"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
The ‘Perspectives on Interculturality’ Conference will be held at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, February 28 - March 1, 2013. Increased understanding of interactions between different human groups is a major challenge of our time. A half-century of critique of the concept of culture has made significant contributions, including foregrounding ethnocentrism as a source of research bias across disciplines; incorporating power into cultural studies; and expanding scholarship on cultures beyond ethno-linguistically defined groups. Likewise, study of processes that transcend group divisions - globalization, empire, neo-colonialism - has flourished. Meanwhile, understanding mechanisms of interactions between cultures has not kept pace. Intercultural studies are due for reflection and refinement.