Monday, November 20, 2017

Opinion piece: A case for the ‘boring’ classroom

A case for the ‘boring’ classroom

There is a growing disdain for the traditional classroom, but for a teacher, the blank walls can be a canvas to play with, thinks Payal Arora.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Opening Talk at the Rotterdam Talent Week

Erasmus University and the City of Rotterdam are organising the 2nd Rotterdam Talent Week from 1 November until 15 November. The grand opening on 6 November shows how Rotterdam is a thriving place to develop student talents. Abdelkader Benali (Moroccan-Dutch writer and journalist) and I will open the forum through talks to inspire students to pursue their own talents.
The week, organised in collaboration with the foundation Bernard Mandeville, is aimed at students, entrepreneurs, relations, employees and people from Rotterdam. The grand opening will take place in De Doelen at Schouwburgplein on 6 November, 16:00-18:00. Entrance is free of charge, and open to everyone.
More information can be found on the Facebook event.

#talent010 #MakeItHappen #erasmusuni #rdamtalentweek #RTW2017 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Opinion piece out -Erasmus Magazine

From October 2017, I will be writing a monthly opinion piece for the Erasmus magazine. This is quite a refreshing change from my academic writing. I wonder how many academics like myself miss just writing to a lay audience on issues that are of general interest. anyway, looking forward to this new writing journey.

Of course, as luck would have it, I had to start with a bang on the controversial debate on "diversity" taking place on campuses in the Netherlands and as I see, worldwide. While the discussion has got heated, I must say this opens up opportunities to organize public forums for debates on this topic which I hope will happen. Here goes

Open letters, closed conversations?
If we want true action on diversity at our university, we need a sustainable equity that outlives identity politics, says Payal Arora. It's her reaction to an open letter to the EUR community on diversity, written by some university members.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Nomination for University Teaching Prize -Erasmus University

Am honored to be nominated for the annual University Teaching prize by Erasmus University Rotterdam! The event will take place this September the 4th with Mayor Aboutaleb of Rotterdam as the guest speaker. Having heard so much about him, am looking forward to hearing his thoughts in person. 

It marks 8 years of teaching at this university for me. Been quite a journey so far. Since I joined the at that time new international program in Media and Communication in 2009, I had the opportunity to design several new courses in alignment with my interests and expertise which really helped me engage the students. Exciting to have a classroom which is so international and diverse. What I love particularly is building relationships with the students, given the small classroom format. Got some interesting questions from the university press - read the full interview here.
Looking forward to many more years of teaching.





Keynote speaker at University of Amsterdam MA Graduation Ceremony


Each year the University of Amsterdam MA program in New Media and Digital Culture invites a keynote speaker to address and motivate students and families at their graduation ceremony. I will be giving a keynote for this year’s graduation ceremony, reflecting on the future of new media research. The graduation ceremony takes place on Wednesday August the 30th, 2017, in Amsterdam.

My talk is titled, “In Search of the Exotic in Digital Culture.” This comes at a time where tensions run high between groups; identity politics is pervasive. Boundaries are formed online and circulated strategically as truisms, fueling divisive cultural spaces online and offline. I will talk about the notion of the exotic and its colonial underpinnings as an efficient mechanism to frame entire publics. Exoticism was a critical tool to justify what I call the 3 Cs -to Control, to Convert and/or to Conserve and how this continues to play out in today’s digital era.