Diversity in Transcultural and International Communication

Conference on October 2-3, 2014 in the House of Science, Bremen

The conference of the subject-group „International and Intercultural Communication“ of the German Communication Association (DGPuK) took place in cooperation with the Creative Unit „Communicative figurations“. The event was organized as an English-language conference with about 25 participants from several European countries by the the former spokesperson of the subject-group, ZeMKI member Prof. Dr. Stefanie Averbeck-Lietz, and co-spokesperson Jun.-Prof. Dr. Carola Richter (FU Berlin) as well as the representative of the young researchers in the subject-group, Dr. Indira Dupuis (Ruhr-University Bochum). The deputy head for internationality and interculturality of the University of Bremen, Prof. Dr. Yasemin Karakaşoğlu, gave the welcome address. The presentations focused both on diversity in media regulation with a special focus on public service broadcasting, but also on diversity in information and entertainment-related media content. In the introductory panel, current theories of diversity research were discussed in their transgressions to other theories and research directions such as „cosmopolitanism“ and „intersectionality“.

All lectures were determined in a double-blind peer review process. Ten members of the DGPuK subject group „International and Intercultural Communication“ acted as reviewers. The conference program included presentations by scholars from Germany, France and Macedonia. The conference proceedings will be published as an edited volume (LIT-Verlag, Münster 2015). This conference was the first one of a DGPuK subject group to put „diversity“  into the foreground.

The subject group invites all interested scholars who focus on international and intercultural communication, to collaborate, regardless of whether they operate in fundamental or applied research and on which aspect of international / intercultural communication they focus in particilar. This includes the study of interpersonal as well as mass communication, the analysis of the traditional mass media, emerging network media, the study of media production as well as processes of media reception and effects.

The subject-group is devoted to theoretical and methodological development, for example with regard to the methodology of comparative research, or current issues about war and conflict communication, or the promotion of intercultural understanding. It organizes conferences, initiates academic publications and also serves as a forum for exchange of information on and the coordination of research projects.

The subject-group has emerged from the interdisciplinary network Intercultural and International Communication, founded in 2008 as a result of a successful conference at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, which was organized by Prof. Dr. Martin Löffelholz. The DGPuK subject-group works closely with the network, which is a platform for interdisciplinary exchange and for promoting academic discourse towards media practice.

The Intercultural and International Communication network deals with communication in a globalized world in which the contact between people from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds is becoming the norm. Many media products are globally distributed and traded, although at the same time they are varied culturally and appropriated locally. The tension between what is perceived as one‘s own or alien, is leading to new potential for conflict, or to expanded understanding horizons.