LIST(e)N and The Day of Listening

Intercultural PedagogyLIST(e)N invites people with opposing viewpoints on some of the most divisive issues – guns, abortion, and immigration — to listen to each other. The documentary features participants whose personal lives deeply intertwine with the topics, including one of the survivors of the Parkland, FL school shooting. As the exchanges unfold, and the participants take the time to get to know each other, moments of unexpected emotional connection and understanding arise.

Documentary director Juliana Tafur has now announced a program at universities, The Day of Listening, consisting of:

  • A screening of the award-winning 80-minute film LIST(e)N, showcasing how listening can have a positive impact on people with opposing viewpoints.
  • A post screening session that highlights the tools needed for deep listening, which are essential for exercising meaningful connections with ourselves and others.
  • An experience-based component, with mediated encounters between students, where they get to discuss important yet non-controversial topics (to be selected with the university, based on their priorities), and have the students put into practice their newly-acquired deep listening skills. *The idea here is to achieve connection between the students, just like we did during the encounters we mediated for the film.

So far, LIST(e)N has been screened at Northwestern University, Florida International University and The Ohio State University; University of Miami is coming up soon.

David: Using Film in ICD

Intercultural PedagogyDavid, the film co-written, co-produced and co-directed by Joel Fendelman and Patrick Daly, would be a great conversation starter for any discussion of intercultural dialogue, or broader issues of intercultural communication.

The film shows what happens when 11-year-old boys interact without having labels (in this case, “Jew” and “Arab”) to use as their starting point. To quote a line from the trailer, this is “a film about possibilities.”

If you use other films in your work or teaching that relate to intercultural dialogue, please take a moment to send an email with a short note, as CID is currently preparing a list of such films to post as a resource.



Graduate Programs in Intercultural Dialogue

Graduate StudyAs of today, there is a new database provided on this site, for Graduate Programs in Intercultural Dialogue. Access it directly from this link, or from the menu, under databases.

The title may be a bit misleading for, in fact, there are no Masters or PhD degrees awarded for Intercultural Dialogue, at least none that have surfaced in searches thus far. However, that does not stop students from writing to CID requesting suggestions of appropriate graduate (postgraduate if in Europe) programs. For them we are providing a list of programs in related areas: Intercultural Communication or Dialogue, various combinations of Conflict / Peace Studies, or Interfaith / Interreligious Studies, or Border Studies. Many more programs emphasize a wide range of related topics, from Social Justice to Human Rights to Migration or Multilingualism. More general degrees typically offer specializations or even certificates which might also be appropriate (so that Intercultural Communication is frequently one area of focus in Communication degrees, Migration can be a focus in Sociology, Negotiation in Psychology, Dispute Resolution in Law, Human Rights in International Relations, Multilingualism in Linguistics, Multiculturalism in Education, etc.). Also, some universities offer interdisciplinary degrees that students can design to meet their specific interests if there is no program meeting their needs.

Before dozens of colleagues in Intercultural Communication decide to write, a clarification. The National Communication Association keeps a list of which doctoral program in the USA teach intercultural communication as part of a more general program of study. But of the 36 entries in the most recent list, only six (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Michigan State University, University at Albany-SUNY, University at Buffalo-SUNY, University of Arizona, and University of Illinois-Chicago) even show Intercultural Communication as a named specialization. And none of them bear the title Intercultural Communication, as do numerous degrees around the world. Since the page for graduate programs being added to the site today is intended to show programs awarding degrees in Dialogue, Intercultural Communication, or any of the cognate areas listed, that is the likely explanation for why your program does not appear. However, this list is a first attempt and will be updated frequently. Please do send an email if you are in, or know of, a program awarding a degree in ICD or one of the cognate areas described which is not listed here.

Intercultural Learning Hub

Intercultural PedagogyIntercultural Learning Hub, public “science gateway” sponsored by Purdue University’s Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research.

Calling all interculturalists! Looking for resources to help others develop intercultural competence or engage them in equity and inclusion work? Need a venue to disseminate your latest scholarship? Searching for connection with others in the field? Visit the new Intercultural Learning Hub. Membership is free. Your contributions are welcome.

Ramen Shop

Intercultural Pedagogy
Ramen Shop could not be more appropriate as a tool for starting discussions about intercultural dialogue.

The protagonist, the son of a Singaporean mother and Japanese father,  searches for family history and recipes simultaneously. By the end, he combines his father’s ramen noodles with his mother’s bak kut teh, or pork rib soup.

Learning Matters

A book that I was writing while at the Institute Français de l’Education in Lyon last fall has just been published by Editions des Archives Contemporaines, based in Paris. The title is Learning Matters: The Transformation of US Higher Education. It’s co-authored with a former University of Wisconsin-Parkside colleague, Peter Hoff, who went on to become President of the University of Maine. My thanks to Yves Winkin for asking the questions about higher education in the US that led to the writing of this book.

Here is a summary of the book’s content:

Higher education in the United States of America, considered by many to set a worldwide standard for broad access and high levels of excellence, has for many decades seen massive changes in its approaches to teaching and learning. Redesigning and transforming the way colleges and universities teach their students has been likened to reconstructing an airplane while it remains aloft. More than 4,000 US colleges and universities have met the challenge by analyzing major changes in student populations and introducing new instructional techniques that recognize the primacy of learning over teaching. This seemingly innocent but powerful transformation, acknowledging that teaching only matters as a means to the real end – learning – is powering a pedagogical revolution. The Learning Revolution in US higher education began when World War II veterans flooded university classrooms, soon to be followed by their children, the American “Baby Boom.” Overwhelming numbers of new students from new kinds of backgrounds flooded colleges and universities, forcing professors to rethink how they went about teaching these new generations. To handle the numbers, many new universities were created, and many established centers for teaching excellence to help professors adapt to new populations with new techniques. In the 1990s, higher education further professionalized the teaching craft via the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Research into how students learn and how to help them learn took its place alongside traditional academic research. Aided by a wave of new technologies, teaching centers and the scholarship of teaching and learning are transforming the university classroom as well as many new venues outside the classroom where learning now takes place. The resulting new pedagogical architecture now embraces every dimension of US higher education.

Copies of the book are available directly from the publisher: Editions des Archives Contemporaines or, for those based outside of France, from Amazon in the US. (For those outside those two countries, the book is also available from Amazon in Germany, Spain, and the UK.)

The section of the book most directly linked to my work with the Center for Intercultural Dialogue concerns internationalization as an issue for US higher education. Here are a few relevant quotes:

  • “the rest of the world increasingly speaks English, but few Americans actively travel in international circles, so globalization may become oddly limited to the English language, passing over many native speakers” (p. 92)
  • “It would be difficult to argue that U.S. universities have been doing an adequate job of preparing students to live and work in the global village. Historically, what little was done has been deemed adequate, so few people see a need for substantial change” (pp. 97-98)
  • “The world has become smaller, and so students need to understand more of what occurs in other countries than their own. At the lowest level of application, this implies integrating international examples; at the highest level, new technologies permit international collaborative research projects.” (p. 218)

For those interested in discussing issues related to teaching and learning, and expanding on what we included in the book, my co-author, Peter Hoff, created a Facebook page:

If you read Portuguese instead of English, a monograph version, Arquitectura pedagógica para a mudança no ensino superior [Pedagogical architecture changes for higher education], prepared when I was a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra during the spring, is also now published.

CFP Intercultural comm strategies

“I am putting together a panel for the 2013 WSCA [Western Speech Communication Association] conference. This panel seeks to create space to dialogue about strategies for teaching intercultural communication that will prepare students to understand, respond to, and potentially address emerging ethnic, racial, and religious conflicts manifesting both globally and locally.  I seek teacher-scholars willing to share creative pedagogical and theoretical leaps you are making in your intercultural communication courses to engage students and to equip them to effectively and pragmatically negotiate this 21st century moment that is characterized by instability, conflict, and sociocultural shifts. Interested parties are welcome to submit a 150 word abstract for consideration by August 20, 2012.”

Hannah Oliha, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
Faculty Advisor, WTAMU NAACP College Chapter
West Texas A & M University