The UK’s most eminent scholar on Halal branding will return to his alma mater this week to receive a prestigious Doctor of Letters (DLitt), the first to be awarded by the University of Dundee in more than a decade.
Known in his field as one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices, Professor Jonathan Wilson is an influencer with more than 20 years specialising in what he calls the ABCDs of Business and Culture: Advertising, Branding, Communications and Digital.
During his extensive career he has published more than 200 pieces of work and received widespread acclaim for his latest book ‘Halal Branding’.
Professor Wilson will receive his degree alongside hundreds of other graduands as they cross the stage to become graduates during the University’s ceremonies taking place in the Caird Hall, in Dundee’s City Square this Thursday and Friday.
Professor Wilson said: “Previously, there was a view that Halal (Arabic for ‘permissible’ according to Islam) really just lay within the domain of food sciences and religious studies, as it is largely concerned with dietary laws.
“Increasingly now however, it is been seen as a lifestyle choice and identity former, in a similar way to the more recent rise in veganism.
“Therefore, I wanted to explore in more detail what role faith plays in business and consumer choices.
“I was interested in the meaning and messaging behind Halal in our modern, global, post-industrialised, digital landscape today.
“So alongside covering work from religious texts, legal rulings, and food science, I decided to extend my investigations into business, branding, marketing, popular culture, music, sport, entertainment, tourism, hospitality, fashion, social media influencers, socio-politics, and race.”
Thursday’s graduation ceremony will see Professor Wilson receive his second doctorate, having already received a PhD in Branding from Brunel University London.
The last DLitt to be awarded from the University of Dundee was more than 15 years ago, as the accolade requires candidates to provide evidence of being an established expert in their relevant field, along with a body of publications.
They must also be able to demonstrate original and substantial scholarship over a sustained period – indicative of erudition, insight, innovation, imagination and critical balance, with contributions to humane learning.
Professor John Rowan, Vice Principal (Research), said: “It gives us genuine pleasure to recognise the significance of Professor Jonathan Wilson’s impact as an academic, business person and public educator.
“He is the embodiment of ‘leading-edge’ in terms of his primary research into business and culture and his reach as an opinion-maker spans a bewildering range from food, ethnicity, religion, travel to Generation-Z.
“It gives us particular pleasure to award this DLitt, which is itself a rare distinction, to one of our own as he already has his BSc and MBA from the University of Dundee.”