• Workshop – CLE2017, Warsaw, Friday 12 May 9:00

    Hosts: Gabriel García Ochoa, Sarah McDonald

    How do we embed Cultural Literacy in the Higher Education curriculum across different disciplines and cultural backgrounds? The aim of this workshop is to share with our colleagues a suite of strategies to teach Cultural Literacy to Higher Education students. The teaching strategies that we propose approach culture as a readable, text-like artefact. They challenge ethnocentric ideas of culture (where disciplinary fields are also seen as cultures). We would like to invite our colleagues to consider incorporating these strategies into their own teaching practice.

    In 2015, during the first Cultural Literacy Conference in London, we trialled a pilot workshop that explored “destabilisation” and “reflection” as teaching strategies. The purpose of destabilisation is to prompt a conceptual shift in students that will unsettle their views on a given topic. This allows students to understand how they approach, both conceptually and empirically, what they do not know, and how they react to the uncertainty of new situations. In order to draw meaning out of this experience, destabilization must be followed by a process of reflection where students learn to apply a variety of skills that are inherent to LCS, such as comparative analysis, collation, research, rephrasing, cultural and linguistic translation, etc.

    Through “hands on” exercises, this new workshop will explore different examples of “destabilisation” and “reflection” that we have trialled in the classroom (both successfully and unsuccessfully), and will discuss the new teaching strategies for CL across disciplinary fields that we have developed over the last two years.

  • Workshop – Prato, July 2016: colleagues from the universities of Milan and TH Köln joined us to discuss techniques on how to apply Cultural Literacy to their current teaching practice, and the possibility of collaborating on a number of new and existing projects.
  • Workshop – University of Leeds, October 2016: This workshop will be delivered long distance to staff members of the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Leeds. The aim is to provide an introduction to Cultural Literacy, and how this can be applied to their existing teaching practice.

Lectures, Conferences and Seminars

  • Monash Prato Centre, Italy, Conference: The First International Conference of Cultural Linguistics. Paper title: “The Importance of Cultural Conceptualisations in Developing Cultural Literacy” July 2016.
  • Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, Conference: Sixth Biennial Threshold Concepts Conference. Paper title: “Reconceptualising Cultural Literacy as a Threshold Concept” June 2016.
  • Bristol University, Bristol, United Kingdom, Seminar: “What is the Role of Cultural Literacy in Higher Education?” January 2016 (By invitation)
  • UTS, Sydney, Conference: Spaces, Constraints, Creativities:  Organization and Disorganization. Paper title: “Cultural Literacy in Practice: A Place for Space” December 2015. (By invitation)
  • Ku Leuven University, Antwerp, Conference: Intercultural Communication. Paper title: “Embedding Cultural Literacy in Higher Education: A New Approach” October 2015.
  • Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, London, Conference: Cultural Literacy in Europe. Paper title: “Integrating Cultural Literacy in Transdisciplinary Contexts: an educational experiment” April 2015.