Conference Bios

Conference Conveners

Lilie Chouliaraki is Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics. She has published extensively on the mediation of suffering in television and online news, on the communicative strategies of NGOs and the UN and on historical transformations in the communication of solidarity. Her publications include The Spectatorship of Suffering (Sage 2006); Self-mediation: New media, citizenship and civil selves (ed Routledge 2012) and The Ironic Spectator: Solidarity in the Age of Post-Humanitarianism (Polity, 2012).

Lisa Ann Richey is professor of international development studies and director of the Doctoral School at the Dept. of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University in Denmark. Her work focuses on new actors in international aid, citizenship and body politics, and gender and the global south. She is the author of the books Brand Aid: Shopping Well to Save the World, with Stefano Ponte (Minnesota 2011); Population Politics and Development: From the Policies to the Clinics (Palgrave Macmillan 2008); co-editor of New Actors and Alliances in Development (Routledge 2014); and editor of Celebrity Humanitarianism and North-South Relations: Politics, Place and Power (Routledge 2016). She leads the Research Network on Celebrity and North-South Relations.

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Craig Calhoun is Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science.  He will become the new President of the Berggruen Institute during the Summer of 2016. He was previously President of the US Social Science Research Council and was University Professor of the Social Sciences at New York University and Director of NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge. He is the author of numerous books including Nations Matter: Citizenship, Solidarity, and the Cosmopolitan Dream; Critical Social TheoryNeither Gods Nor Emperors; and most recently The Roots of Radicalism (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Miriam Ticktin is Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of Zolberg Center on Global Migration at The New School for Social Research. She is author of Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France (2011), and co-editor of the journal Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development.

Organizers and Discussants:

Dan Brockington is Director of the Sheffield Institute for International Development (SIID) at the University of Sheffield. His research covers diverse aspects of development, with much attention on the dynamics of long-term livelihood change (especially in Tanzania) and the social consequences of conservation policy (globally). His interest in celebrity stems from exploring the role of celebrity in environmental affairs, and this has led to an examination of its role in development more broadly. This means his research spans remote village locations to plush fundraising events, which can be confusing. His books include: Fortress Conservation (2002), Nature Unbound (with Rosaleen Duffy and Jim Igoe, 2008), Celebrity and the Environment (2009) and Celebrity Advocacy and International Development (2014).

Alexandra Cosima Budabin is a Center for Human Rights Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the University of Dayton, USA. She holds a PhD in Politics from the New School for Social Research (USA). Her work focuses on non-state actors in human rights, humanitarianism, genocide, and conflict resolution. A Core Researcher of the Network on Celebrity and North–South Relations, Alexandra has written about Mia Farrow and Ben Affleck.

Lene Bull Christiansen is an Associate Professor at the Department of Culture and Identity at Roskilde University, Denmark. She holds a PhD in International Development Studies from the same institution and holds a post-doctoral research grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research. Her research focuses on Danish celebrity involvement in development aid campaigning. She organizes the Roskilde University-based research cluster Celebrities as New Global Actors, and is a Core Researcher of the Research Network on Celebrity and North–South Relations.

Olivier Driessens is lecturer in the Sociology of Media and Culture at the University of Cambridge. His research interests include celebrity, visibility, transparency and mediatisation. His work has been published in journals such as Theory and Society, Media Culture and Society and Celebrity Studies.

Pam DeLargy currently Senior Advisor to the UN Special Representative to the Secretary General for Migration, has worked for over two decades in humanitarian response  and on women, peace and security issues. She has been a leader within the UN in advocating for attention to gender  and health in global humanitarian policies and practice and has worked in numerous conflict and recovery settings, including in Eritrea, DRC, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Palestine, and Timor Leste. She has also worked closely with numerous peacekeeping missions on issues of gender-based violence prevention and on HIV. She spent the past few years in Sudan where she also developed support programmes for trafficked women and girls. She is a Horn of Africa specialist. Her current work is focussed on the special issues of migrants who get caught in conflict situations and of the protection needs of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Suzanne Franks is the incoming head of the Journalism department at City University, London. She is a former journalist with BBC TV where she worked on programmes such as Newsnight and Panorama. Her research interests focus upon the reporting of international news, women in journalism and the history of the BBC.  Suzanne gained her Phd at the University of Westminster in 2007 and since then has published many articles on humanitarian reporting, international news and on the reporting of Africa, which is the subject of a forthcoming book. Her recent books include  ‘Reporting Disasters. Famine, Aid, Politics and the Media,’ (Hurst, 2013) and ‘Women and Journalism’ (I.B. Tauris, 2013).  Suzanne has lectured widely in the UK and overseas and she continues to broadcast occasionally on radio and TV.

Johanna Hood is an Assistant Professor in International Development Studies at the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University, Denmark. She received her PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney, in International Studies. Beyond examining alternative forms of celebrity, Johanna’s research interests include the impacts of race and ethnicity on media and public health campaigns, welfare in China, and China’s plasma economies. She is the author of HIV/AIDS, Health and the Media in China: Imagined Immunity through Racialized Disease (2011). Johanna is a Core Researcher of the Research Network on Celebrity and North–South Relations.

Amy Kaler is a professor in the department of sociology at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. Dr Kaler studies infectious disease, sexual health, fertility control, and household survival in rural communities in eastern and southern Africa. She has lived or worked in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Africa, with new projects beginning in South Sudan. She is the author of Running After Pills: Gender and Contraception in Colonial Zimbabwe, Essentials of Field Relationships (with Melanie Beres) and the forthcoming Baby Trouble in the Last Best West: Making New People in Alberta 1905-1939. She has edited three editions of The Gendered Society Reader (with Michael Kimmel and Amy Aronson) and the forthcoming Transforming Gender and Food Security in the Global South (with Jemimah Njuki and John Parkins).

Mirca Madianou is Reader in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has directed two ESRC grants: Humanitarian Technologies and Migration, ICTS and transnational families which have led to several publications on the social consequences of new communication technologies among marginalised or migrant populations. She is the author of Mediating the Nation: News, Audiences and the Politics of Identity (2005) and Migration and New Media: Transnational Families and Polymedia (2012 with D. Miller) as well as editor of Ethics of Media (2013 with N. Couldry and A. Pinchevski). Mirca is currently the Vice-Chair of the Philosophy, Theory and Critique division of the International Communication Association (ICA).

Mette Fog Olwig is an Associate Professor in International Development Studies at the Department of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University, Denmark. Her research has included projects on ethical production, investments and consumption, and the social dimensions of climate change and development in Ghana, Tanzania and Vietnam. She received her PhD in Geography from the University of Copenhagen. Mette is a Core Researcher of the Research Network on Celebrity and North–South Relations.

Martin Scott is a lecturer in Media and International Development at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and author of Media and Development (Zed Books). He has published a number of articles concerned with representations of Africa, celebrities and development and audience engagement with distant suffering.