CFP IAIR conference panel

Call for Papers and Discussants for the 2013 8th biennial IAIR Conference: Reno/Lake Tahoe
Symposium Proposal on IC History Pioneers, Paradigms, and National Developments

For the upcoming June 23-27, 2013 8th biennial conference of the IAIR, we have been notified that there is still space in the schedule and that the deadline for submissions is extended to March 15, 2013.  Please consider if you have content that might contribute to this session proposal (admittedly being expanded rather late) and contact us soon.

Because the theme of this conference is “Pushing the Frontiers of Intercultural Research: Asking Critical Questions,” we propose that one of the important questions to answer concerns evaluation of the
history and status of our diverse intercultural discipline(s). More specifically, it seems critical at this juncture to assess:
(1) What are the enduring contributions of pioneering intercultural trainers, scholars, and practitioners?
(2) How and why have various national/ethnic trajectories in IC expanded, redefined, or repositioned the boundaries and knowledge base of the IC field(s)?
(3) How have the developments of differing paradigms contested and/or contributed to the various expressions now referred to under the “intercultural communication” [IC] rubric?

This is a dialogue that was crystallized in 2010 at two German government sponsored conferences, first at the Berlin “Sino-German Conference on Intercultural Communication” (March 28-April 1) and then
the Shanghai “Chinese IC Disciplinary Development Symposium” (June 11-14). Discussions at those gatherings in part prompted an initiative to document the history of early IC influencers, recently published as the 2012 IJIR Special Issue on “Early American pioneers of intercultural communication“ (Vol. 36(6), which included 14 articles). In compiling that volume, the editors adopted a biographical approach, but acknowledged gaps in both important figures not yet covered as well as the need for developing a more thorough sociology of our IC knowledge (Kulich & Zhang, 2012, pp. 885-901). This session is being organized to continue to address such needs.

Kulich’s opening and concluding articles in the 2012 IJIR issue (available online) suggested the need to cover other important IC pioneers (such as Harry Triandis, Richard Brislin, Mitsuko Saito, David Hoopes, Peggy Pusch, Clifford Clarke, William Howell, William Gudykunst, Young Yun Kim, Stella Ting-Toomey, Mitchell Hammer, Al Wight, Marshall Singer, George Renwick, Stephen Rhinesmith, Robert Moran, Shiela Ramsey, Lynn Tyler, Donald Klopf, Satoshi Ishii, John Berry, Dan Landis, William Starosta, Mary Jane Collier, Geert Hofstede, Alexander Thomas, along with a LONG list of MANY others, and many apologetically NOT yet listed, with influences from and around the world).

One concern, however, is that single scholar/practitioner biographies may not provide as highly-cited journal contributions as work that is more integrative. Seeking to address this, we welcome papers for this session that discuss people, analyze paradigms, organizations, national developments, or other aspects of our shared or divergent history, especially seeking to further a sociology of science for the
IC field(s):
* the analysis of specific intercultural groups/schools of scholars, events, places, programs,
* the interactions/collaboration or divergences of concurrent intercultural pioneeers,
* the history of IC in varied national contexts/ their development landscapes,
* the challenges and contributions of cross-national IC collaborations,
* the framing of contrasting IC paradigms and those who championed them, and/or
* analyzing their effects on the development of IC in different places or persuasions, or
* critical correctives to mainstream IC history, alternative tracks/standpoints/marginalized groups or approaches to studying or doing IC.Discussions are underway for several possible publication outlets for
contributions to this symposium. Some may be selected as articles for another IJIR Special Issue (tentatively possible in 2016), or as key chapters in theme volumes in the Shanghai-based Intercultural Research book series (5 volumes currently published), or as an eventual IJIR “Handbook on the History and Status of Intercultural Communication Research.”

The proposed session is organized by Steve J. Kulich with feedback from a panel composed of Michael Prosser, Jackie Wasilewski, Special Issues Editor Dan Landis, IJIR Editor Colleen Ward and confirmed contributions from Clifford Clarke, Holly Kawakami, and others.

Proposals for contributions for this special conference session should be sent to and also to and should include a 200-500 word abstract detailing the content to be covered or issues to be addressed (before March 15). Responses on inclusion and the tentative design of the symposium session will be sent out before March 18, 2013.

Shanghai International Studies University

On April 25, 2011, I gave two presentations at Shanghai International Studies University in China. The first was “Holding Intercultural / International / Interdisciplinary Dialogues” and was open to the public.

Prof Leeds-Hurwitz at SISU
Prof Leeds-Hurwitz at SISU

The second was “Asking Cultural Questions: Using Ethnography to Answer Questions about Cultural Identity” for a graduate seminar.

Prof Leeds-Hurwitz with SISU graduate student
Prof Leeds-Hurwitz with SISU graduate student

By chance, Dr. Kenneth Cushner (Professor of Education at Kent State University) and his wife, as well as Prof. Michael Steppat (Academic Dean of the School of Linguistics and Literatures, Universität Beyreuth, Germanyom) were both visiting the campus at the same time, and we were all part of the same lunch.

My thanks to Dr. Steve J. Kulich (Executive Director, SISU Intercultural Institute) for organizing the talks and introducing me to several colleagues as well as his Dean. Thanks also to Dr. Qiujun Zhou (Department of International Affairs and Public Management, Shanghai University of Political Science and Law) for helping with logistics of my visit to the city.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Prof Leeds-Hurwitz, Prof Kulich
Prof Leeds-Hurwitz, Prof Kulich