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Internationalisation Days

Epistemological and ethical matters in the study of controversial topics: the case of children, adolescents, and media

15 JAN 2024, 09.00-12.00 AM (Venue: aula Seminari, U6 Agorà, IV floor)

- Seminar: Doing media research with and for children

  • Ellen Wartella, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication, Psychology, Human Development and Social Policy, Medical Social Sciences, and Director of the Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University, Chicago, Department of Communication Studies.
  • Marwan Diab, Head of Mental Health Unit at Enabel and Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University, Department of Psychology.

- Marie Skłodowska-Curie Call: experiences and management

  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship: exercises of realpolitik – Dott. Lorenzo Alunni, Ricercatore in Discipline Demoetnoantropologiche.
  • Management of Marie Skłodowska-Curie Projects– Dott.ssa Federica Fumagalli,  (UNIMIB Grant Office).
16 JAN 2024 ore 15.00-16.00 PM (Venue: aula Polivalente, U6 Agorà, IV floor)

- Award Cerimony

“Controversy sells, but what about science?” (Re-)framing the relationship between children and tough topic media products 

Professor Ellen Wartella, Northwestern University, Chicago

The relationship between children and media has long been a controversial topic: historically, every new media has been accompanied by a wave of moral panic in terms of how it may affect children. In this regard, media outlets often negatively frame media products covering tough topics. As an example of this situation, the presentation will focus on press coverage of the first season of the Netflix show “13 Reasons Why”, a drama recounting people and events that contributed to a young girl’s suicide.

The show caused many controversies followed by negative press emphasizing its potential negative impact on young people based on both commonsense knowledge and empirical research. Research findings on the matter, however, are heterogeneous, supporting the complexity of the relationship between media products and youth. They show that while the drama certainly impressed young viewers, it also helped promoting conversations on tough topics such as self-harm, bullying, and sexual harassment with significant adults, such as parents and educators, and empathetic behaviors among peers. The press, though, largely overlooked these findings, focusing more on the reported negative impacts of the show.

But if controversy sells, what happens to science? Building on this case study as a starting point, the talk will argue that media outlets cherry picking research findings do a disservice to children, parents, educators, and society at large for they hinder a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted nature of complex objects, such as the relationship between tough topic media and youth.

Ellen Wartella ospite di Giornate dell'internazionalizzazione 2024

Ellen A. Wartella, PhD, is the Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani Professor of Communication; Professor of Psychology, of Human Development and Social Policy, of Medical Social Sciences, and the Director of the Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University, where she has worked since 2010. Here she has been Chair at the Department of Communication Studies from September 2013 to September 2019.

Earlier, she was executive vice chancellor, provost, and distinguished professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, from 2004 to 2009. She also served as Dean of the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin from 1993 to 2004, where she held the Walter Cronkite Regents Chair, the Mary Gibbs Jones Centennial Chair, and the UNESCO Chair in International Communication.





Digital Boundaries and human rights: Mitigating the impact of racism on the mental health of Palestinian children in Gaza

Professor Marwan Diab, Stellenbosch University

Addressing racism impacting children's mental health in Gaza involves recognizing the digital dimension of boundaries and human rights. The situation in Gaza is complex due to political, social, and economic factors. The right to privacy is a fundamental human right. Digital boundaries come into play with the collection, storage, and sharing of personal data online.

The digital space has become a critical platform for free expression for Palestinians in Gaza. Restrictions on digital communication, censorship, or surveillance can impede freedom of speech and uncover the ugly face of brutalities committed by the Israeli occupation. Thus, digital platforms can be powerful tools for advocacy, education, and support from the outside world.

As a result, individuals must work together to establish and respect boundaries that protect privacy, freedom of expression, and other fundamental human rights for Palestinian children in the digital era and governments and private entities must balance the need for security with respecting individuals' privacy rights. Efforts to address online misinformation should respect individuals' rights while safeguarding against the potential harm caused by false information.

Professor Marwan Diab, Stellenbosch University ospite edizione 2024 "Giornate dell'internazionalizzazione"

Marwan Diab, PhD, is the Head of Mental Health Unit at Enabel and research fellow at Stellenbosch University, Department of Psychology. He has experience in the field of rehabilitation, mental health, and psychosocial support. Dr. Diab studied Rehabilitation Services and obtained a bachelor's degree in Community Rehabilitation from the University of Calgary.

Dr. Diab graduated from the Postgraduate Diploma in Community Mental Health offered by Islamic University of Gaza and Gaza Community Mental Health Programme. He received his Master’s of Psychology from the Islamic University of Gaza and his PhD in Psychology from the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Tampere. Dr. Diab has authored and co-authored several scientific articles in mental health and psychosocial intervention about war-affected and marginalized populations.

In line with the objectives of the Inter-Commission for Internationalisation and with the DISUF Programme Document 2024-2026, the award aims at enhancing the internationalisation of researches carried out by resear4ch fellows and PhD students belonging to the Department of Human Sciences for Education "Riccardo Massa". The award is one of the initiatives of the "Internationalisation Days" promoted by the Department.

Implementing international researches is one of the strategic objectives of our University.  Early-career scholars (PhD students and research fellows) often cope with extra challenges to improve the visibility to their research within their scientific community. Therefore, the Inter-Commission for Internationalisation promotes, within the framework of the "Internationalisation Days", an award for PhD students and research fellows.

The action aims to encourage the international dimension of their research projects. The prizes linked to that award will support the presentation of the research in international contexts (publications, participation in conferences).

The award is open exclusively to PhD students and research fellows belonging to the Department of Human Sciences for Education "Riccardo Massa". Applicants should produce a concept note of no more than 10000 characters structured as follows:

  • Foreword and background
  • Research question
  • Methods
  • Research implementation plan
  • Expected results
  • International follow-up of the research

Concept notes should be sent in pdf format by 20 December 2023 (17.00 CET) to

Applicants can choose whether to submit the concept note in Italian or English, justifying their choice.

In addition, applicants must attach a draft of a working plan (maximum one page) illustrating the use of the award by indicating:

  • Timing
  • Type of expenditure. Eligible expenses are: publications in open access journals, international conference fees, expenses related to presentations at international symposia or seminars.

The concept notes will be evaluated by the Organising Committee - Jury based on the following criteria:

  • Clarity, rigour and coherence of the research framework - max.25 points
  • Originality and innovation - max. 25 points
  • Relevance to current topics for the scientific community - max. 25 points
  • Potential spin-offs and transferability - max. 15 points
  • International outlook (breadth of literature, collaborations, periods abroad) - max 10 points

The Organizing Committee is composed by Davide Cino, Stefano Malatesta, Guido Veronese.

The Jury is composed by Cristina Palmieri, Francesca Antonacci, Alice Bellagamba, Claudia Bonsi, Edoardo Datteri, Stefano Malatesta, Guido Veronese, Franca Zuccoli.

  • The work of the Organising Committee - Jury will end on 10 January 2024.
  • Two separate rankings will be drawn up: 1. PhD students and 2. research fellows.
  • The final rankings will be announced on the last day of the Internationalisation Days.
  • A certificate of merit will be awarded to the top three in the two rankings.
  • Each list will indicate a winner (who will receive a prize of €1000.00) and a second winner (who will receive a prize of €700.00) to be used mandatorily  before the end of the research contract or doctoral period
  • In the event of a tie, the youngest candidates will be awarded the prize.
  • In the event of renouncement of the prize or expiry of the time limit for its use, the Jury will award the prize to the second (or possibly third) placed in the ranking.

Gallery of awards - 2022 edition

PhD Students

  • Camilla Carabini (Internationalisation Award)
  • Valeria Cotza
  • Lucia Carriera

PostDoc Fellows

  • Federica Cavazzoni (Internationalisation Award)
  • Elisa Farina
  • Chiara Carla Montà 

Gallery of awards - 2023 edition

PhD Students

  • Anna Chinazzi
  • Alessandra Maiorano

PostDoc Fellows

  • Alessandra Mussi
  • Elena Bartolini

Gallery of awards - 2024 edition

PhD Students

  • Daniele Mario Buonomo
  • Costanza Franceschini

PostDoc Fellows

  • Silvy Boccaletti
  • Cristina Liviana Caldiroli