The 2nd International Conference on Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication Studies (ICIHCS 2023) was a hybird conference which includes several workshops (offline and online) around the world. Dr. Kurt Buhring from Saint Mary's College, Dr. Nafhesa Ali from Northumbria University, Prof. Andrea Aguti from University of Urbino, and Prof. David T. Mitchell from George Washington University chaired these workshops on related topics. ICIHCS 2023 provided the participants with good opportunities to exchange ideas and build networks, and it will lead to further collaborations between both universities and other societies.


Saint Mary's College, USA
Organizer: Dr.Kurt Buhring, Associate Professor in Saint Mary's College
For the class meeting/workshop, students read and discussed two chapters: "Doing and Learning" from Robert Coles' The Call of Service and "Action and Contemplation" from Parker Palmer's The Active Life. In the 75-minute class meeting, we explored ideas from Coles and Palmer regarding ways in which to relate our in-class materials and discussions with the students' out-of-class service learning work at various local organizations that address poverty. One of my intentions in this class session is to introduce new ways of approaching volunteer work with others in more mindful and self-aware ways. After starting with a conversation about some broader themes, I broke students into smaller groups to discuss particular elements from each author (Coles and Palmer). Each student group was then tasked with highlighting key points from their assigned section. Students wrote these ideas on the whiteboard. We then used these pieces as we came back together for our whole group discussion. Students were able to understand and evaluate key ideas from the texts. This session sets a foundation for considering ways in which our class materials can inform students' work in the community and possibilities for how such work can enrich students' understanding of course materials and themes.

Northumbria University, UK
Organizer: Dr. Nafhesa Ali, Lecturer in Northumbria University
The epoch of postcolonial India and Pakistan is indicative of the way in which gendered expectations for women signal femininity and how protecting reputations and chastity was constantly emphasised. Controlling threats on bodies and sexualities extended onto containing, sexual impulses as femininity and sexual respectability that were not negotiable but also linked to the pitfalls of modernity and westernization. Consequently, women's experiences became shrouded in silences, resulting in the ability to conceal experiences and/or information or even cast a new light on what occurred. The impact of this enforced national and psychological amnesia of the Partition in 1947 (Sanghera, 2021; Sobti and Kumar, 2022) and its 'unanalysed silence' (Nair 2004, 3-4) remains resounding. Therefore, to appreciate the ways in which South Asian migrant (SAm) women claim (de)sexualised later life positions, it is useful to examine how the interconnections of socio-historic events, such as Partition, magnified the sexualisation of the female body - to make it sexual or viewed in a sexual way - and trace the way in which early life course socialisations of gender and femininity continue to shape intersectional, ethno-religious and cultural sexualities.

University of Urbino, Italy
Organizer: Prof. Andrea Aguti, Professor in University of Urbino
The workshop aimed to reflect on the significance of sacrifice as a religious act and an intellectual and moral experience. The keynote speakers had two main objectives: firstly, to show the difference between the Christian conception of sacrifice and that of ancient religions and, therefore, to understand the former as a paradigmatic example of rationalizing the relationship between human beings and the divine. This rationalization process within the religious realm has provided the basis for universalizing the sacrifice's experience and acquiring its relevance in the moral sphere. The second objective was to discuss René Girard's theory of sacrifice, which has been very influential in recent debates. In particular, some aspects of this theory were critically analyzed: (a) his functionalist conception of sacrifice, which seems to ignore the properties of innocence and guilt in the sacrificial victim; (b) his conception of the sacred, which seems reductive in many ways; (c) the ambiguity of his conception of religion which, on the one hand, needs of genuine transcendence, to legitimate sacrifice on the social level, and, on the other hand, considers it as purely imaginary; (d) his anti-sacrificial conception of Christianity which is based on a questionable exegesis and theology.

George Washington University, USA
Organizer: Prof. David T. Mitchell, Professor in George Washington University
This lecture/workshop addresses some unique aspects of the literature of the Hawaiian Renaissance in order to capture the explosion of writing by local authors. This lecture uses Lois-Ann Yamanaka's novel, Blu's Hanging, as a springboard into the ways in which shared themes such as: 1) restoration of Hawaiian history, 2) the use of Pidgin Creole language, 3) the plate lunch of ethnicities that have come to make-up the islands in the wake of Euro-American histories of indentured servitude for Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Portuguese, and 3) the overturning of the pastoral tradition through a defiant commitment to refuse traditions of ain't-it-beautiful nature writing. The lecture references many of the key works of the contemporary Hawaiian literary movement including Milton Murayama's All I Asking For Is My Body (1975), O.A. Bushnell's Molokai (1975), Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes (2011), as well as some of the key criticism that first brought cultural analysis to the shores of Hawaii. The key argument is that CripQueer bodies (those physicalities and enmindments marked by disability and queerness) form a central characteristic of tradition and rather than pathologize or disparage those non-normative lives, use them as alternative ethical maps of living that the value of interdependency entails.

Online Session

The online session of The 2nd International Conference on Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication Studies (ICIHCS 2023) was held on November 15, 2023. Dr. Kurt Buhring from Saint Mary's College, Prof. David T. Mitchell from George Washington University, Prof. Enrique Mallen from Sam Houston State University, Prof. Roberto Di Ceglie from Pontifical Lateran University, Dr. Nafhesa Ali from Northumbria University, and Dr. Javier Cifuentes-Faura from University of Murcia have given keynote speeches on related topics. Also, we invited authors of qualified papers to deliver oral presentations at the Online Session. Nine authors have presented their studies of literature, communication, art, etc. Questions from the audience were collected and answered by the presenters.


Title: “We make holocausts”: Indigenous Models of Peripheral Embodiment in William T. Vollmann’s Fathers and Crows
Presented by: David T. Mitchell, Ph.D., Professor, Department of English, George Washington University

Title: Analyzing the Determinants of the Efficiency of Spanish Public Broadcasting Channels
Presented by: Javier Cifuentes-Faura, Ph.D., Researcher, Department of Financial Economics and Accounting, University of Murcia

Title: A Theology of the Spirit(s)
Presented by: Kurt Buhring, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies and Theology, Saint Mary's College

Title: Will Digital Immortality Replace Religion?
Presented by: Roberto Di Ceglie, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Philosophy, Pontifical Lateran University

Title: Picasso's Stay in Gosol: A Window to the Abyss
Presented by: Enrique Mallen, Ph.D., Professor, Department of World Languages and Cultures, Sam Houston State University

Title: 'The Lost Voices of Partition' Project
Presented by: Nafhesa Ali, Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, Northumbria University


You can find the Youtube Playlist of online session Here.