Director’s activities

Wendy Leeds-HurwitzWendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue
Summary of Activities 2010-present

I took on the position of Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue in March 2010. In June I retired after 28 years as Professor of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Fall 2010 was spent as Chercheur invité [Invited Scholar] at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. It was helpful to be collaborating on international research projects myself while working to help others set up such connections! At the end of March, my time at the ENS-Lyon came to an end, and I started a series of visits to other countries before returning to the US. Over the spring, I traveled to Israel (giving talks at Hebrew University and the University of Haifa), Azerbaijan (the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue), China (giving talks at Shanghai International Studies University, Zhejiang University, Northwest University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing International Studies University, Peking University, but also meeting with scholars at Wuhan University and Hong Kong), and then giving a few more talks in Japan (Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, and University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa). This set the pattern for the following years: one or two long stays, with lots of short international visits.

I returned to the US for summer 2011, but spent 2 months in Fall 2011 as Chercheur invité at the Institut Français de l’Éducation (that year integrated into the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon) and then stopped at the Politécnico de Coimbra in Portugal. My project at IFE resulted in a book, Learning Matters: The Transformation of US Higher Education, published in 2012. Back in the US, I co-presented a paper to the National Communication Association meeting in New Orleans in November, where I connected with some of the Center’s Advisory Board members. In Spring 2012, I visited New Zealand (University of Otago), Australia (University of Melbourne, University of Brisbane), Singapore (Nanyang Technological University), Taiwan, Beijing (Beijing International Studies University), and Wuhan (Wuhan University and the Central China Normal University). Then in April and May I was a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, in Portugal, presenting talks at the University of Lisbon and then the University of Coimbra as well. While in Portugal, a monograph version of the book Learning Matters was prepared and translated: Arquitectura pedagógica para a mudança no ensino superior [Pedagogical architecture changes for higher education]. I got back to the US in time to present at the International Communication Association meeting in Phoenix (a co-authored paper with a colleague in France), where I met with a different cluster of members of the Advisory Board. In June I participated in the Ethnography of Communication conference in Omaha (presenting another co-authored paper with a different French colleague), and in August met with a few more members of the Advisory Board at the Association for Education in J0urnalism and Mass Communication in Chicago.

In fall 2012, I returned to ENS-Lyon, again as Chercheur invité at the Institut Français de l’Éducation. While in France, I was invited to Paris, to the Fondation La Main à la Pâte, to give a talk about my project in Lyon, a history and analysis of College for Kids in the US. At the end of October, I returned to Portugal, this time to Carregal do Sal, to talk about “Who needs Intercultural Dialogues?” as part of the Conferência Ouvindo o Outro: sobre o diálogo entre culturas [Conference on Listening to the Other: About Dialogue between Cultures], held prior to the avant premiere of the play Sots l’Ombra d’un Bell Arbre [Under the Shadow of a Leafy Tree]: The future is unwritten. After a return to the US in November and December, I traveled to New Zealand, making brief stops in Australia, Singapore, and Manila (no formal talks, thus no descriptions of activities posted). A report entitled Intercultural Competences: Conceptual and Operational Framework, resulting from the UNESCO Experts Meeting in Fall 2011, was published in March 2013. Talks and/or visits in spring 2013 included Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Macau, the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, and Tallinn University. During a brief stop in Lyon in May, I learned that a book chapter resulting from collaboration with colleagues there has appeared: “ViSA: Construction d’un objet-frontière et d’une forme de métacommunication.” Then it was off to the IUFM d’Auvergne (in Clermont-Ferrand, France) for a week of talks and workshops related to Learning Matters. The last trip was to London, for the International Communication Association convention, where I presented a paper co-authored with the two Portuguese scholars who hosted my talk in Lisbon in 2012.

I spent Fall 2013 at Villanova University as the Harron Family Endowed Chair in Communication, teaching a graduate seminar on Social Construction Theory and an undergraduate seminar on Socialization to Cultural Identity. While on the east coast, I had the opportunity to connect with Beth Haslett (University of Delaware) for a tour of Wilmington in September. In October I met with colleagues and give a talk at University at Albany, connecting with numerous colleagues there. In November, I gave the Harron Lecture at Villanova. Also in November, I participated in the NCA convention in Washington DC, connecting with lots of old and a few new colleagues, as well as meeting with 3 of CID’s advisory board members (Carbaugh, Hines, Self), the NCA Task Force on Internationalization, and being the guest of honor at the Villanova reception (thanks, Maurice!). In December, Bryan Crable and I signed a memorandum of understanding between CID and the Waterhouse Family Institute, stating that we will cooperate on several projects and potential funding applications.

After completing my semester at Villanova in December 2013, I started the next international trip. My first stop was Sydney, Australia, where I was able to connect with several scholars. My second stop was Dunedin, New Zealand, where I presented a talk at the University of Otago. Then the CID co-organized the Roundtable on Intercultural Dialogue in Asia with the University of Macau. The talk I gave in Azerbaijan in 2011 was published in a new book on intercultural dialogue edited by my counterpart, Liubou Uladykouskaja, Director of the Institution Intercultural Dialogue in Belarus. I spent April 2014 in Paris, connecting with Yves Winkin, Katerina Stenou at UNESCO, one of the Advisory Board members of the CID, and Gerardo Bautista (the publisher of Learning Matters). In May I stopped in The Netherlands, Italy (both Turin and Bergamo), Lugano (Switzerland) and Lyon.

I spent most of fall 2014 in Victoria, Canada, where I gave several talks at Royal Roads University and connecting with faculty teaching in the only MA in international/intercultural communication in Canada. RRU videotaped one of my talks, and clips have now been posted to the CID channel on YouTube. Several graduate students at RRU worked on small projects as interns at CID. Over the winter and early spring, I made several stops in Australia and New Zealand. Late spring and summer 2015 were spent moving my home base from Wisconsin to Vermont. In June, my entry on intercultural dialogue appeared in The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction.

August, September, and October of 2015 I was in Victoria, BC (Canada), teaching a course at Royal Roads University on Cultural Identity to their masters’ students, and participating in a videotaped conversation, Communication Matters: Immigration from an Intercultural Communication Perspective. In November, I participated in the 8th International Conference on Intercultural Communication at Wuhan University in China. Since I was unable to get to China in person, I participated digitally. As a result, my paper, “The Influence of National Character Studies on Intercultural Communication: Moving Beyond Past Assumptions to Current Complexities,” is now available on the CID YouTube channel. It will also be included in the conference proceedings, to be published in Chinese next year.

For the month of April 2016, I was visiting professor at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, France, at the invitation of Yves Winkin, now director of the museum. While there, I also spent time with Katerina Stenou, one of the Advisory Board members of the CID, Casey Man Kong Lum, and Johanna Maccioni. In addition, Christine Develotte invited me to give a presentation on “Family Socialization to Cultural Identity: How Theory and Method Influence Research” to her doctoral seminar at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. In May, a chapter I wrote for Diversity in the College Classroom: Knowing Ourselves, Our Students, Our Disciplines appeared, focused on intercultural interactions in the US. Also in May, a chapter I wrote for Urban Foodways and Communication: Ethnographic Studies in Intangible Cultural Food Heritages around the World appeared, focused on international comparisons. I spent July through September back at Royal Roads University, in Victoria, BC, teaching a graduate seminar on Cultural Identity. By the time I left, I had agreed to serve as dissertation supervisor for one of the students in Interdisciplinary Studies, and chosen an intern, Min He, to serve as Assistant to the Director of CID for 6 months. In November, I participated in the National Communication Association convention in Philadelphia, stopping in New York on the way.

In January 2017, my article “De la possession des compétences interculturelles au dialogue interculturel : Un cadre conceptuel [Moving from having intercultural competencies to constructing intercultural dialogues: A conceptual framework], appeared as part of the special issue on Les competences interculturelles: Enjeux, pratiques, perspectives in the journal Les Politiques Sociales.

For more information about me, see my CV (October 2016). For more information about the Council or the Center’s Advisory Board, see Who we are. For contact information see Contact.






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