Quote of the Day: Culture, Sustainability, Intercultural Dialogue

“Interviews”Occasionally when I read, a quote related to intercultural dialogue strikes me as particularly noteworthy for being insightful, concise, beautifully written, and/or original. One example is provided below. If you have quotes you would like to see posted, submit them for consideration to intercult.dialogue@[at]gmail.com

“Participation in cultural activities fosters young people to be more imaginative and innovative: the processes of creation and cultural participation provide knowledge and techniques to imagine and expand horizons, integrate diverse elements, and create something new. Cultural experiences can be important platforms for the development of capacities that expand self-knowledge, self-expression, self-determination, and life satisfaction and well-being.”

“Educational systems at all levels should include the acquisition of cultural skills and knowledge pertaining to intercultural dialogue; the recognition and valuing of diversity, creativity, tangible and intangible heritage; and the development of skills using digital tools for cultural transmission, innovative expression, and bridging of cultures.” (p. 30)

Duxbury, N., Hosagrahar, J., & Pascual, J. (2016). Why must culture be at the heart of sustainable urban development? Barcelona, Spain: United Cities and Local Governments.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Culture is Mirriam-Webster’s 2014 Word of the Year


Merriam-Webster Inc., America’s leading dictionary publisher, has announced its top ten Words of the Year for 2014. This year’s list was compiled by analyzing the top lookups in the online dictionary at Merriam-Webster.com and focusing on the words that showed the greatest increase in lookups this year as compared to last year. The results, based on approximately 100 million lookups a month, shed light on topics and ideas that sparked the nation’s interest in 2014.

The Word of the Year, with the greatest number of lookups and a significant increase over last year, is culture. Culture is not associated with any one event, but instead dominated the headlines this year, on topics ranging from “celebrity culture” to “rape culture” to “company culture.” In years past, lookups for the word culture spiked in the fall, as students encountered the word in titles and descriptions of courses and books, but this year lookups have moved from seasonal to persistent, as culture has become a term frequently used in discussions of social phenomena.

“Culture is a word that we seem to be relying on more and more. It allows us to identify and isolate an idea, issue, or group with seriousness,” explains Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large for Merriam-Webster. “And it’s efficient: we talk about the ‘culture’ of a group rather than saying ‘the typical habits, attitudes, and behaviors’ of that group. So we think that it may be the increased use of this newer sense of the word culture that is catching people’s attention and driving the volume of lookups.”

Arizona State U job ad

Hugh Downs School of Human Communication

The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences on the Tempe Campus of Arizona State University, invites applications for a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of Intercultural Communication to begin in August 2013.

Required Qualifications:
1)  PhD (or foreign educational equivalent) in Communication or related field.  Must have PhD in hand by August 1, 2013.
2)  Record of research in intercultural/international communication as demonstrated by publications or works in progress, with a continuing program of scholarly activity publishable in established international refereed journals.

Desired Qualifications:
1)  Demonstrated excellence in scholarship confronting significant global and domestic issues in the ways culture plays a role in relationships between individuals, groups, and societies, scholarship that explicitly contributes to Hugh Downs School of Human Communication Strategic Initiatives (Conflict Transformation Project, Innovative Inquiry, Project for Wellness and Work-Life (see details ) and scholarship that is supportive of ASU’s campus-wide research initiatives: (1) Building strong, vibrant communities, (2) Defending and extending human rights, (3) Understanding the past and present for the sake of our future, and (4) Creating a sustainable way of life) (see details).
2)  Demonstrated potential for obtaining external funding for research projects.
3)  Demonstrated teaching effectiveness, demonstrated ability to teach courses in the existing undergraduate and graduate curriculum of the HDSHC, with potential to develop new courses in relevant areas of scholarship.
4)  Demonstrated ability to engage in service to the university, academic profession, and public/community that supports ethical/professional behavior as defined in Board of Regents, university, or academic unit policy.

The application deadline is Monday, November 26, 2012; if the position is not filled, then applications will be accepted every subsequent Monday until the search is closed.

Applicants must submit a cover letter specifying interest in the position and how their qualifications match the required and desired qualifications, curriculum vitae, evidence of effectiveness in teaching (e.g., syllabi, teaching evaluations), evidence of excellence in scholarship (e.g. reprints of published articles), and three letters of references.  Letters of reference must be emailed directly by referees to HDSHCrecruitment AT asu.edu, with the job order #10246 written in the SUBJECT area of the email.

Application materials should be submitted as a single PDF document via email only to HDSHCrecruitment AT asu.edu. Please write the job order #10246 in the SUBJECT area of the email.
Arizona State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. See ASU’s complete non-discrimination statement. In line with the Arizona Board of Regents’ policy, a background check is required for employment.

CFP: New Media

Call for essays: Culture Theory and Critique special themed issue on The “Newness” of New Media

Editors: Ilana Gershon, Indiana University (igershon@indiana.edu) and Joshua A. Bell, NMNH, Smithsonian Institution (bellja@si.edu)

Outside of the West, communities have traditionally innovated and engaged different forms of media, whether using textiles, dog’s teeth, valuables or abacus. These myriad forms remain integral to the networks of communications and relations. Today the new media technologies of the Internet, mobile phones and social networking sites provide another venue for innovation and continuity. Within the Western context, historians of media have demonstrated how new media sparks exaggerated fears that intimate connections will be harmed when a technology is introduced. Thus part of the “newness” of new media is an often-repeated expectation that new forms of representation will disrupt established social organization. In this special issue, we hope to explore how the “newness” of new media is experienced outside of Euro-America, ranging from how communities have and are responding to the introduction of writing to the introduction of mobile phones and social networking sites. This has a strong historical component; many of our questions arise from the aftermath of colonial encounters. Two themes guide these ethnographic explorations: the “newness” of new media for dialogue and the “newness” of new media for representation.

The first theme explores the ways new media is understood to change how dialogue and dissemination are intertwined. In Speaking Into the Air, John Durham Peters argues that in the Western context, people historically feared new media because every new medium alters a precarious balance between dialogue (dyadic conversational turn-taking) and dissemination (broadcasting). As new media becomes incorporated into daily life, each technology becomes valued accordingly. People see each new technology as changing how dialogue or dissemination take place, which introduce new possibilities and new risks to communication. In this issue, authors ask: how are the ways people’s historically situated understandings of how dialogue and dissemination should be interwoven affecting how people responded to new media? How are people’s epistemological assumptions and social organization shaping how they incorporate particular communicative technologies?

The second theme examines how new media become grounds by which communities can challenge misrepresentations, and assert their identities. If new media enable new forms of collaboration and participation, how then have they enabled communities to manage more effectively how their representations travel? How has this shifted historically from colonial to postcolonial moments? What new forms of creative play have emerged in the process, and how have older forms been extended? If the materiality of media matters as argued by Webb Keane and others, how have these new media forms altered or continued existing representational economies? Whose networks are being extended or cut in the process? To what extent is new media understood as re-structuring previously established forms of exchange and knowledge circulation? How have these evolving relationships shifted the ways in which scholarship is being, and or should be done? We welcome essays that address either of these themes.  The questions are not meant to be proscriptive, however, and we welcome queries about possible article content and submissions from graduate students.

Completed essays need to be submitted by June 1, 2012 at which time the editors will make initial decisions. The length of final essays are to be 5,000-7,000 words including notes and please follow the citation style found here.

Send abstracts and essays to Ilana Gershon (igershon@indiana.edu), Joshua A. Bell (bellja@si.edu) or Jennifer Heusel, editorial assistant (ctcjourn@indiana.edu).

Culture, Theory and Critique is a refereed, interdisciplinary journal for the transformation and development of critical theories in the humanities and social sciences. It aims to critique and reconstruct theories by interfacing them with one another and by relocating them in new sites and conjunctures. Culture, Theory and Critique‘s approach to theoretical refinement and innovation is one of interaction and hybridization via recontextualization and transculturation.

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