SEIS Academic Forum Series（No.753）
Forum on Intercultural Communication
Positioning Language, Identity and Interculturality in the Study Abroad Experience
Date: November, 27, 2019 (Wednesday)
Venue: Room 115, School of English and International Studies
Abstract: The concept of identity is probably one of the most important and researched concepts in the social and human sciences today. In many studies of interculturality, identity seems to have taken over and somewhat substituted the contested concept of culture in order to reflect “critical questions to do with access, power, desire, difference and resistance” (Pennycook, 2001: 6). It is thus a very relevant concept for studying the study abroad experience. In this talk I reflect on what is meant by identity and discuss what researchers have discovered about the influence of identity elements (e.g., gender, age, language, cultural, sexual orientation) on interculturality in relation to the positioning and learning of student sojourners. This review also highlights the ‘dark sides of identity’, the challenge of contested identities, and the potential for identity reconstruction/expansion (e.g., hybrid selves, global selves) through intercultural engagement, reflection, and study abroad. The issue of language, identity and interculturality in the study abroad context, which has been researched for several decades, is also presented.
About the speaker: Fred Dervin is Professor of Multicultural Education at Renmin University of China. 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.