture peace. To support his eloquent address, Prof. Asthana quoted from John Dewey and Immanuel Kant in tending to the child and the imperative of media literacy for children. Here, the speaker was quite particular about the necessity of translation, localisation and intercultural exchange. These three elements were connected by the speaker to the questions of voice and agency and the co production of research. Here, Prof. Asthana held forth on the lack of global media education in the Global South. Here, the speaker segued hid deep insights with the issues of confrontation of violent extremism. Here, he stated that the existing issues of simplistic explanations and psychologism that have reduced the complexities of violent extremism and radicalisation.


Going further, the necessity of protecting the young psyche and sensibilities of the vulnerable is a key factor of media education and anti radicalisation of the youth. To ground his voice and thoughts, the guest speaker provided a vast overview of Google Think Tank, Jigsaw and relevant NGOs who have dedicated themselves to the issues of media literacy and anti radicalisation. This grounding bore fruit in extra ordinary insights with regards to cultural exchange, sensibility and issues.

The success of the session was visible for all in the form of the extensive discussions and questions of the audience. In the end, the audience was able to take forth certain key lessons, “Education and awareness need the long road” and the importance of “The Here and the Now”.  In all, it was a wonderfully evocative and enlightening session that set the torch of learning alight for the academic year of 2017.

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