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Fall course at UMN: Methods of Intercultural/Diversity Facilitation

FALL SEMESTER SEMINAR Comm 8452: Methods of Intercultural/Diversity Facilitation
Tue/Thur 2:30-3:45 with some adjustment possible
Prof. R. Albert
To indicate your interest in taking this seminar and for any further information, please contact me at alber001@um.edu.

Please note that this seminar is required for future instructors of intercultural communication courses in the Department of Communication Studies, and that is not offered every year.

Are you interested in intercultural/diversity? Would you like to help improve intercultural/diversity relations? Will you work with international students, immigrants, indigenous groups, or others from a different cultural background? The seminar will focus on various approaches/methods of imparting intercultural sensitization and improving intercultural relations, whether domestically, or internationally. We will consider major methods for intercultural sensitization and training, read academic articles and chapters by the leading figures in the field of intercultural relations and training (most of whom I know personally), consider intercultural training in different settings, examine the effectiveness of various approaches, read research on effectiveness, address practical issues and challenges in designing and carrying out such sensitization, and try various methods and media, including new media. We will also include ethnic/cultural conflict, human rights, and ways to enhance peace and reconciliation.

Graduate students from various departments and with a variety of interests in intercultural and diversity sensitization are warmly welcome. While previous courses in intercultural communication are helpful, they are not required.

Participants will have an opportunity to develop a project and write a paper related to intercultural/diversity facilitation that focuses on their interest. Each participant will receive comments and suggestions from the instructor and from other participants in developing their project, and in turn, will contribute ideas and suggestions to help other participants in their projects. Projects can focus on designing a program, developing a research project, or can have another focus that is approved by the instructor. Participants will also help summarize, analyze and discuss the academic literature in this area and will view and critique DVDs, videos and other tools.

As the instructor I will serve as a resource person, and will share my long experience in teaching, training, research (both in intercultural relations and training), and consulting with cultural diversity both domestically and internationally. I am a Founding Fellow and current member of the Board of Directors of the interdisciplinary International Academy for Intercultural Research, the premier organization in the field of intercultural relations and training.

The program in the Department of Communication has been a pioneer in the field of intercultural communication not only nationally, but internationally. MA students from other department who take 6 credits and Ph.D. students who take 9 credits can have a Minor in Communication Studies. As a member of the graduate faculty in the department, I can serve on MA. and Ph.D. committees of students with intercultural/diversity interests.

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