International Scholars Discuss Issues on Internationalizing “International Communication”

Eighteen scholars from around the world came to the City University of Hong Kong to participate in the conference on “Internationalizing 'International Communication'” from 3-5 December 2010. The conference was preceded by a keynote speech delivered by Elihu Katz, Distinguished Trustee Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Professor Katz's speech was also seventh in the CityU's Distinguished Lecture Series (see He was introduced to the fully packed audience in the Multimedia Room by Professor Horace Ip, Acting Vice President for Research and Technology.

“As a towering figure in the field, at 85, his mind is more active and more inquisitive than any of most aspiring graduate students,” Professor Lee Chin-Chuan, head of COM who organized conference, spoke of Professor Katz, who sat through the entire conference, fully engaged, and eagerly participated in the debate. Professor Katz published his first book, Personal Influence, with his Columbia University mentor, Paul Lazarsfeld, in 1955, which has been read as a classic study on media effects for six decades. He has since published 23 books and countless articles, and has received numerous distinctions (

While there is an increasing recognition for the need to “de-westernize” media studies, Professor Lee explained, this conference aimed to suggest ways forward on epistemological, theoretical, and methodological fronts. Participants included internationally renowned scholars whose multicultural backgrounds can be traced to the U.S., Israel, Italy, Argentina, the Netherlands, U.K., China, Japan, India, Hungary, Belgium, and Sweden. Many scholars remarked that this conference has pushed beyond the current level of discourse on this important topic. Professor Lee said that he would edit the conference papers for publication as a highly influential book.

The conference was held also to commemorate the launch of the landmark Creative Media Centre (CMC) — a work of Daniel Liebskind, who is the architect of the post-911 construction o the World Trade Center in New York. With state-of-the-art facilities, the CMC will be the new home of the Department. 

Besides Professor Katz, participants of this conference included: 

Rodney Benson, New York University

Tsan-Kuo Chang, City University of Hong Kong

Michael Curtin, University of California, Santa Barbara

Peter Dahlgren, Lund University

Kaori Hayashi, University of Tokyo

Zhou He, City University of Hong Kong

Chin-Chuan Lee, City University of Hong Kong

Paolo Mancini, University of Perugia

July Polumbaum, University of Iowa

Arvind Rajagopal, New York University

Jan Servaes, University of Massachusetts

Colin Sparks, University of Westminster

Miklos Sukosd, University of Hong Kong

Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University

Jaap van Ginneken, University of Amsterdam

Longxi Zhang, City University of Hong Kong

Jonathan Zhu, City University of Hong Kong