Plenary Speakers


Lecture Title TBA
John Kao, Yamaha Artist in Innovation
Thursday, October 11
11:00 a.m.
Kitsilano Ballroom D

kao johnClick here to learn more about John Kao.

* Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and converse with John Kao during an open forum
on Thursday, October 11, from 1:30–2:30 p.m. in Discussion Pod B.

Young People, Technology, and Music Making Today
Kylie Peppler (Associate Professor of Learning Sciences, Indiana University)
Friday, October 12
11:00 a.m.
Kitsilano Ballroom D

Click here to learn more about Kylie Peppler.

* Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and converse with Kylie Peppler during an open forum on Friday, October 12, from 1:30–2:30 p.m. in Discussion Pod B.

The Otherness of the Other: Diversity, Tribalism, and Empathy
Carolyn Calloway-Thomas (Chair of African American & African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University)
Saturday, October 13

11:00 a.m.
Kitsilano Ballroom D

* Attendees will have an opportunity to meet and interact with Carolyn Calloway-Thomas during a facilitated forum on Saturday, October 13, from 1:30–2:25 p.m. in Kitsilano Ballroom D.

On June 5, 2009, Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, who was imprisoned at Buchenwald concentration camp as a 16-year old boy, toured the site with President Barack Obama during the latter’s trip to Germany. In commenting on the barbarism resident at Buchenwald and in reflecting on other terrible and evil acts that are “meant to diminish the humanity of other human beings,” from Cambodia to Bosnia, Nobelist Wiesel asked a compelling question, “Will the world ever learn?” And then he offered, we human beings must “stop hating the otherness of the other” and “respect it.” In my speech, I will argue first that genuine efforts to foster ethnic and racial inclusion are leading to an ossification of discourses and a troubling specie of tribalism, which undermine sociability and civil society. Second, drawing on Yuval Noah Harari’s concepts of subjectivity and inter-subjectivity, as well as on Kantian, Stoic and other notions of a respect for human dignity, I will offer a pedagogy of empathy as a humanizing way for deepening intercultural relationships among human beings around the world. Finally, I will discuss how a pedagogy of empathy (a toolbox), fused with reasoned discourse, thoughtfulness and music, can promote more compassion in the world. If not now, then, when?

Carolyn Calloway-Thomas

calloway thomas carolynDr. Carolyn Calloway-Thomas is immediate past president of the World Communication Association and professor and chair of African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana (USA). She is author of Empathy in the Global World: An Intercultural Perspective, coauthor of Intercultural Communication: A Text with Readings and Intercultural Communication Roots and Routes, as well as coeditor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and the Sermonic Power of Public Discourse. Her coauthored book, Intercultural Communication between Chinese and North Americans, is forthcoming in 2018. Her teaching and research areas are empathy and conflict, intercultural communication, communication in black America, civic engagement and pedagogy. She has won many awards, including a Fulbright scholarship to Nigeria, West Africa; a Carnegie scholarship; the National Communication Association’s (NCA) Robert J. Kibler Award, and the Distinguished Alumni award from Grambling State University. In 2010, she was inducted into the Central States Communication Association’s (CSCA) Hall of Fame.

Professor Calloway-Thomas has served in many leadership positions, including past president of the Central States Communication Association (CSCA); past president, Bloomington Faculty Council; past chair, Public Address Division (NCA); past president, Intercultural Communication Division (CSCA); associate dean of the faculties at Indiana University, president of the Bloomington, Indiana Human Rights Commission, a member of the Educational Testing Service (ETS) Praxis Speech Communication National Advisory Board, and director of the Interracial Communication Project (funded by the C.S. Mott Foundation). The latter position found expression in a co-produced educational video titled “In Search of Community: The Interracial Communication Project.” She is currently co-chair of NCA’s Task Force on International Collaboration, book review editor of The Howard Journal of Communications, a member of the editorial board of Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, secretary of the Bloomington Human Rights Commission, and has co-produced a Bloomington-based television program titled “Cultural Lens.”

In 1998, Dr. Calloway-Thomas served as a consultant to President Clinton’s Initiative on Race and the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations One America Guide program. In addition, in 1989, she was a decade editor of TIME magazine’s special edition on communication.

She holds degrees from Grambling State University (B.S.), University of Wisconsin (M.A.), and Indiana University (Ph.D.).

She has given hundreds of talks and seminars on intercultural and interracial communication nationally and internationally in places such as Australia, Barbados, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, South Korea and Sweden. Professor Calloway-Thomas is a master gardener, loves reading and traveling, and her favorite quotations are:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
“Keep your eyes on the prize.” (Juan Williams)
“Do the best you can with what you have.” (Thurgood Marshall)
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
“Do not walk through time without leaving worthy evidence of your passage.” (Pope John XXXIII)
“Soon we shall breathe our last; meanwhile, while we live, while we are among human beings, let us cultivate humanity.” (Seneca)