Center for Intercultural Studies

  • Description
  • Introduction

    The Center is dedicated to systematic research on the interactions between different cultures. It supports interdisciplinary inquiry that reexamines established theoretical frameworks, and sponsors national and international collaboration on intercultural issues. It will provide education in intercultural leadership and promote improved relations between the various cultures of the world.

    The study of interculturality is a pioneering field that seeks to respond to the challenges posed by globalization. It aspires to better understand and interpret cultural difference, and thereby holds a promise of creating new knowledge that changes our outlook on the world. In its theoretical and conceptual framework, the study of interculturality draws on many disciplines, including: history, anthropology, sociology, psychology, communication, linguistics, literature, art, philosophy, and political science. As such, it lays a firm foundation for the successful pursuit of many careers, including: foreign service, international business, international education, journalism, public policy, and academia.

    The Center for Intercultural Studies will serve as a disciplinary home for Saint Louis University faculty with expertise in interculturality, as well as a hub for exchanging local, national, and global intercultural resources. To further its goals, the Center will sponsor research teams, graduate degree programs, post-doctoral fellowships, visiting scholars, publications, conferences, distinguished speakers, lecture series, and workshops. It will also collaborate with academic and cultural institutions of the St. Louis region.

    Research Projects

    • Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Interculturality
    • Perspectives on Health and Medicine in Africa
    • Visual and Performing Arts as Vehicles of Cultural Agency for People of Color in Antebellum America and Colonial Lagos
    • Charity and Poverty in Judaism, Christianity and Islam in the Early Modern Period
    • Access to the Healthcare System and Successful Aging among Immigrants after Midlife
    • The Impact of Race and Religion on the Refugee Resettlement Process in American Society

    Publications

    A new book, Cross-Cultural History and the Domestication of Otherness (New York: Palgrave Macmillan), edited by SLU faculty members Michal Jan Rozbicki and George O. Ndege (History and the Center for Intercultural Studies) has been published in January 2012.

    Through case studies spanning Europe, America, Africa, and Asia, the volume illuminates our understanding of what happens when different cultures meet. Twelve cultural historians explore the mechanism and inner dynamic of such encounters, and demonstrate that while they often occur on the wave of global forces and influences, they only acquire meaning locally, where culture inherently resides. The authors shine a light into the nature of this process by showing that traditional, macro-scale frameworks of interpretation are too abstract and general to capture change caused by cross-cultural contacts, and that such change can come about only at the grassroots level because that is where the domestication of otherness takes place.

    Details

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