Intercultural Extraneity

About Intercultural Extraneity

This page addresses:

Site description

This site is titled “intercultural extraneity” to take issue with the claim that intercultural “competence” is something to be possessed once and for all, or simply downloaded. The “extraneous” is the extra work we need to do to try to comprehend a (continually changing) situation. Hans-Georg Gadamer explains this as the effort that goes into understanding something apart from ourselves: “To reach an understanding in a dialogue is not merely a matter of … successfully asserting one’s own point of view, but being transformed into a communion in which we do not remain what we were” (2004: 371).

To understand something else is extraneous because it isn’t included in the original frame of reference unless one makes the effort to understand. Clifford Geertz observed that “Cultural analysis is intrinsically incomplete … to get somewhere with the matter at hand is to intensify the suspicion, both your own and that of others, that you are not quite getting it right” (1973: 322). This is further complicated by the fact that the culture of today is intercultural: characterized by the interaction of multiple cultures, both global and epistemic.

The syllabus:

Course Objectives: Grading: Academic Integrity: Students are to submit their own work and use proper citation methods. Your final paper must be accompanied by a plagiarism declaration.

A note on due dates: Weekly assignments are due weekly. Weekly assignments are therefore replaced by the next week’s assignment on the site each week. However, students whose work was submitted but not published because it needs improvements may have a week’s extension in which to complete the assignment. Please remember to change the status of improved posts from ‘draft’ to ‘pending’.

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Course material and assignments:

Please note that you are responsible for downloading course material when the course is in session. Materials may no longer be available once the semester has ended due to site maintenance. Assignments will be replaced weekly as no late work is accepted.

Week 1: Virtual community, 21st C skills

Additional resources (optional reading): Back to top of page

Week 2: Context/content

Additional resources (optional reading): Back to top of page

Week 3: Privacy/agency

Additional resources (optional reading): Resource materials Back to top of page

Week 4: Social dilemma

This week, there are only Additional Resources (optional reading) to give you time to do site housecleaning or to add to it if you want to. Back to top of page

Week 5: Our virtual community garden

  • PDF_of_fifth_week_slides.pdf
    Author · File size 56.66 kB · Last modified · Download count 107
  • Thank you to those students who came to this week’s video conference. Resources mentioned during the conference:

    Important note about glossaries: As of this week, I will post the ‘master glossary’ to which all glossary lists are to be added as comments. It has already been posted and includes an optional suggestion on where to find words this week.

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    Week 6: Social networks: communication, collapse

    Optional reading: Note: the reading is optional this week because some of you may want to take the time to look into Caulfield’s book for further insight into how to do your assignment.

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    Week 7: Social networks: bias & media literacy

    Reading material:

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    Week 8: Participatory action research

    Thank you to those students who attended this week’s video conference. The syllabus was discussed and modified. Your assignment this week, worth 10 percent, will be an individual reflective post assessing this class and its content. This will aid preparation for your final and individual assignment.
    A book connecting the outcome of today’s conference with the first lesson we had this semester is Carol Sanford’s No more feedback.
    Reflection post prompts
    Please reflect on the following aspects of class, sharing qualitative, descriptive assessment of what you liked/could be improved and why. Do not forget to initial your posts as they are to be done individually.
    Note that no points will be given for posts that fail to include potential areas of improvement. Criticism is natural; good criticism points a way for change and growth.
    These prompts are starting points: please add anything else you consider relevant in your responses.
    1. Site design (layout, categories, pages, navigability, group access, concept) 2. Forum (rules, wheher a help or hindrance in collaborative learning; in articulation of new ideas) 3. Assignments (length, whether too easy or difficult, whether engaging or not) 4. Course objectives (whether 21st century skills are becoming clearer to you; whether course objectives [above, in the syllabus] are stated clearly enough) 5. Reading material (amount; selection; level) 6. Video lectures (helpful or not; length; delivery; presentation; topics) 7. Overall course experience (engaging? challenging?) 8. Topics (relevance; least and most favorite) – favorite topics may inform the topic set in the final assignment 9. Your own engagement with the course (self-evaluation is as valuable as course evaluation, and requires as much critical – and empathetic – skill; how much you consulted the syllabus, took notes, etc.) If this work may be used – anonymously – in the elaboration and research of future course design, please add a note at the bottom of your post saying: This post may be used for research purposes.
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    Weekly video:
    The weekly video will be posted below. Note that it will only be available for one week, at which point it will be replaced by a new video.
    This week’s video was replaced by a video conference.

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    Link to the course forum:

    This course will also use a forum, at

    Video content is made for the context of a specific course under specific conditions – restrained even by disk usage limitations. As a focus of this course is on trust, values, ethics, and the community it strives to cultivate, please model the course ethos in your use of the course resources and respect the terms of use.

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