This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
This course serves as an introduction to contemporary concepts, practices, and processes of intercultural communication and methods of analysis in the field. You will participate in critical assessment of intercultural communication theories and apply the explicit goal of addressing a variety of topics. These topics range from the nature of culture and cultural definitions, to linguistic analysis of implicit and explicit communication, underlying conceptual meaning in discourse, representation of individual stereotypes, culture and identities in popular media, and the relationship between language, culture, and identity.
We will observe differences in verbal and postural behavior in various Italian social situations. How do people behave in public meetings, in the bank, at the post office, waiting in line? What aspects are interpretable, predictable, and which ones confirm or contradict stereotypes? The course will also help you better navigate the intricacies of Italian culture and intercultural communication during your study abroad experience.
Each of you will be expected to bring personal insights into the classroom and use communication theories to understand, analyze, and evaluate intercultural experiences. Questions that will be examined include: How does human interaction and language shape our lives? What are different elements to communication (e.g., verbal, non-verbal, paralanguage, behavior, posture, and gesture)? How can we recognize these different elements and interpret or analyze them? How do these different elements contrast across cultures? The answers to these issues will be explored through lectures, class discussions, readings, examples from everyday discourse, writing assignments, and research activities. This course will also help you better navigate the intricacies of Italian culture and intercultural communication during your study abroad experience.
In this course, you will:
- understand theories and practices in the field of intercultural communication;
- develop skills to research, observe, and analyze communication in everyday life, popular media, and other mediated discourse;
- develop an awareness and appreciation for respectful, mindful, reflective, and responsible dialogue regarding cultural and individual differences;
- deepen knowledge about verbal and non-verbal intercultural communication; and
- identify and understand various benefits and challenges involved in competent and socially just intercultural communication in understanding the difference between tolerance and inclusion.
Service Learning Project Description
You will partner with neighborhood libraries to read English texts to library patrons. Your readings will then be recorded as part of an initiative called “Leggi per me” (“Read for Me”) and published online by the Unione italiana ciechi e ipovedenti di Perugia (Italian Union of the Blind and the Visually Impaired), making them available for individuals that are no longer able to read autonomously. Through this project, you will learn how to recognize what your cultural specificity means to you, and how the analysis of concepts, practices, and processes of intercultural communication may be applied to actual communicative settings. At the end of the semester, you will present your project to the Umbra community.
Mandatory course reader