The Global Studies Seminar presents a talk titled “Around the Indian Ocean-Academic Misadventures,” by David H. Mould, professor emeritus of media arts and studies at Ohio University.
Mould has traveled widely in Asia and southern Africa as a trainer, consultant, and researcher, and has written articles and essays for newspapers, magazines, as well as online media. Born in the United Kingdom, he worked as a newspaper and TV journalist before moving to the United States. Mould is also the author of two books on travel, history, and culture - “Postcards from Stanland: Journeys in Central Asia” and the recently released “Monsoon Postcards: Indian Ocean Journeys.” Kirkus Reviews describes him as “A genial travel guide… an academic who does not write like an academic.”
For more than a decade, Ohio University media professor Mould has worked with international agencies, including UNICEF and USAID, on projects to support universities and training organizations in Asia and Africa. He has designed curriculum, conducted workshops and led research studies in two main areas—journalism, and the use of communication in sectors such as health, nutrition, education, and environment. From the jungles of Madagascar to India’s Deccan plateau and the flood plains of Bangladesh, it’s been an exciting but challenging journey. As an “itinerant academic worker” (Mould’s self-adopted title), he has had to bridge the cultures of academe and development agencies, whose priorities usually differ. He’s survived long road trips, bad food, power outages, long-winded monologues by French-trained theorists, language barriers, political infighting and tricky negotiations with deans and agency heads. Along the way, he’s found himself asking some basic questions. Who are we supposed to be helping? Is the support we are providing what they want—or do they need something else? Whose agenda are we serving? Or, in development jargon, are we capacity building—or bullying?