Ruins by Steven Darian

Guest Posts

Ruins: A guest post by Steven Darian.

Darian writes: “If you really want to understand another culture, you must immerse yourself in it, especially if that other culture existed long long ago. You must feel yourself into the life, even if it is from a thousand years ago.

Here are a few places I’ve been to and have tried to feel my way into the soul of: the fabled city of Gaur, where the Ganges River joins the Brahmaputra, on its journey down to Calcutta, and the famous clay soldiers of Xi’an. I’ve called the piece RUINS.”

These pieces are from Darian’s forthcoming book The Wanderer: Travels & Adventures Beyond the Pale, appearing fall 2019 and published by Linus Learning.

Lisa Childress: Increasing Faculty Engagement in ICC & Internationalization on Campus

Guest Posts

Increasing Faculty Engagement in Intercultural Communication and Internationalization on Campus by Lisa K. Childress.

How can faculty members promote intercultural dialogue on campus? That is what those of us who are advocates for intercultural communication (ICC) and internationalization seek to encourage on a daily basis. Many faculty members on campus may already see interdisciplinary dialogue as an avenue through which to gain a more holistic understanding of their subject matter. In other words, many of our colleagues already believe in the value of looking at research and teaching through more than one disciplinary lens as a way to provide a more complex, comprehensive point of view. The question thus becomes: How can we use the already held value of interdisciplinarity as a springboard to promote the value of ICC and internationalization?

Let’s look at this conundrum through a series of questions:

As faculty members, we seek to develop our students’ global competencies.

(1) What is the foundation for developing our students’ global competencies?
Answer: The internationalization of our curricula.

(2) What is at the heart of internationalizing our curricula?
Answer: Our faculty.

(3) With what do faculty primarily concern themselves?
Answer: Their department’s goals and values and their individual teaching and research agendas.

(4) How can we shift our university’s academic departments towards a more intercultural and international focus?
Answer: Customizing ICC and internationalization to unique disciplinary priorities.

So, how can we move the ball forward? Since faculty members live within their academic disciplines, that is where the conversations and the impetus for increasing faculty engagement in ICC and internationalization need to begin.

Read the full discussion in order to learn the next steps.

Johanna Maccioni: Overlanding from Brussels to Kuala Lumpur

Guest PostsOverlanding from Brussels to Kuala Lumpur: A few comments on interactions along the way by Johanna Maccioni.

Johanna Maccioni and family

As a family with four children, we decided to travel for a year and a half from Brussels to Sydney with our own truck. Our first itinerary planned to cross Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, part of Russia, Mongolia, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and finally Australia. However, we never managed to obtain Chinese visas, so we had to build a new itinerary. From Mongolia, we exited through Siberia again to reach Vladivostok where we took a ferry to South Korea and then to Japan. We then shipped our truck to Borneo planning to cross from Malaysia to Indonesia by land on that island, and then take ferries up to Dili in Timor for a last leg to Darwin. During the time our truck was being shipped from Japan to Borneo, we stopped in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao. But plans changed again as we were running out of time and money. So, we finally decided to travel to peninsular Malaysia from Borneo, made a loop in Thailand and Laos and sent our truck back home from Kuala Lumpur to sell it. The trip continues for us as we have now settled for a projected two years in New Caledonia, a French island in the Pacific, giving us time to visit part of Oceania.

This road trip was a very exciting adventure and experience to learn from. While there are many possible subjects to describe, I would like to report here a few comments related to interactions during our trip, placing them into a personal perspective.

During this trip, there have been three main type of interactions with others: interactions with local inhabitants in each country, interactions with the expatriate community living abroad, and interactions with members of the overlanding community.

Read the full description to learn the details of these 3 types of interactions, and follow the family’s blog to learn more details of their experiences.

Sharing an Exotic Meal as ICD

Guest Posts

Sharing an Exotic Meal as a Trigger of Intercultural Dialogue. Guest post by Mine Krause.

 

Elif Shafak’s novel The Bastard of Istanbul (Turkish title: Baba ve Piç) tells the captivating story of a Turkish and an American-Armenian-Turkish patchwork family, both female dominated. Coming from very different cultural backgrounds, the characters’ mentalities often seem incompatible. The religious Banu lives under the same roof as her atheist sister Zeliha and their Kemalist mother Gülsüm… and yet they somehow get along and even love each other in this household full of contradictory world views. The serious issues dealt with in this novel are numerous: the role of collective amnesia and individual memory, patriarchy and women’s rights, incest, identity. Among these topics is also the relationship between food experiences and intercultural dialogue.

It might seem trivial but eating habits tell us a lot about other cultures and identities. After all, “we are what we eat,” as the slogan says. When it comes to the search for identity, the universal language of food can indeed play an essential part.

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