Racial Justice, Relational Responsivity

Applied ICDPenman, Robyn. (2022). Racial justice, relational responsivity and responsibility. CMMi Working Papers, No. 2. 

Perhaps it’s important to emphasise here that we are not using the term “dialogue” loosely. We are, in fact, using the term from a very specific perspective — the prescriptive approach that draws on the work of Martin Buber…Amongst other things, this form of dialogue is characterized by the participants acting authentically and genuinely engaging in the process in a mutually collaborative way that ensues the participants can go on together…And most importantly, this approach to dialogue is fundamentally orientated to the call of the other. (p. 16)

This is the first paper to emerge from discussions in the CMMi Social Justice Working Group. In this paper, Robyn Penman considers the issue of racial justice within a relational framework, that includes a relationally-responsive, and responsible, form of understanding emerging from an “us”. Drawing on the various models and heuristics of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM), she shows us how we can develop a different sense of racial justice and how we can expose the pervasive relational dynamics at work in perpetuating injustice.

The Art of Seeing & Hearing the Other (Online)


The Art of Seeing and Hearing the Other, 20-21 April 2021, ETHER, Leeds, UK (Online Seminar).


How we see and hear the other is often shaped through our attachment to ideas, images and ideologies about ourselves, others and the world. Language ideologies, for instance, delineate what counts as language and as legitimate ways of language use. They set boundaries inside which another is heard, encountered and judged (Inoue, 2003; Piller, 2016). This kind of meeting, however, precludes genuine contact because the listening/looking subject’s ideological preoccupations always put another in the position of an object (‘it’) to be comprehended, made sense of or assimilated. Anthropological philosophy, on the other hand, has entertained the possibility that an authentic encounter with difference can be achieved with a relational shift from ‘I-it’ to ‘I-Thou’ (Buber, 2013). The latter requires the subject’s pre-reflective way of being-in-the world which regards oneself and the other as whole human beings who cannot be reduced to cultural categories (Levinas, 1972). The seminar will examine how the two stances are negotiated in real-life encounters and identify theoretical principles for enabling authentic meetings across divides.

Ethics and Aesthetics of Encountering the Other: New Frameworks for Engaging with Difference (ETHER) is a global research network of members working across academic, arts and public sectors, based at the School of Education at the University of Leeds. ETHER asks asks: How do people of conflicting worldviews, memories and future visions encounter each other?

Take “the Other” to Lunch

Applied ICDElizabeth Lesser suggests we take “the Other” to lunch in a TED talk posted in 2010, but getting a lot of views this year (and now translated into 31 languages). She shares a simple way to begin real dialogue – by going to lunch with someone who doesn’t agree with you, and asking them three questions to find out what they think and why.

For further information about the concept of “Otherness and the Other,” there’s a Key Concept, written by Peter Praxmarer, and a CID Poster available as well.

CFP Myth of the ‘Enemy’ (Italy)

Call for Papers
The Myth of the ‘Enemy’: The mutable faces of the Other and the construction of European identities
Bologna (Italy), June 8 – 09, 2017
Deadline: Mar 6, 2017
International Studies Conference
Department of the Arts, Aula Magna di S. Cristina (piazzetta G. Morandi, 2).

The conference is organised by: Irene Graziani, Maria Vittoria Spissu
The scientific committee is formed by: Lilla Maria Crisafulli, Keir Douglas Elam, Vera Fortunati, Irene Graziani, Renato Mazzolini, Giuseppe Olmi, Fulvio Pezzarossa, Giovanni Ricci, Alessandra Russo, Maria Vittoria Spissu.

Organised by: Dipartimento delle Arti
In collaboration with: Dipartimento di Lingue, Letterature e Culture Moderne, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà – Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna.

The conference’s main focus is on ‘Otherness and the construction of identities’ (be they geographical, ethnic, political, religious, cultural, or social), while the underlying theme requested of the papers is ‘the perception and representation of the enemy’. Contact with the Other, as well as the fear of difference, are highly topical subjects of reflection: the distorting visions they express have, for too long, greatly affected peoples’ civil life and their individual and collective imaginary.

Three sessions are planned, in keeping with the conference’s multi-disciplinary approach: the first session encompasses the Histories of Art, Cinema and Photography; the second concerns History; the third Literature. The papers may be related to the Middle, Modern, or Contemporary ages.

The aim of the conference is to investigate the origin, the circulation and the consolidation of cultural discourses that generated stereotypes and ideas concerning otherness – often aberrant and discriminatory ones – and thus we invite submissions of papers related to the analysis of figures who have been subjected to exclusion and depersonalisation, perceived as belonging to ‘Other Worlds’ to be denigrated, colonised, converted, and/or obliterated: Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Eastern Christians, Dissenters, Turks, Blacks, savages, foreigners, ‘enemies’, ‘infidels’.

Papers that may shed light on the perception of Europeans in texts and images produced by non-European cultures will also be accepted.

Satire and the various forms of violence perpetrated at the expense of other and different cultures, express – as the obverse sides of the same coin – the anxiety but also the fascination and myths created regarding places and peoples that were/are unfamiliar or ‘remote’.

Particular consideration will be given to contributions focusing on mutual influences and on different forms of contamination and hybridization: appropriations of stylistic features and models of the other within the cultures of origin, as well as the diffusion (or imposition) of values, paradigms of knowledge, practices of representation from the hegemonic cultural centre outwards.

The conference also intends to investigate and deconstruct what is hidden behind the labels of ‘enemy’ or the Other, and encourages the adoption of innovative and cross-cultural research perspectives, privileging, when possible, less explored areas and connections.

Paper topics might include:
America, Africa, Asia in the European imaginary and vice versa;
European identities, political contrasts and internal religious polemics;
Otherness as fascination;
Otherness as terror;
Otherness as joke, caricature, satire;
Otherness and propaganda;
Otherness as falsification;
Contaminations of attributes;
Explorations, voyages and contacts – real or imaginary – with unfamiliar civilisations and other Worlds;
Myth of the enemy: archetypes, poetics, pathosformeln;
Migrations of models;
Appropriation of foreign conceptions and types;
Production of hybrid objects;
Otherness and fiction;
Otherness and artistic/literary genres.

How to apply:
If you wish to submit a proposal, please send name(s), email address and affiliation, as well as title, five keywords, abstract (max. 300 words) outlining a 20-minute paper, together with a brief bio (including main research interests and publications – no more than five references), and (if so desired) a provisional bibliography concerning your paper. Please indicate, immediately before or immediately after the title of the abstract, your session of reference: history of art, history or literature (this also applies to multi-disciplinary papers).

Deadline for proposals: by 6th March 2017.
Confirmation of participation will be on 15th April 2017.
Proposals should be sent to: irene.graziani AT unibo.it and mariavittoria.spissu AT unibo.it.
Working languages: English, Italian.

Selected articles of each session/field of research will be published as a volume of conference proceedings, following a double-blind peer review process. The publication will provide (limited) space for (black-and-white) illustrations.
Deadline for paper submission (for publication in conference proceedings): 3 months after conference.

Key Concept #39: Otherness and the Other by Peter Praxmarer

Key Concepts in ICDThe next issue of Key Concepts in intercultural Dialogue is now available. This is KC39: Otherness and the Other by Peter Praxmarer. [NOTE: this concept was updated in 2016, and the original 2014 version replaced.] As always, all Key Concepts are available as free PDFs; just click on the thumbnail to download. Lists organized  chronologically by publication date and numberalphabetically by concept in English, and by languages into which they have been translated, are available, as is a page of acknowledgments with the names of all authors, translators, and reviewers.

KC39 Otherness_v2Praxmarer, P. (2016). Otherness and the Other(s). Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue, 39. Available from:

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue publishes a series of short briefs describing Key Concepts in intercultural Dialogue. Different people, working in different countries and disciplines, use different vocabulary to describe their interests, yet these terms overlap. Our goal is to provide some of the assumptions and history attached to each concept for those unfamiliar with it. As there are other concepts you would like to see included, send an email to the series editor, Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. If there are concepts you would like to prepare, provide a brief explanation of why you think the concept is central to the study of intercultural dialogue, and why you are the obvious person to write up that concept.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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