CFP Taos Institute Silver Jubilee (Mexico)

ConferencesThe Taos Institute Silver Jubilee: Celebrating 25 Years of Innovations in Social Construction in Action Around the World. A Taos Institute Conference,  November 8-11, 2018 (Pre-conference days Nov. 7-8), Cancun, Mexico.

Join in to:

  • Celebrate the Taos Institute’s Silver Anniversary
  • Explore 25 years of innovation in social construction theory and practice
  • Meet colleagues and friends from around the world
  • Welcome a new generation of scholars and practitioners
  • Create opportunities for dialogue, sharing practices, performance and fun!

Note the two days of pre-conference workshops for deeper immersion into theory and practices of social construction.

CFP Succeeding in Africa: Social Construction in Action (South Africa)

Succeeding in Africa: Social Construction in Action
July 10 – 12, 2017 in Johannesburg, S. Africa

The Taos Instiute is partnering with the Institute for Transdisciplinary Development in S. Africa for a conference that aims to create the context for both large and small group dialogue with the intent to harvest new learnings about how people – together – across disciplines and in participation with local knowledges – can co-create innovative practices to address complex challenges successfully.

Much has been researched and said about Africa’s problems and complexities and what should be done. This conference’s focus will be on what has been done – successfully. We will bring African projects, from small to mega, from all contexts and disciplines, in the focus. These success stories are going to be unpacked to establish how collaborative, transdisciplinary relationships have enabled success.

Come witness the stories, from the African continent, of collaborative, relational practices and transdisciplinary approaches as creative and innovative responses to solving complex challenges.

This conference will offer you the opportunity to engage in both large and small group dialogue with the intent to harvest new learnings about how people together – across disciplines and in participation with local knowledges – can co-create innovative practices to address complex challenges successfully.

Call for Proposals Open Until March 15, 2017

Contribute and participate in this conference by submitting your presentation proposal illustrating how collaborative, relational and transdisciplinary practices have enabled you and/or your team to achieve transformative and sustainable success in a small or large scale project within one of the following critical focus areas:

  • Education (focus areas including among others primary education)
  • Infrastructure (focus areas including among others; water; electricity; science and technology that are environmentally sustainable)
  • Health (focus areas including among others combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases)
  • Economy (focus areas including among others SME development; entrepreneurial development; sustainable agriculture, high performing organisations)
  • Government (focus areas including among others good governance, stakeholder economic development, infrastructure development, poverty alleviation, education, sport etc.)
  • Culture (focus areas including among others fundamentalism and its effects on conflict and relationships; religion, race; gender)

Pre-Conference Workshops, July 8, 2017

Morning workshop: Social Construction, Relational Theory and Change Practices
Afternoon workshop: Stepping into a Transdisciplinary world

Royal Roads University & Cultural Identity 2016

I spent July, August and September 2016 teaching a graduate seminar at Royal Roads University, located in Victoria, BC, Canada, as part of their Master of Arts in International and Intercultural Communication (MAIIC) for the second time (the first time was described a year ago). The course was Contemporary Issues in Communication: Cultural Identity. The 39 students came from China, Nigeria, India, France, Senegal/France, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Jordan, Brazil, the US, and Canada.

Near the end of the course, there was a banquet for students in the program, and many photos were taken, including one with those faculty, staff and administrators who were present. We took another the last day of class. None of these includes everyone.

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Students worked on a major course project on the social construction of migration in the public sphere. Each one looked at a different part of the story – I hope to upload some of their results in later posts.

While at RRU, I arranged for an intern for CID, Min He. She started her work as Assistant to the Director on October 3, 2016.

I also was asked to supervise a doctoral dissertation in Interdisciplinary Studies, and have started working with Liton Furukawa on her project. An international student herself, she will examine the transition international students make after graduation (when Canada offers them a 3 year residency permit) to being international workers.

My thanks to Juana Du, program head of the MAIIC, for again inviting me to her beautiful campus to work with an incredible group of students!

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

CFP Italian American identity

Identity, Culture, and Communication among Italian Americans

Call for book chapter proposals on Italian American identity, for edited book.

This book aims to explore how Italian Americans communicate their identities in specific locations around the United States. While there has been some research conducted on migration patterns, sociology, and folklore of Italian Americans, there is very little documentation of their communication experience and of regional differences in those experiences. This is a unique opportunity for communication scholars to contribute to the area of intercultural communication, and to begin an interdisciplinary conversation between the two fields. We invite proposals that reveal the multiple and complex cultural constructions of Italian American identity represented in local communities. This volume will approach topics from a number of critical and theoretical perspectives.

Essays may explore, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • How Italian Americans form and sustain identities through language, speech acts, rituals, cultural artifacts, media, or networks.
  • What Italian Americans make of their own communication practices.
  • The cultural contexts of Italian American communication.
  • Italian American interpersonal communication.
  • Local forms of communication in Italian American communities.
  • How Italian Americans construct or share cultural spaces in their communities.
  • Symbolic meanings in Italian American communication practices.
  • Italian American self-representation versus media representation.
  • Italian Americans communication with other ethnic groups.

Please submit proposals of 300-500 words (as word file) or inquiries to Denise Scannell, Assistant Professor, New York City College of Technology, no later than October 15, 2013.

These fictions we call disciplines

An article growing out of research started as a Fellow at the Collegium de Lyon in 2009 has just been published:

Leeds-Hurwitz, W. (2012). These fictions we call disciplines. Electronic Journal of Communication/La Revue Electronique de Communication, 22(3-4). Available from:

Abstract: Accepting that disciplines are social constructions implies expanding current practice in four directions: incorporating disciplinary history, cognate disciplines, international variations, and rival subdisciplines. Intercultural Communication serves as a concrete case study for how these implications play out. Consideration of the broader impact of these issues on the future of social construction research leads to concluding discussion of the characteristics required of more adequately prepared scholars.

Here’s a quote relevant to my work with the Center for Intercultural Dialogue:

“There can be no more literal form of alien knowledge than that produced by foreign scholars. Their research agendas have different histories, so they have developed different traditions of investigation, whether methods, theories, or topics. One result is that foreign research can be difficult to understand, requiring time and effort spent developing familiarity with the vocabulary used and assumptions made. Yet the result repays the time and effort: just as looking at the past reveals paths not taken, so does looking at research conducted in other countries.”

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue


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