Speakers

Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. This page provides information about presenters. For details of presentations and other programming, please visit the Programme page.


  • Nasya Bahfen
    Nasya Bahfen
    La Trobe University, Australia
  • Thomas G. Endres
    Thomas G. Endres
    University of Northern Colorado, United States
  • Azusa Iwane
    Azusa Iwane
    Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan
  • Namie Kawabata Wilson
    Namie Kawabata Wilson
    Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan
  • Yutaka Kubo
    Yutaka Kubo
    Kanazawa University, Japan
  • Kelsey Oliver Imanishi
    Kelsey Oliver Imanishi
    Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan
  • David Robie
    David Robie
    Asia Pacific Report, Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Syafiq Syaikhul Akbar
    Syafiq Syaikhul Akbar
    Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan
  • Brian Victoria
    Brian Victoria
    Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, UK

Previous Speakers

Nasya Bahfen
La Trobe University, Australia

Biography

Nasya is a former journalist whose research looks at the intersections of new media, sport and diversity. She runs the Masters in Journalism at La Trobe University where she is a researcher with the Centre for Sport and Social Impact. Nasya teaches journalism and sports journalism and is also the postgraduate research coordinator for media (looking after Masters by Research and PhD students in journalism and communications).

Her previous academic work includes how race is framed in Australian journalism through sport, interview choice among young journalism students covering diversity, the incorporation of social media in journalism education, and internet use by southeast Asian and Australian Muslim youth. Her recent co-authored book (on the back of an Australian Research Council grant) explores building resilience among Jewish, Muslim, and other culturally diverse groups targeted in cyber racism, while another recent project compared social media use among Muslim students in Melbourne and New York city where she was a visiting scholar with NYU’s Center for Religion and Media.

She has a PhD in the sociology of the media and worked as a reporter and producer for fifteen years at Australian public broadcasters SBS and ABC. Her writing and commentary on sport and diversity has been published in places such as Melbourne’s Age and New Daily newspapers, the Jakarta Globe, the Straits Times, and the Brunei Times. She’s also produced hour long radio documentaries for ABC Radio National and ABC Grandstand Digital.

Nasya’s former students number in the hundreds and work in newsrooms and media roles across Australia and the world. She is regularly interviewed by Australian and international broadcasters on issues of diversity in the media, and diversity in sport. When she isn’t working on a book on sport and social inclusion, or acting as an AFL multicultural ambassador, Nasya plays indoor soccer and learns KPop dance routines.

Thomas G. Endres
University of Northern Colorado, United States

Biography

Thomas G. Endres (PhD, University of Minnesota) is Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Northern Colorado, USA, where he serves as coordinator to both COMM's online degree completion program and the Leadership Studies minor. Teaching/research interests include rhetoric and popular culture, storytelling within cultural communities, leadership and group dynamics, and pedagogical tools such as study abroad and online learning. His favourite course to teach is a short-term summer course in Barcelona, Spain. He is author/photographer of the book Sturgis Stories: Celebrating the People of the World's Largest Motorcycle Rally and has published dozens of book chapters and conference proceedings on topics such as father-daughter relationships, tattoos as family identifiers, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 2015 he published the definitive article on Ernest Bormann’s Symbolic Convergence Theory in Wiley-Blackwell's International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy. Tom has delivered over 230 conference presentations worldwide, including TEDtalk ArenaCircle and keynote addresses at conferences in Japan, China, Thailand (where he also served as conference chair for MEDCOM 2016), and the UK. Awards received include Outstanding Professor from the National Speakers Association, Administrator of the Year from the National Communication Association’s National States Advisory Council, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Communication Association. He is currently writing a new photo-ethnography book on costume and identity and will co-author the next edition of Sellnow's The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture: Considering Mediated Texts.

Keynote Presentation (2022) | Costume Conversations: Resilience and Representation in Cosplay and Beyond
Azusa Iwane
Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan

Biography

Ms Azusa Iwane is a doctoral student at the Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University. Her Master’s thesis dealt with how African poverty issues are represented in the Japanese media. She conducted a series of field studies in Zambia to better grasp the effective poverty experienced by mining communities present in Zambia with the collaboration of the Dag Hammarskjöld Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Copperbelt University. Her current research topic focuses on the agenda-setting process taking place within NGOs, more specifically regarding how NGOs are problematizing ‘African poverty’. She has extensive experience working with international development NGOs which led her to be enrolled by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of their NGO internship program. She also is a vice-project manager and editor at Global News View (GNV) which is an independent media outlet introducing the Japanese audience to international news overlooked by domestic mainstream media. She is one of the main podcast hosts of GNV.

Namie Kawabata Wilson
Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan

Biography

Namie Kawabata Wilson is a graduate student at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University. Before joining OSIPP, she received her bachelor’s degree at the School of Human Sciences at Osaka University.

Namie Kawabata Wilson specialises in media studies, focusing on US election coverage. Her past research includes analysis on the claim of a ‘liberal’ media bias in the American mainstream media. Her current research analyses how the mainstream media covers Vice President Kamala Harris compared to former White male vice presidents.

Namie Kawabata Wilson has also written articles for Global News View, headed by Professor Virgil Hawkins, a Japanese research centre that provides comprehensive and objective information about world issues. She served as the President of the International Student Conference (2019-2020), a summer program for students around the world to discuss solutions for global issues. She was the host and organiser of the Global Youth Conference on Fully Autonomous Weapons (2020-2021), working with Human Rights Watch and the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots to submit a proposal of recommendations for the Japanese government.

Yutaka Kubo
Kanazawa University, Japan

Biography

Yutaka Kubo is an associate professor of film studies in the School of International Studies at Kanazawa University, Japan. He specializes in post-war Japanese cinema and queer theory-based analysis of film. He is the author of Over the Sunset: Keisuke Kinoshita and Queer Sensibility (Nakanishiya Shuppan, 2022) and he curated the exhibition Inside/Out: LGBTQ+ Representation in Film and Television for the Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum at Waseda University in 2019. Some of his recent publications include “Fading Away from the Screen: Cinematic Responses to Queer Ageing in Contemporary Japanese Cinema” in Japanese Visual Media: Politicizing the Screen (2021) and “Still Grieving: Mobility and Absence in Post-3/11 Mourning Films” in the Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema (2019). He is currently working on two projects: an exploration of queer aging in Japanese cinema and television since the 1990s, and extensive research into the personal, cultural, historical, and political roles of production, distribution, and consumption of food in queer films worldwide since the 1960s.

Keynote Presentation (2022) | Revisiting Keisuke Kinoshita through a Queer Lens
Kelsey Oliver Imanishi
Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan

Biography

Kelsey Oliver Imanishi is a PhD candidate at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan. Her research focuses primarily on political communication, foreign policy agenda setting, and the role of the media during times of humanitarian crisis and natural disasters. Her most recent publication is “The Boy on the Beach: Shifts in US Policy Discourses on Syrian Asylum Following the Death of Alan Kurdi” in Media, Culture & Society (2022). She is currently continuing work on her dissertation, which is tentatively titled “Toward a More Holistic Understanding of Media Influence on Foreign Policy: Quantifying Media Discourse Diversity and Its Impact on US Aid Commitments to International Humanitarian Crises”, wherein she explores the impact of complex media narratives of crises on the aid bureaucracies tasked with responding to them. In addition to these research interests, Kelsey also has a background in rhetorical analysis, journalism studies, and international relations.

David Robie
Asia Pacific Report, Aotearoa New Zealand

Biography

David Robie is the editor and publisher of Asia Pacific Report and founding director of the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology (where he recently retired as Professor of Communication and Pacific Journalism), and a journalist of more than 40 years covering the Asia-Pacific region. He has reported on post-colonial coups, indigenous struggles for independence, environmental issues, and international development. He is the author of several books on South Pacific media and politics including Eyes of Fire: The Last Voyage of the Rainbow Warrior, The Pacific Journalist: A Practical Guide, and Don't Spoil My Beautiful Face: Media, Mayhem and Human Rights in the Pacific.

Featured Interview (2022) | Challenges Faced by Media Covering the Asia-Pacific: A Conversation with David Robie
Syafiq Syaikhul Akbar
Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Japan

Biography

Syafiq is currently a second-year Master’s student at Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University, Japan. Prior to entering Osaka University, he worked for local television and radio stations as a TV presenter and radio announcer. He is currently researching the news media in Indonesia and its interaction with the Indonesian government using the forest fire case of 2019 as the case study.

Brian Victoria
Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, UK

Biography

Brian Victoria is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and a 1961 graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. He holds a MA in Buddhist Studies from Sōtō Zen sect-affiliated Komazawa University in Tokyo, and a PhD from the Department of Religious Studies at Temple University.

In addition to a second, enlarged edition of Zen At War (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), Brian's major writings include Zen War Stories (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003); an autobiographical work in Japanese entitled Gaijin de ari, Zen bozu de ari (As a Foreigner, As a Zen Priest), published by San-ichi Shobo in 1971; Zen Master Dōgen, coauthored with Prof. Yokoi Yūhō of Aichi-gakuin University (Weatherhill, 1976); and a translation of The Zen Life by Sato Koji (Weatherhill, 1972). In addition, Brian has published numerous journal articles, focusing on the relationship of not only Buddhism but religion in general, to violence and warfare.

From 2005 to 2013 Brian was a Professor of Japanese Studies and director of the AEA “Japan and Its Buddhist Traditions Program” at Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH, USA. From 2013 to 2015 he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan. His latest book, Zen Terror: The Death of Democracy in Prewar Japan was published by Rowman & Littlefield in February 2020. Brian is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies and a fully ordained Buddhist priest in the Sōtō Zen sect.

Keynote Presentation (2022) | The “Zen” of Zen Gardens: Fact or Fiction?
Keynote Presentation (2021) | 'Holy War' as Portrayed in Japanese Films, 1937-45
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