The YMF Humanities Conference
The Young Minds of the Future Humanities Conference was held on the 28th of March 2015 at the University of Queensland. With the central theme of humanities and youth engagement, students at the conference had the opportunity to engage with three keynote speakers who focussed on humanitarian issue that have a strong place in the global community now, and will continue to do so into the future. The presentations stimulated a variety of unique collaborative discussions, and focussed on engaging students in identifying ways in which youth can effectively engage and begin to address the key elements of each topic. Click here to visit the blog for more!
Mint Kovavisarach – International Keynote Speaker
Terrorism in the Media
Mint’s presentation aimed to identify and critique the inconsistencies in the way mainstream media reported news of ‘terror’. By starting off with discussing the philosophical issues in defining the word ‘terrorism’ itself, we looked at instances such as 9/11 and the Algerian War to acknowledge that whether use of ‘terror’ is immoral or not came down to a matter of perspective. This perspective is often influenced by mainstream media, as it is the type of words used in the headlines that creates subconscious, unfounded prejudices and stereotypes against certain groups of people, particularly those of Islamic faith when it comes to news of terror. By acknowledging such biases in the media, whether intentional or not, we can work towards the eradication of such prejudices and stereotypes in the larger community.
Child Soldiers: A Timeless Phenomenon
Right now, hundreds of thousands of children are being used as soldiers globally, and public understanding of children’s roles and experiences in armed groups is very limited. Young people around the world have an opportunity to lead their communities in the global push to eradicate the military use of children. James’ session aimed to develop students’ understanding of the plight of child soldiers, and to generate discussion and development of ideas regarding how young people can contribute to the abolition of this child soldier phenomenon.
Re-evaluating the Universalisation of Democracy
Since the conclusion of the Second World War it has been easy for the west to preach the tenants of democracy and freedom of speech as universally valid. However, many other nation states adhere to their own principles and ideals, not corresponding to democratic values or allowing their citizens a voice. It is increasingly necessary for the west to evaluate its own approach and role in bringing democracy to other countries, as well as how willing it is to fight for the right of an independent voice.
What People Thought of the YMF Humanities Conference
- I enjoyed the relaxed yet intellectual conversations, or more specifically discussion, that were held when dissecting each topic. I also enjoyed the talks at the beginning. They were deeply interesting and proficient in arousing interest in the topics.Marina Lima
- I really enjoyed the conference. I liked the topics of presentation and I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations as a whole. It really helped me notice the full extent of these humanitarian problems from a different perspective. I enjoyed engaging in collaborative discussion and finding possible solutions to these issues. It was great to discuss with the group and hear the diverse opinions and contributions of others!Moira Cairns
- I thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative sessions. They gave me the opportunity to voice my opinions and expand my knowledge on the topics. It was a very eye opening experience!Helen Kwon
- I enjoyed learning more about the world we live in and how powerful the media and presentation is to influencing our beliefs and the perspectives of others around us. The speakers spoke very well and were certainly engaging!Tynnika Fulloon
- I really enjoyed the presentations from the speakers - they were all really interesting and covered topics that I myself are quite passionate about. I also really liked the collaborative sessions as I learnt a lot by listening to the opinions, perspectives and contributions of others.Sophie Hannah