Changing the Story as a Solution to Conflict

Applied ICDIntercultural dialogue is often about finding a way to recognize and reconcile two different sets of assumptions/beliefs. A particularly graceful solution to a conflict of beliefs between locals and tourists is described below. What is uncommon is that a solution was found in acknowledging a lack of action. 

Context: Uluṟu /Ayers Rock used to be frequently climbed by visitors, but as of October 26, 2019 is to be closed to further climbing. Uluṟu is an intensely sacred landscape for the Aṉangu people.

“In regards to the climb itself, the management board did a clever thing. Rather than simply encourage visitors not to climb, they provided a way for them to feel they had contributed something by their decision. At one time, there was a visitors’ book on the summit with the title “I climbed Ayers Rock,” where climbers could record their achievement. So, at the visitors’ centre in the nearby town of Yulara, staff installed another book, with the title “I have not climbed Ayers Rock,” where visitors could make a comment about why they chose not to climb. This inspired piece of social psychology enables visitors to see their decision as an active endorsement, rather than a passive abstention. Signing becomes a record of a different kind of achievement. I glanced through some recent comments, many of which mentioned newfound respect for Aboriginal feelings. One visitor wrote: ‘I climbed it 29 years ago. Came back wiser.'”

Among the author’s conclusions: “social change may be hastened if the narratives stress mutual benefit rather than ‘us’ vs ‘them’ antagonism. The Aṉangu position was that not climbing Uluṟu was good for visitors’ bodies (safety), good for their souls (respect for sacredness), and good for building relationships between blackfellas and whitefellas.”

Warne, Kennedy. (December 10, 2017). No more shoes on Uluṟu. E-Tangata.

UTS Postdoctoral Fellowships (Australia)

PostdocsChancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Deadline for expressing interest: 17 May 2019.

The Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (CPDRF) Scheme develops research, teaching and learning, management and communication skills to shape the next generation of leading academics at UTS. The scheme includes the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Indigenous Research Fellowship (CPDIRF), aimed at attracting and retaining outstanding Indigenous early career researchers.

Both the CPDRF and CPDIRF offer:

  • A four-year combination research and teaching appointment
  • Academic Salary Level B, Step 2 ($102,952 base salary as of 1 November 2018) plus 17 per cent employer-provided superannuation contribution
  • Research project funding of up to A$50,000

Australian National U: International Relations (Australia)

“JobAssociate Professor of International Relations, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Deadline: 15 May 2019.

The Associate Professor will be a leading member of the Department of International Relations and will promote innovative research and intellectual dialogue between Australia and Korea, especially through the ANU Korea Institute and the Department of International Relations. The Associate Professor will maintain and further develop their research, disciplinary and policy networks, especially connected to Australia-Korea relations, to enhance the Department’s position both globally and nationally.

Food and Cultural Identity as a Pedagogical Tool

Intercultural PedagogyPrint advertisements created by TBWA, Australia, in 2009 for the Sydney International Food Festival, show flags for different countries made out of their traditional foods.

Sydney International Food Festival

So far the campaign has received a lot of attention from design and advertising sites, as in this analysis by Ads of the World, which includes images of the flags and details as to the designers, or from food websites, as with Kitchn, which focuses on the foods chosen. @Sietar_UK  tweeted about it in 2019; clearly they are correct that the campaign should get attention from those interested in intercultural matters, even a decade late. In particular, these flags made of foods should be a good way to get students actively involved in thinking about cultural differences while doing something creative, such as asking them to create flags for additional countries (especially ones to which students have connections), or to research the particular foods chosen and how they are traditionally prepared, and/or what other countries have already adopted them.

CFP SIETAR Australasia: Indigenous Peoples’ Contribution (Australia)

ConferencesCall for Proposals: SIETAR Australasia 2019: Indigenous Peoples’ Contribution in Australia and Globally. Canberra, Australia, March 22 – 23, 2019. Deadline: 28 February 2019.

Presented by SIETAR AUSTRALASIA and the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership and Strategy at the University of Canberra. Organizers want to hear from non-indigenous and indigenous people about indigenous peoples’ contribution to and in any area/field.

CFP Advances in Intergroup Contact Research (Australia)

ConferencesCFP Society for Australian Social Psychologists (SASP)-Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) Group Meeting. Advances in Intergroup Contact Research: Showcasing, Consolidating, Deconstructing and Innovating the Science of Social Integration, April 29-May 1, 2019, Newcastle, NSW Australia. Deadline for submission of abstract: December 1, 2018.

With a strong delegation of international and Australasian delegates of varied seniority and background, this specialized gathering will showcase and advance the best research on the antecedents, dynamics, and consequences of intergroup contact across a multiplicity of research laboratories, research paradigms and methods, intergroup settings, and societies.

Study Abroad: New Zealand/Australia (2019)

Study AbroadStudy Abroad in New Zealand and Australia, Media and Society or Intercultural and International Communication, May 20 – June 13, 2019. Deadline: October 31, 2018.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students, who will experience the cultures first hand through visits to television and movie studios, live performances, guest lectures from professionals, and guided tours of museums, and cultural events.  The program has been offered most summers since 2005 in conjunction with an established International Education Provider having safety and emergency procedures and personnel in place on site.   The program is sponsored by Radford University and taught by Matthew Turner, Professor of Communication.  Students can apply at:    The application deadline is October 31.  Thank you for your help.

U Queensland Job Ad: Applied Linguistics (Australia)

Job adsLecturer in Applied Linguistics, School of Languages and Cultures, The University of Queensland (Australia). Deadline: July 28, 2018.

The School is looking to appoint a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics in the process of building an international research profile in an area of relevance to the current teaching and research profile of the program.  Individuals with research and teaching interests in any area of applied linguistics are welcome to apply, although those with an interest in one or more of the following are especially encouraged to apply: intercultural communication, discourse and pragmatics, sociolinguistics.  Research interests in one or more of the languages taught in the school would also be advantageous.  The successful appointee will engage in undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision, undertake and contribute to further development of the School’s Applied Linguistics program, as well as performing research, service/engagement and other activities associated with the School.

U Canberra Job Ad: Research Associate/Postdoc (Australia)

Job adsThe Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, part of the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra, is hiring a Research Associate or Postdoctoral Fellow. Deadline: April 30, 2018.

The Centre was awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Research Grant for the project A Metastudy of Democratic Deliberation and aims to develop a leading-edge understanding of political deliberation by synthesising results from available empirical studies. A detailed description of the project can be found at www.delibdem.org. Dr Simon Niemeyer, Professor John Dryzek and Dr Nicole Curato are the project’s chief investigators. Professor André Bächtiger (University of Stuttgart) and Professor Mark Warren (University of British Columbia) are also part of the team.

Macquarie U PhD Scholarship: Intercultural Communication (Australia)

Graduate StudyThe Language-on-the-Move team at Macquarie University is getting ready to launch a new research project investigating everyday intercultural communication in multilingual and multicultural Australia, and we are looking for a new PhD student to join our team. The sociolinguistic project, which is funded by an ARC (Australian Research Council) Discovery grant, examines how fluent English speakers interact with people who have limited proficiency.

The research team is headed by Professor Ingrid Piller and includes two post-doctoral research fellows, Dr Shiva Motaghi-Tabari and Dr Vera Williams Tetteh as well as an existing group of ten PhD students. There exists an opportunity to join our team on a fully-funded Macquarie University PhD scholarship. The scholarship is open to domestic candidates only and available for 3 or 4 years (depending on prior qualifications). Details about the scholarship are available through the Macquarie University Higher Degree Research website (scroll down to “Faculty of Human Sciences” >>> “Linguistics” >>> “Communicating with people who have limited English proficiency”).

We are looking for a committed sociolinguist with a background in intercultural communication, language learning and multilingualism, and a passion for conducting socially relevant research. The PhD project will be to undertake a critical sociolinguistic ethnography in a diverse institution in Sydney in the education, healthcare, hospitality or IT sector. The successful candidate will develop their specific subproject within the overall project, undertake independent data collection and analysis, and produce a PhD thesis based on that research. The PhD student will work under the primary supervision of Ingrid and the associate supervision of Shiva and Vera.