Understanding how Critical Cultural awareness (ie. Intercultural Competence) comes into being

This seminar is part of the Intercultural Communication project « Let’s talk - How university students see the world »
16 Nov 2021 17:30 19:00
Target Group
Students and staff interested in intercultural communication
Université Paris-Saclay
Closed  (Deadline: 11 Nov 2021 23:59)

The concept of 'Überseezungen' and « Bridging and Transformation in the Work of Yoko Tawada » by Kari van Dijk PhD , Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany


The question of how to (re)connect the different 'parts' of multidimensional human constellations in highly complex globalised worlds marked by fragmentation and difference(s) runs like a red thread through the oeuvre of Japanese-German writer Yoko Tawada. Looking at both (culturally coded) 'worlds' with estranged eyes, Tawada works her way towards a fluid ever evolving 'impure' middle ground, in which categories like 'self' and 'other', 'male' and 'female', 'east' and 'west' are deconstructed, put into question and translated i.e. transformed into something unequivocal and new.

About the Lecture

In my lecture, I want to ask to what extent Tawadas texts can help us understand how Critical Cultural Awareness (Byram 1997), one of the key components of what we have come to call 'Intercultural Competence', comes into being, how we can learn to develop such a critical mindset, how, working from insights Tawada gives us in her work, the concept of 'Critical Cultural Awareness' can be thought in new and innovative ways and also, how such a liberated and/or creative mindset can help us develop balanced ways of interacting, both with ourselves and our fellow human beings.

In a world marked by polarisation, radicalisation and extremism, we need to learn to bridge and (re)connect what is different - and if we want to coexist in peaceful ways, the time has come to realise that true peace cannot be had without each and everyone of us aligning to that goal.


Kari van Dijk, PhD has pursued her academic career in several European universities, has studied with philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, at University of Vienna. She has also worked in the corporate world with Diversity & Inclusion related issues. At present she is programme coordinator and lecturer for the 'Intercultural Communication Certificate Program' (ICCP) at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

Language: English