SEIS Academic Forum Series (No. 701)
Forum on Cross-Cultural Communication
Intercultural Communication Education as An Entry into Dialogicality
Speaker: Prof. Fred Dervin & Dr. Ashley Simpson
Date: 19 November, 2018 (Monday)
Venue: Lecture Hall, the 3rd floor of the BFSU library
This talk is based on our dissatisfaction with one important aspect of current research and practice on intercultural communication education. Many supranational institutions such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), tend to treat intercultural communication as a monological phenomenon – i.e. the emphasis is on Self rather than on the hyphen between Self-Other. This makes any attempt to teach, ‘assess’ and problematize interculturality limiting and limited in education. Basing our critical insights on an original combination of Russian Literary Critic M. Bakhtin and Confucian ethics, we first review the meaning and importance of dialogicality and ethics in the human and social sciences. We then take the descriptors of competences proposed by the Council of Europe to show how some of the key descriptors seem to take into account these two aspects, while at the same time negate them. In our conclusion, we call for the systematic inclusion of dialogicality and ethics in rethinking interculturality. We also suggest turning our gaze towards what is often referred to as peripherality for inspiration.
About the speakers:
Fred Dervin is Professor of Multicultural Education at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Prof. Dervin specializes in intercultural education, the sociology of multiculturalism and student and academic mobility. He has widely published in international journals on identity, the 'intercultural' and mobility/migration (over 100 articles and 50 books). Dervin is one of the most influential scholars and critical voices on intercultural communication education in Europe.
Dr. Ashley Simpson, Research Assistant Professor, School of Foreign Studies, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. Dr. Simpson specializes in Intercultural Education and Intercultural Communication, and Discourse theories and methods. Dr. Simpson is also the Vice-Director of the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics – University of Helsinki Joint Research Centre on Intercultural Studies.