CIE students from Cultural Studies (CULS) and Professional Communication and English Studies (PENG) demonstrated the knowledge and concepts of their own disciplines and learned current trends in different fields of studies through peer presentations and discussions with students from KIMEP University in Kazakhstan and Hong Kong Shue Yan University at a half-day virtual seminar in April.
The theme of the Seminar was “Gender and Representation”. Students from different cultures exchanged ideas on the portrayal of stereotypes in different forms of media; how people are impacted by the generally agreed terms and assigned characteristics based on the gender and skin colour; whether social media carrying the notion of participatory culture provides a platform to talk on issues which is silenced or overlooked in society and slowly changes the hegemonic hierarchy.
During the seminar, Cultural Studies students from CIE presented how societies have established hegemony of males by institutionalizing dominance of men over women in the aspect of gender portrayal while Professional Communication and English Studies students discussed how language and culture play an essential role in human interactions. Students from KIMEP and HKSYU shared their perspectives on how mass media reinforces the notion of stereotyping and roles through its content which somehow set people apart. Such categorization affects people’s lives by shaping their opinion, attitudes, and beliefs in predictable ways. It controls social life by transferring the dominant hegemonic ideology in an invisible way. According to Dr. Michelle Chan (HKSYU), this international student seminar offered students “a unique opportunity to enhance their understanding of different cultures and societies”. Dr. Sholpan Kozhamkulova (KIMEP) shared feedback from her students that “KIMEP students were super grateful for such a meaningful academic experience”.