CNM Graduate Conference 2021


17th September 2021


Welcome to CNM Graduate Conference 2021!

Towards a Post-Pandemic World: Rediscovering The Power of Media, Technology and Culture

17th September 2021
Fully Virtual Conference

Last day for Abstract submissions: 8th September 2021
Last day for full Paper/Proposal submissions (optional): 8th September 2021


The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year has forced a surge in the use of digital technologies, which changed the way we study, work, and play. The reconfiguration of our social practices speeds up the digital transformation of our society. Additionally, the flourishing media and technology consumption during the pandemic continues to significantly affect our everyday culture. As a result, we live in a reality where the differences between the physical and the digital are blurred. Against the backdrop of this inevitable relationship between humans and digital technologies, many social issues have been discussed: the unequal access to digital media and technology intensified social inequalities; the mandatory contact-tracing apps raised debates over data privacy and agency; the infodemic exacerbated the crisis of social trust and cyber-nationalism; the extensive use of media platforms and applications affected our wellbeing. All these events reveal the vital and ubiquitous role of media, technology, and culture in today’s tumultuous time.



In light of these discussions, this year’s CNM Graduate Student Conference (gCON 2021) will be hosting keynotes on rediscovering the power of media, technology and culture in a post-pandemic world. The two keynote addresses will explore these topics from academic and industry perspectives in the hopes of elaborating theoretical and practical approaches that we can hopefully adopt as we tackle these inquiries.



Please Note: The conference theme is only reflective of our esteemed keynote speakers. For graduate research student CFP contributions all topics are welcome.

We invite individual submissions from CNM graduate students to participate in the upcoming gCON 2021! Note that all topics are welcome. Discussions can be on new research ideas and working papers on topics related to media, communication, and cultural studies. We also encourage CNM graduate students to submit research proposals and manuscripts for peer review. The best paper and research proposal will win prizes! Paper abstracts can explore the following themes, but not limited to these.

  • Health and risk communication
  • Science communication
  • Artificial intelligence & human lifestyles
  • Game studies
  • Digital media & information studies
  • Digital cultures
  • Digital activism
  • New media & social change
  • Digital economy & labour


Keynote Speakers


Dr. Yuhyun Park
Keynote Topic: Oppportunities for future graduate students to choose diverse careers options outside of academia. On her career and journey as a social entrepreneur and her newly launched book 'IQ EQ DQ'


Dr. Yuhyun Park is a world-leading expert in digital skills and child online safety. She created the Digital Intelligence (DQ) concept and framework, which is the world’s first global standards and a common framework for digital literacy, skills, and readiness (IEEE 3527.1) which was endorsed by the IEEE Standards Association, OECD, and World Economic Forum in 2018. Dr. Park developed the Child Online Safety Index, the world's first real-time metric tracker to help nations understand their children’s online safety status, and leads the #DQEveryChild initiative, a global digital citizenship movement for children.

In addition, she has been serving in various international leadership positions related to digital economy, skills, and safety, including as the leader of the EQUALS ITU Digital Skills Coalition, the chair of TikTok Safety Advisory Council AP, and International Lead for Digital Economy in the G20 Civil Society (2020). She also serves as an adjunct professor at Yonsei University and a board member at Future Consensus institute in South Korea.

She has received several international awards, including recognition as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, Ashoka Fellow, Eisenhower Fellow, and multiple UNESCO prizes. She co-authored the "Dictionary for Economics", which is the most widely used dictionary for economics in Korea. Her academic experiences include serving as an adjunct professor at Yonsei University in Korea and as a director at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Dr Park completed her Ph.D. degree and post-doctoral studies in biostatistics at Harvard University.

Professor Robin Jeffrey
Keynote Topic: THE FIFTH BREAK: Communication, Technology and Politics


Professor Robin Jeffrey is a visiting research professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies, based at the National University of Singapore, since 2009. He is the author of India's Newspaper Revolution (2000 and later editions). His primary research interest is the modern history and politics of India, especially with reference the northern area of Punjab and Kerala in the south. He is also interested in Indian media studies and development studies.

Professor Jeffrey has published, with his colleague Assa Doron, Waste of a Nation: Garbage and Growth in India (Harvard University Press, 2018). He and Doron also co-authored The Great Indian Phone Book (London: C. Hurst/New York: Harvard University Press, 2013), which was published in India by Hachette under the title of Cell Phone Nation.

He has also co-edited with Ronojoy Sen and Pratima Singh, More than Maoism: Politics, Policies and Insurgencies in South Asia (New Delhi: Manohar, 2012), and co-edited with Ronojoy Sen, (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014) and Media at Work in China and India (New Delhi: SAGE, 2015).

He has written about Kerala, Punjab and Indian media. A third edition of India’s Newspaper Revolution was published in 2010, and The Decline of Nair Dominance, first published in 1976, remains in print. He contributes to ISAS policy papers and reports. He first lived in India as a school teacher in Chandigarh from 1967 to 1969 and has spent six years in India between 1967 and 2019. He completed a doctorate in Indian history at Sussex University in the United Kingdom in 1973, taught for 25 years in the Politics Program at La Trobe University in Melbourne, and worked twice at the Australian National University in Canberra.



Our Winners


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Event Photos


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About Us


The CNM Graduate Student Conference, or gCON, is a one-day annual event organized by the NUS Department of Communications and New Media, and its Graduate Student Committee. Serving as a platform for exciting, emergent work, gCON gathers a pool of communications, new media, and cultural studies scholars to present their research to a broader audience, showcasing the vibrant student research culture of the department.



Team gCON 2021


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Purnima Kamath

Purnima Kamath is a second year PhD student at the Department of Communications and New Media. Her primary interests are in exploring the notion of creativity using machine learning algorithms. Before joining NUS, she worked as a software engineer at various companies. She is also a founder and ex-Director of Women Who Code Singapore, a non-profit network which inspires more women in technology careers.

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Francis Luis Medado Torres
Program Director

Francis Luis M. Torres is currently pursuing his PhD in Cultural Studies in Asia at the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore. He received his MA in Comparative Literature from the University of the Philippines-Diliman where he focused on examining the genealogy of the Philippine gay culture. Currently, his research interests revolve around the history of Asian gay/queer criticism, gender studies, modernity, digital technology, new media studies, and Philippine culture and history.

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Zishan Lai

Zishan Lai is a second year PhD student at the Department of Communications and New Media. Her research interests focus on new media, Asian popular culture and their intersections. Before starting her PhD journey in NUS, Zishan was a research assistant of Australian Research Council Discovery Project “New Consumer Cultures in the Global South”.


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Samseer Mambra
Finance Director

Samseer Mambra is a second-year PhD student at the Department of Communications and New Media (CSA programme). His current research lies at the intersection of communication technology, migration, and emotion. Before joining NUS, he worked in India as a financial journalist at Reuters and a policy researcher at IDF, focusing on digital literacy, migration, and innovation economy.

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Yuanyuan Wu
Internal Communications Director

Yuanyuan Wu is a first year PhD student at the Department of Communications and New Media.Her research interest is primarily risk communication and public understanding of risk. Before joining NUS, she worked at China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) as a product operation executive in Beijing, China.

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Qiaofei Wu
Publicity Director

Qiaofei Wu is a second-year Ph.D. student at the Department of Communications and New Media. His research focuses on health communication, science communication, and computational communication. He is primarily interested in the effects of media and technology on human perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors regarding specific health or science issues.