Opportunity to hear Fred Dervin in Durham on ‘Reframing Discussions Around Interculturality in Education’

The talk will take place in the School of Education, Durham, Friday 27th February at 1pm

Abstract: The notion of interculturality is both empty and polysemic, full of ready-made assumptions which force us to be more critical than ever towards it and to use interdisciplinarity to propose a de-/re-/construction of the notion more adapted to today’s realities. This first requires questioning many and varied misnomers which are ambiguous and from a different era: culture, diversity, ethnicity, integration, etc. It also means that we need to be careful not to create new “abyssal lines” (de Souza Santos) such as opposing large entities like East-West, Europe-the rest of the world, Muslims-Christians, etc. Adopting the position of an ‘amateur interculturalist’ (versus a ‘professional’ one), I present what I believe is central in repositioning the ‘intercultural’ by insisting on the importance to move away from ‘hostipitalizing’ the other (Derrida), to put an end to the solidification of identity markers and their intersection and to reflect and act upon the ideologies and scientific naivety that tend to ‘pollute’ both research and practice. The notions of simplexity (the binding intertwinement between simplicity and complexity), critical identification, similarity and power differentials are central and can help to meet the objective of “giving the power to become aware of, recognize, push through and present/defend one’s multiple identities, and to negotiate them in a ‘satisfactory’ manner with and for our interlocutors” (Dervin).

Fred Dervin is Professor of Multicultural Education at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Dervin also holds several professorships in Canada, Luxembourg and Malaysia. Prof. Dervin specializes in intercultural education, the sociology of multiculturalism and student and academic mobility. Dervin has widely published in international journals on identity, the ‘intercultural’ and mobility/migration. He has published over 30 books and is the series editor of Education beyond borders (Peter Lang)Nordic Studies on Diversity in Education (with Kulbrandstad and Ragnarsdóttir; CSP) and Post-intercultural communication and education (CSP).

His website: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/dervin/