Accessibility statement

Reassessing self-other constructions in intercultural communication

Friday 17 May 2024, 10.00AM to 3.30pm

BAAL Special Interest Group in Intercultural Communication Seminar

Registration fees:

  • BAAL Members (student) - £35
  • BAAL Members (non-student) - £50
  • Non-BAAL members (student) - £45
  • Non-BAAL members (non-student) - £60

BAAL membership is not compulsory for this event, but discounts are provided for BAAL members.

Call for Papers

When communicating with others, we can easily construct and reduce them to be less than what they are and fall into the trap of Othering. At the same time, we may also Other ourselves.

The marginalisation of the Other often stems from prejudices (judgement made on the basis of interest rather than emergent evidence) and stereotyping (simplified and generalised characterisation of particular groups and people) and reinforces injustice and social inequality.

However, the process of Othering can also lead to a dialogue where diverse cultural meanings can be shared and exchanged. By analysing and reflecting on the examples of Othering, we can start to challenge social constructions and prejudices and recognise our own assumptions and biases in intercultural communication encounters.

In this seminar, we invite a discussion of Othering as a way of identifying inequality and injustice and promoting a more critical and contextualised understanding of cultural issues. Since we view and compare others to what we see as our own, we also encourage the questioning of the representations of the self and other so that we can raise an awareness of dangers of our constructed images for our intercultural communication and also recognise plurality and interpersonal difference.

We also invite critical and contextualised discussions of self and other in the context of increasing instances of othering both nationally and globally, and of growing inequality between different parts of the world.

This symposium aims to open a space for discussion on the following topics:

  • How common is Othering in intercultural communication encounters?
  • What are the forms of Othering in intercultural communication?
  • What are the effects of Othering on those who ‘Other’ and those who are being ‘Othered’?
  • What are the ways of resisting Othering?
  • What are the ways that can help prevent us from Othering?
  • What are the factors that lead to Othering?
  • What kinds of self-representations do we construct in intercultural communication encounters?
  • Do our self-representations appear to conform to certain expectations and norms?
  • Could our self-representations be considered stereotypical?
  • Do our self-representations marginalise us?
  • What are the influences of the kinds of self-representations we construct?

We welcome examples from different applied linguistics perspectives, such as identity studies, postcolonial and de-colonial perspectives, language learning, communication, psychological, or EDI perspectives; examples of Othering in educational and other professional contexts are particularly welcome.

Presentations/conversations can be delivered in any format, eg slides, poster, or word document. Timing will be 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. We welcome conversations on work in progress.

There will be IT facilities for PowerPoint presentations and Wifi for laptop connection to the Padlet (if wishing to post comments online).

The seminar team hope to offer everyone an enjoyable, interactive and productive seminar. If cost is preventing you from participating, please get in touch with the organisers.

Important dates:

  • Deadline for proposals: Thursday 29 February 2024
  • Notification of acceptance: Friday 29 March 2024
  • Bookings open: Monday 1 April 2024
  • Bookings close and joining instructions sent to participants: w/c Monday 29 April

Submit your proposal

Should you have difficulty with the Google Form, you can send your submission/register of interest by email (subject header BAAL SIG in IC) to irena.kuzborska@york.ac.uk 

If you would like to speak to us about the event, please contact:

Location: D/N/056, Derwent College