Invitation to an International Conference
Re-Learning to Be Human for Global Times:
How Intercultural Encounters (Re)Shape the Contemporary World
RVP Center at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Iasi, Romania
October 27-28, 2017
Intercultural encounters both home and abroad have become a common event: nowadays different cultures are a glance or a click away. Traditionally, encounters between cultures took place through long-distance human mobility or the wide circulation of artefacts; they involved the displacement of individuals or objects and some degree of preparedness. Whatever their motivation and form, such encounters are held to be defining moments when individuals gain a better understanding of themselves while cultures interact, converse, clash or merge. Globalization, however, has transformed intercultural encounters; in a world with permeable boundaries where people come together increasingly in new work contexts and social environments, intercultural encounters are no longer a distant option, but an everyday fact.
On the one hand, intercultural encounters reflect the contemporary developments in terms of globalization and virtualization. On the other hand, they can cause and accelerate such world changes. As encounters with people of different backgrounds and values tend to be more fortuitous, immediate and direct, preparedness decreases and intercultural interactions appear to become more challenging. More or less intentionally, they bring together real and virtual individuals and communities, leading to a confrontation of their cultural differences and humane similarities. Notwithstanding the challenges, such interactions may generate a new awareness of the other and of the self and an enhanced understanding of what it means to be human.
This conference proposes to survey and investigate the different forms and effects of intercultural encounters, both real and virtual, and to discuss how they shape the contemporary world and how they act on re-learning to be human. It aims to find out whether intercultural encounters can be expected to produce new forms of communication and revise cultural definitions and thus radically reshape the world as we know it.
The following issues can be discussed during the conference:
How do globalization and virtualization change the form and substance of intercultural encounters?
What are some strategies for understanding intercultural encounters in the contemporary world?
Are there new types of dialogue and knowledge emerging from contemporary intercultural encounters?
What are the kinds of impact that intercultural encounters have on spiritual practices?
What are the effects of contemporary intercultural encounters? Do they change our views of culture?
Do they affect our understanding of humanity? Do they produce new, shared values?
Please send an abstract of up to 300 words and a brief CV to Professor Dan Chițoiu [firstname.lastname@example.org], Assistant Professor Oana Cogeanu [email@example.com] and [firstname.lastname@example.org] by September 15, 2017. Full papers sent by October 1, 2017 will be considered to be published by the RVP in its publication series „Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change”.