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Conference on Intercultural Dialogue
National Communication Association (USA) Summer Conference
July 22-26, 2009
Scholars study intercultural communication from different epistemological and ontological perspectives. The term "culture" itself is contested and needs to be further discussed from the intersections of various concepts such as power, identity and representation. One commonality between scholars from the interpretive, received, and critical traditions is their study of intercultural misunderstandings, on an individual and group level.
This conference is designed around two main issues: to discuss the current status of intercultural communication in various cultural, social, historical and political contexts, including the term "culture," and to explore ways of understanding and managing productively interactions through dialogue. We will use a series of case studies to discuss how scholars approach cultural misunderstandings or conflicts from different theoretical perspectives and to ensure that we are looking at real examples of actual problems in particular contexts. This conference will serve as one follow-up to the European Year for Intercultural Dialogue (2008). As a city geographically and historically located between Europe and Asia, East and West, Istanbul forms a symbolic space for scholarly attempts in the search for cultural dialogue.
The conference is designed to be interdisciplinary, international, collaborative, and applied. We are inviting scholars from different disciplines and countries in order to expand the conversations on the intersections between culture, conflict, and dialogue and to develop research partnerships. Questions asked could include: How do scholars in different contexts define the concept of culture? What are dominant epistemological and ontological approaches to culture and communication scholarship in various contexts? What is the politics of representation and power in the situations of cultural conflict and misunderstanding? What are the roles of alternative discursive spaces and political consciousness in building cultural dialogue? How can we approach the issues of cultural conflict and dialogue from the intersection of various identities such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation or religion? What is the role of dialogue in managing intercultural/international conflicts? What are the limits of current intercultural communication scholarship for contributing to pressing social and political problems?
This will be a small working conference, facilitating conversations intended to develop future connections between participants. Each scholar is asked to submit one case study of intercultural communication in which there was a conflict or misunderstanding, and to provide one approach, theory, or analytic tool that can be used to productively understand and/or resolve the issue presented in the case study. Examples could include a media text, such as a film, documentary, television or radio program; a transcript of a conversation; a videotape of interaction; a web page; or a narrative written by a group member. Participants will share their case studies before the conference, and spend time during the conference analyzing them from a variety of approaches. After the conference is over, the case studies will serve as a common database to facilitate further research.
Short versions (10 page limit) of the case studies are due by December 31, 2008 and should be submitted to this site. These will undergo a process of blind peer review; those accepted will be organized into topics. Some likely topics include: tourism, intergenerational familial relations in migrant families, youth culture, international teams in the corporate realm, NGOs working on conflict resolution, new media technologies, popular culture, transnational feminist practices, international journalism, and space/place/identity. Final, complete analysis of the case studies will be posted to a conference website by April 15, 2009 and participants are expected to read all those on the same topic as their own work ahead of time. The deadline for conference registration is May 1, 2009. To facilitate discussions at the conference, the conference language will be English.