Cfc: Interculturality at stake

David Boromisza-Habashi dbh at COLORADO.EDU
Sun Feb 8 05:22:38 UTC 2009

From: Frederic Dervin <freder at UTU.FI>

**Please forward extensively and pardon cross-postings**

Call for chapters (deadline for abstracts: 1st April 2009)

Interculturality at stake


Anne Lavanchy
Maître-assistante & researcher
MAPS, University of Neufchatel, Switzerland
(e-mail: anne.lavanchy at

Fred Dervin
Senior Lecturer & researcher
Linguistics, Intercultural education & communication
Department of French Studies, University of Turku, Finland
(e-mail: freder at

Anahy Gajardo
Research assistant & lecturer
Education & anthropology
Université de Genève & Université de Fribourg, Suisse
(e-mail: anahy.gajardo at

Since 1970s, a profusion of terms such as pluri-, multi-, inter- or
crosscultural have been used to describe the instruments permitting the
resolution, by means of adequate communication and translation, of
social and political problems defined as intrinsic to the interaction of
people/groups of "different cultures". Often indifferently
understood as
the study and management of relations in a social sphere qualified as
multi- or pluricultural, interculturality is considered a priori
positive and is rarely questioned as a term or a practice. In this call
for chapters, interculturality is understood as a shifting set of
phenomena, techniques and representations related to the meetings of
people from different countries.

Under cover of the term interculturality or its synonyms, many
collective entities, whether NGOs or public institutions, have been
encouraged to take measures aimed at promoting and developing
interculturality through the creation of meeting spaces or the
development of educational tracks leading to specialization in
intercultural mediation – as is the case, e.g., of the EU's 2008
Year of
Intercultural Dialogue. Sometimes relying on an ad hoc juridical
apparatus, interculturality functions as a multitudinous process whose
function would be to facilitate the integration of minority groups
defined as « culturally different » within national societies implicitly
perceived as homogenous and to help their interlocutors to communicate
with them. In this sense, interculturality participates in a discourse
on Otherness that presents cultures as discrete and essentialized
entities. These entities thus appear to lead a clean, disembodied,
autonomous existence, which in turn places communication and
intercultural relations on an abstract level, functioning apart from
social actors, contexts of interaction, historicity of relations and

The present work intends to add to critical reflection on the concept of
interculturality, beginning with the analysis of contemporary practices
claiming to be just that – intercultural. These contributions will be
based on theoretical reflections and field studies carried out in
different contexts. In order to understand the presuppositions and
stereotypes that this scientific and societal concept conveys, to the
extent that we can consider it as such, we wish to expand available
knowledge on the following questions:

1. What logic can be located in the (educational, scientific,
theoretical, media…) discourse and the policies of institutionalization
of practices called intercultural?
2. What is the effect of these discourses and policies, their symbolic
and practical efficacy, notably in the reproduction of social inequalities?

Our objective is to encourage reflection through the comparison of
different apprehensions of interculturality, its potential interest and
its limits. Any new approach to interculturality is favoured. From this
perspective, we wish to promote a discussion between specialists from
different disciplines: for example, those from the educational sciences,
anthropology, sociology, communication sciences, linguistics and
political science.

Potential authors are invited to submit a 300-word proposal (including a
few lines about the author(s)) in English or French to the editors by
April 1st 2009. The proposals should clearly explain the theoretical
framework and concerns of the proposed chapter, and include a short
description of a corpus (where applicable). A basic bibliography may
also be added. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by May
15th 2009.

Full chapters are expected to be submitted by September 15th 2009.
The book is scheduled to be published in spring 2010 by an international
publisher. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a blind review basis.


David Boromisza-Habashi, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication
University of Colorado
270 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0270, USA

office location: Hellems 78
work phone: +1 (303) 735 5076
work fax: +1 (303) 492 8411


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