CID starts a YouTube channel

cid_youtube_channelThe Center for Intercultural Dialogue has just started a YouTube channel. The channel is named after the Center. The first video is a clip entitled “What is Intercultural Dialogue?” This clip was extracted from the Harron Lecture at Villanova University on November 11, 2013, delivered as part of the responsibilities of the Harron Family Endowed Chair in Communication by Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. The talk was entitled “Intercultural Dialogue: Who Needs It? Who Promotes It? Who Studies It?”

Future videos of talks or activities will be posted as they seem relevant.

NOTE: If you have a video you would like considered, contact us. Videos specifically on intercultural dialogue will be most obviously relevant.

CID has a new home page

cid_homepage_snapshotThe Center for Intercultural Dialogue has been updating the website over the last few months, and a new home page has just been introduced, thanks to the efforts of Minh Cao, Assistant to the Director. The photos on the home page were chosen to represent a variety of CID activities: talks, micro grants, contributions from readers. For more information about the people or locations mentioned, use the captions to help you find the relevant posts using the search bar. The gradual introduction over the past several months of visual material into the website has almost always been a result of Minh’s efforts: look for embedded videos, graphic designs,  word clouds, more photographs and logos. I am indebted to Minh for making the website user friendly.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Check Out Our New Brochure!

Exciting news: Our new brochure just got on the shelf. Check it out to learn more about the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and don’t forget to share it with anyone who might be interested in our work!



Download CID brochure


LinkedIn group started

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue has just started a LinkedIn group to permit more discussion off the website. If you have a profile on LinkedIn, just use “Center for Intercultural Dialogue” as the search term, and you should get to the group.

CID on LInkedIn

Discussions will be open to any topic relevant to intercultural communication and dialogue generally, as well as intercultural dialogue specifically.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Villanova University – Harron Chair in Comm

For the fall semester 2013, I will be the Harron Family Endowed Chair in Communication at Villanova University, outside Philadelphia, PA. I will teach an undergraduate seminar on Socialization to Cultural Identity, and a graduate seminar on Social Construction Theory. I will also give a public lecture during the semester on intercultural dialogue. I will remain Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue simultaneously, as this is a temporary assignment.

Villanova University

This endowed chair rotates, so that a different senior faculty member in Communication is appointed each year for fall semester. Dr. Raka Shome held the position in 2011, and Dr. Yves Winkin held it in 2012; I will be the third to serve in this position. Those interested in applying in future should look for a call for applications, typically issued in August or September for the following year.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Andrew Spieldenner-Microgrant report

NCA Microgrant Report
Andrew R. Spieldenner, Hofstra University

ARSpieldenner at Sigma
I applied for one of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue‘s microgrants funded by the National Communication Association  to explore the possibilities of meeting with researchers in London. Currently, I am looking at using communication methods to better implement and evaluate the roll out, implementation and uptake of HIV biomedical interventions among gay and bisexual men in the United States. Because of the disproportionate impact of HIV in the United States on certain groups, my work focuses on African American, Latino and HIV-positive gay men – all populations that experience persistent structural barriers in the healthcare system.

Matching funds
The Hofstra University School of Communication supported this project with a faculty research support grant. The matching funds covered the costs of housing and food while at the host institution.

Local host
The Global Forum on Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) hosted a Pre-Conference focused on gay and bisexual men at the International AIDS Conference 2012 in Washington, DC. I chaired the panel on HIV, community mobilization and immigrant MSM. On the panel, Ibidun Fakoya, Research Fellow at University College London presented her formative assessment of African gay men living with HIV in London. Ibidun Fakoya works with Dr. Fiona Burns on the advancing Migrant Access to health Services in Europe (aMASE). aMASE uses a multi-site Community Advisory Group to assess clinical and health care access for migrants in Europe with some focus on MSM and substance users. As such, aMASE is constructing a framework for effectively working with mobile and marginalized populations in assessing healthcare. In follow up conversations and through social media, a relationship emerged on common research interests. Through these conversations, the project emerged and additional meetings were made through Ibidun Fakoya and social media. In the past few years, I have developed a network of other advocates and researchers who are active on twitter and whose specialty is health disparities and the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

Ibidun Fakoya, Andrew Spieldenner
Ibidun Fakoya, Andrew Spieldenner

Trip itinerary
My colleagues were generous with their time. I visited University College London, Birkbeck College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Each meeting opened up other doors to consider – with other researchers, community groups, medical providers, and health policy institutions.

Uni College London

Ibidun “Ibi” Fakoya and Dr. Fiona Burns of University of College London aMASE project were my primary hosts. Ibi and I met with the Community Mobilization Coordinator to discuss the Community Advisory Group and the implementation of the research survey in multiple countries in clinic and community settings.  We brainstormed on possible community partners to achieve the target survey populations in the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Spain and Italy. I was able to review the processes that aMASE has implemented to get a shared research tool and protocols across all partner sites. In addition, Ibi and I reviewed social marketing and health messaging in order to develop marketing materials. Ibi was instrumental in coordinating with the other researchers for my trip.

At the University College London, I met with Professor Graham Hart on HIV and gay men in the London and New York City, focusing on the vastly different healthcare systems in the two countries. Professor Hart is Dean of the School, and he has extensively researched HIV and gay men. Professor Hart was interested in how the differing healthcare systems and social attitudes about health impact the treatment and service environment for gay men of varied racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. He gave several referrals to visit community groups and health policy institutions.

Professor Matthew Weait of Birkbeck College is an expert on HIV criminalization laws. We discussed the ways that HIV criminalization laws operate in various countries, and how cultural views frame the laws. We also examined the concurrent passage of gay marriage legislation in Maryland alongside an enhancement of the state’s HIV criminalization law. We discussed the importance of translating research and policy into accessible language in order to mobilize community members.

Matt Weait, Andrew Spieldenner
Matt Weait, Andrew Spieldenner

Dr. Catherine Dodds and Dr. Ford Hickson of the Sigma Research Group are currently housed at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Sigma Research Group has been on the forefront of research in the UK on gay men and HIV. They have conducted surveys at gay prides in the UK for over a decade, and have implemented several Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) projects alongside community partners. We had an intense discussion about harm reduction in HIV, the limits to current public health discourse on gay men and HIV, methods of conducting CBPR projects (including the use of Skype), and how communication – as a field – can be used in public health research.

Further activities
There are several future activities possible in the future. Many of these involve future correspondence and research support. We acknowledged that there were several meetings about HIV and our respective fields that may be of interest to the others. Dr. Hickson, Dr. Dodds  and Professor Weait committed to ongoing communication about projects and possible next dates for meetings when we happened to be in the same event (such as the International AIDS Conference 2014).

Ibidun Fakoya and I sketched out two different research projects to advance, and we are looking to collaborate over the next two years on these projects.

Finally, I plan to return to Europe summer of 2014 on another project, where I will be renewing my relationships with these researchers.

[NOTE: Andrew Spieldenner’s original project proposal is available here.]

Renee Cowan-Microgrant report

NCA Microgrant Report
Renee Cowan, University of Texas at San Antonio

Project Description


The National Communication Association micro grant provided through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue allowed me to begin a very productive conversation and collaboration with renowned European workplace bullying researcher, Dr. Denise Salin (Hanken School of Economics, Finland). I first connect Dr. Salin after reading her extensive research on workplace bullying and the organization from the European perspective.  Dr. Salin and I, along with our project partner, Dr. Suzy Fox (Professor, Loyola University, Chicago) are in the planning stage of a large multi-national research study on conceptions of workplace bullying.  Our conversations allowed me to better understand workplace bullying from a European perspective and helped shed light on pertinent issues when investigating bullying from a culture perspective.  In order to begin this effort, I needed to raise research funds to allow attendance at the planning meeting in Helsinki, Finland.

Renee Cowan, Denise Salin

Raising Funds for the Trip
To fund this international collaboration trip, I estimated I would need $2,400 for airfare and hotel arrangements.  I was granted $900 from the National Communication Association through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and $1200 in a Faculty Research Grant from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  This covered the majority of costs associated with the trip and I personally supplemented the remaining sum.  Our meeting was highly successful and because of the trip we are advancing through Phase 1 of the project.

The Project
During our meeting we discussed and finalized a three-phase international workplace bullying project.  From a U.S. human resources perspective, workplace bullying (WB) is defined as “Actions and practices that a ‘reasonable person’ would find abusive, occur repeatedly or persistently, harm or are intended to harm the target, and result in economic, psychological, or physical harm to the target and/or create a hostile work environment” (Fox, Cowan & Lykkebak, 2012, p. 10). While WB is a universal phenomenon, there are institutional, legal, organizational, and cultural factors that necessitate different approaches to bullying in different parts of the world.  We determined our guiding research question: based on the assumption that the violation of national, gendered, or other cultural norms will be perceived as rude, crude, or bullying behavior, to what extent will national differences in cultural values and communication norms be associated with differences in behaviors perceived to constitute workplace bullying?

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue grant allowed me to meet with Drs. Salin and Fox to discuss and refine our three-phase intercultural bullying research project.  We held this meeting during the week of June 1-8, 2013.  During this week-long meeting we were able to discuss important logistics of our international project including securing grants, our project schedule, securing country partners, and specifics of data collection.  The meeting was very productive and we are now able to move forward with data collection for Phase 1 in Summer 2013. We hope to complete the full project by Fall 2015.  We have secured collaboration from country partners in Argentina, Poland, Bahrain, Turkey, India, Australia, Austria, China, Greece, Mexico, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and we have collaborators who have expressed interest in the United Kingdom and Israel.  What follows are more details on the project:

Phase 1. In this phase we have determined the participating countries and collaborators, gained commitment and alignment of the team members, developed the collaboration protocols and project guidelines, and began creating the interview and survey measures. The two main clusters of materials will be common measures of cultural characteristics and communication norms, an initial set of bullying items based on popular Workplace Bullying measures and semi-structured interview protocols. Focus groups in the U.S. and Finland will be conducted.  We have largely completed Phase one and plan to conduct most focus groups by the end of Summer 2013.

Phase 2. Focus group, interview and survey materials will be translated and back-translated, supplemented by culture-specific questions contributed by our country researchers. Each collaborator will conduct interviews with a minimum of 15 respondents, and will include Human Resource professionals, managers who have handled bullying incidents, and union leaders or other employee representatives.

The focus groups and interviews will seek to uncover underlying cultural assumptions, values, norms, and perceptions that contribute to judgments of workplace bullying behaviors. For each culture, we will work with the collaborators to develop a comprehensive and specific set of behaviors that employees in that culture would consider to be workplace bullying. This will be the starting point for the next phase, the survey.

Suzy, Renee, Denise-sm
Suzy Fox, Renee Cowan, Denise Salin

The project will produce strong intellectual significance by attending to the question: To what extent are national differences in cultural values, communication norms and gender roles associated with differences in a) behaviors perceived to constitute workplace bullying, b) how individuals and organizations respond to perceived workplace bullying, and c) preferences for organizational and public policies, including specific roles assigned to HR professionals in efforts to counter workplace bullying?

This research will result in several direct outputs that will be beneficial for both U.S.-based and global HR departments: 1) specific guidelines for what should be effective practice in addressing WB from a training standpoint, 2) specific guidelines for anti-bullying policy for global and U.S.-based organizations, 3) guidelines for identifying and addressing WB in both local and multicultural contexts, 4) dispute resolution guidelines and procedures and 5) suggestions for incorporating anti-bullying considerations into organizations’ formal performance management and disciplinary systems.  The project’s potential broader impacts are to offer guidance to Human Resource Professionals (HRPs) and managers in defining, recognizing and responding to workplace bullying complaints and situations, and to help multinational corporations develop guidelines that enable people from diverse national backgrounds to work together.

Fox, S., Cowan, R. & Lykkebak, K. (2012). Revision of the workplace bullying-checklist: workplace bullying policy survey for HR professionals. Proceedings, Academy of Business Research, New Orleans, March 15, 2012.

[NOTE: Renee Cowan’s original project proposal is available here.]

NCA Microgrants distributed

Micro Grants for Intercultural Dialogue

Earlier this year, the National Communication Association allocated funds to be distributed as micro grants for intercultural dialogue through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, and the competition occurred throughout the fall of 2012. Far more applications were submitted than could be funded, thus demonstrating demand for this sort of grant, and interest in international travel for research purposes. All proposals went through a process of peer review, and the results are now completed. Grants will be awarded to:

Sarah Bishop
Renee Cowan
Louisa Edgerly
Andrew Spieldenner
Santoi Wagner

Follow their names to see descriptions of their projects, and learn the wide range of countries to which they will now travel and topics they will investigate.

As each project is completed, a final report describing how these scholars made contact with their local hosts, and what they did as a result of their travel, will be provided.

My thanks to all of the applicants. Hopefully that those who we are unable to fund still will be able to take their trips and conduct their research. Further grant possibilities from other sources are listed under grants. In addition, NCA provides several types of information for grant seekers, including additional funding opportunities as well as help with the process.

Thanks to members of the Advisory Board who reviewed proposals on the Center’s behalf: Donal Carbaugh (USA), Janice Hume (USA), Nazan Haydari (Turkey), and Leena Louhiala-Salminen (Finland) for their time and effort in this important effort. Thanks also NCA for providing the funding to support these important projects. This entire process will serve as a valuable pilot for future grants the Center will be pursuing, in order to fund additional projects by other Communication scholars. As further grants are obtained, they will be listed on the Center’s site.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Do you see ads on the Center’s site?

Today I was notified that someone looking at this website is seeing ads on many pages. I see none, and had thought there were none appearing for others as well. After some checking on the WordPress help and users sites, it seems the more traffic generated, the more ads appear. Officially, the count is supposed to be very few, and only on a few pages. And those who have their own WordPress site don’t see any if they are logged in.

I need to know how much of an issue this is, and for how many of the people who come to this site. There is a way to pay to ensure no ads appear for anyone, it’s just a matter of money. So, if you see ads on this site, please let me know by posting a comment below. And let me know if you see them on just one page, or on lots of pages. It was the Fulbright scholar pages (see the category list in the right column) that were a problem, but there may be an issue for other pages as well.

Thanks for your help!
Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

UPDATE: Since it turned out that some people do see ads, the Center now pays WordPress to eliminate all ads for everyone. Thanks for your input!

Grant $ for international travel

Micro Grants for Intercultural Dialogue

The National Communication Association allocated $5000 to be distributed as micro grants for intercultural dialogue through the Center for Intercultural Dialogue.

These micro grants are intended to support either or both of the two types of activities described in the mission of the Center: study of intercultural dialogues by Communication scholars, and/or participation in intercultural dialogue through academic interactions between Communication scholars based in different countries, or different linguistic and cultural regions. These grants are sufficient to provide seed funding only: no more than $1000 maximum can be awarded to any one individual. The goal is to encourage international, intercultural, interlingual collaborative research by giving enough funding to offset the cost of airfare only, while providing opportunity (and cause) for matching grants from universities.

If you already have lots of international connections, this grant is not for you – obviously you don’t need it. But if you are at a small college, or if you are a new scholar, and have not yet established significant international connections related to research, you are the intended audience for this competition. If you have been reading publications by an international scholar on a topic of potential relevance to your own research, consider a short trip to discuss ways to collaborate on a future project. If you do not know who has been doing relevant work, check the sources you’ve been reading lately, ask your colleagues, and/or think about who you know from graduate school or who you met (or heard present) recently at a conference. Find someone with similar interests who takes a different stance by virtue of being based in a different cultural context.

The intention is to support the development of new intercultural, professional connections. Thus continuing collaborations are ineligible. Those based in the US are expected to propose travel outside the country. International scholars currently living outside their country of origin are asked to establish a new affiliation in a different region rather than proposing a return to their homeland. We recognize that much interesting work can be done within a country between cultural groups, however this grant program focuses on connecting researchers who are not yet connected, across cultural regions that are typically disconnected. This rationale of cross-cultural connection must be explicit in the project description.

Applicants will need to describe their project, provide a brief resume, a short note from their department chair documenting their current status, and one from the host scholar expressing interest in holding conversations related to research. The initial deadline for review of proposals is November 15, 2012. If funds remain after the initial set of grants are awarded, March 15, 2013 will be the second deadline.

CID Grant Application NCA2012

December 18, 2012 UPDATE: The micro grants for intercultural dialogue have now been awarded, and all funding is being distributed as a result of the first round of applications, so there will not be a second round. See here for the results.