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:

A link to the syllabus PDF will be posted here; kindly read it carefully and consult it periodically. A draft of the marking breakdown has been posted to the forum for discussion.
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Course material:

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 and real life

Additional resources (optional reading):

Week 2: Context/Content

Additional resources (optional reading): Weekly Assignment

NOTE: As some students had technical issues with last week’s assignments or may not have understood the criteria, an extension will be granted so that the posts may be improved and get credit. Please check to see if you have posts with the “draft” status – which indicates that something is missing.

  1. Collaborative glossary (either be one of two groups to write the main post, or add words in comments)
  2. Post to forum (note: instructions on how to quote are listed in the thread on the Postman video).
  3. Write a post: resources or questions as per guidelines:Play the game, chase, plan ahead, talk, assume the best, read everything, add don’t repeat, respond, enage, weave, volley, measure words, mind manners, sign, chunk, and:

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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. Recommendation: lower the volume when watching this week’s video.

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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