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RESEARCH PROJECT

GLAM and Digital Soft Power in the Post-pandemic World

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ABOUT THE PROJECT

Is cultural diplomacy possible in the times of the global "digital lock-down"? To what extent can cultural institutions turn to their digital resources, collections, exhibitions or distant programs to compensate for the loss of physical interactions and social influence? Are cultural actors well prepared to face digital challenges, including fake news, propaganda, algorithmic censorship, and data surveillance? The Project aims to answer these questions by cross-pollinating academic knowledge and professional expertise of cultural practitioners and policy makers. It will scope, survey, identify, analyse and apply key digital tools to re-vitalize and re-enable GLAM institutions to successfully implement international cultural exchanges and programs in the current context. The research will explore novel ways to enhance, activate and globally communicate the value of cultural assets and heritage collections in the global media environment. The outcomes will inform GLAM experts to harness the power of digital technologies. They will help to develop new plans for cultural engagement as well as equip GLAM institutions to cope with digital threats.

 

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

1

Live Forum

Bring together academics, diplomacy experts and GLAM representatives

2

Learning

Explore and advance current thinking of the role of digital tools, data-driven approaches and AI to strengthen the delivery of soft power programs

3

Engagements

Develop policy-oriented partnerships between academics and practitioners through a series of educational online sessions 

4

Research Creation

Advance digital diplomacy research and scholarship by modelling, testing and designing a new prototype solution Data To Power that can measure, map, predict and visualize soft power

 

RESEARCH AREAS

Digital Opportunities

How to sustain visibility and leverage digital assets in a saturated informational environment?

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  • Building on VR and AR technologies trends and promises

  • Using data-driven approaches and innovative techniques

  • Crafting an appealing digital image and reputation

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Digital Risks

How to conduct trustworthy cultural relations and exchanges in a post-truth environment?

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  • Eliminating digital disruptions of informational outreach

  • Countering miscommunication and online propaganda attacks

  • Understanding data surveillance and digital espionage

Digital Approaches

How to use new technologies to leverage and augment cultural appeal?

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  • Employing geo-visualization to explore soft power as a geographical variable

  • Mapping cross-cultural trust and understanding impacts of multilateral communication efforts

  • Employing AI to forecast soft power appeal in different parts of the world

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Meet The Team

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Corneliu Bjola
Project Investigator
University of Oxford

Corneliu Bjola is Associate Professor in Diplomatic Studies at the University of Oxford and Head of the Oxford Digital Diplomacy Research Group. He also serves as a Faculty Fellow at the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California and as a Professorial Lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. He has authored and edited six books, including Countering Online Propaganda and Extremism: The Dark Side of Digital Diplomacy (Routledge: 2019) – listed in the 20 Best New International Relations Books To Read In 2019 - and Digital Diplomacy: Theory and Practice (Routledge: 2015). He has served as a consultant for Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the U.K., Germany, Spain, Israel, Lithuania, UAE, Armenia, Romania as well as for the UN and the Commonwealth.

Dr Natalia Grincheva is a Program Leader in Arts Management at LASALLE College of the Arts and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Digital Studio at the University of Melbourne. She is an internationally recognized expert in innovative forms and global trends in contemporary museology, digital diplomacy, and international cultural relations. Her most recent publications are two monographs: Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age (Routledge: 2020) and Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy (Routledge: 2019). Currently she is working on a new co-authored monograph, Geopolitics of Digital Heritage, forthcoming in 2023 with Cambridge University Press. Dr Grincheva's professional engagements include her dedicated work for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity at UNESCO (2011), International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (2011–2015) as well as service for the international Cultural Research Network (CRN) (2018–2020).

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Natalia Grincheva
Lead Project Investigator
LASALLE College of the Arts
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Laura-Maria Popoviciu
Project Coordinator (London)

Dr Laura-Maria Popoviciu is an experienced London-based art historian, curator and researcher specialising in the early modern period. She holds a Doctorate and a Master's degree in Cultural and Intellectual History from the Warburg Institute in London. Her academic achievements have been recognised through prestigious fellowships and grants from The Arts and Humanities Research Council; The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art; The American Friends of the Warburg Institute and Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris. Her portfolio includes scholarly publications, teaching appointments, international conferences, curated exhibitions, audio and video podcasts.

Toyah Horman works as a researcher in the areas of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy within the School of Social Sciences at The University of Western Australia. Obtaining a Masters in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies from Deakin University in 2011, she has been involved in a variety of projects at a number of Australian Institutions, including Museum Victoria, Heritage Victoria and the National Film and Sound Archive. Toyah has co-authored publications focused on the Kelabit Highlands Museum Project, developed and coordinated the Leverhulme Trust funded WARMAP project website, and is currently producing the UNESCO funded War Heritage podcast series.

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Toyah Horman
Project Coordinator (Melbourne)
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Jasmine Christian
Marketing and Promotions

Jasmine Christian has experience in marketing for local and international theatre companies including Sing’theatre Productions, ABA Productions, KidsFest!, and Faust International Youth Theatre Singapore. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a Minor in Communications from the Singapore University of Social Sciences and is pursuing a Diploma in Music Theatre at the London College of Music. With her interest in consumer behavior and human interactions, she has a newfound interest in acting and storytelling. Fusing her love and experience in singing and music, she is continuously honing her performing skills and entering the industry as a musical theatre performer.

 

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