Editor's Note, by Chris Gerben

Plasma Screens as Portals to the World, by Alyssa J. O'Brien

Tutoring Graduate Students in the Writing Center, by John Peterson and Joel Burges

PWR awards outstanding student work with IRAs and OPRAs, compiled by Wendy Goldberg & Chris Gerben

Students Publish Work in New Anthology: Official Book Introduction with Preface by Wendy Goldberg

Stanford Library Honors Boothe Prize Winner in Podcast

PWR Instructors Leaving the Farm

Theoretical Foundation for the Project

The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of interest in globalization, transnational studies, and cultural codes of communication and the concurrent scholarly attention to developing better methods of implementing technological tools in educational settings. Yet, a key problem remains: how best to use information and communication technologies (or ICTs) to offer students hands-on learning of transnational and intercultural differences. To address this problem, our WGLN project “Developing Intercultural Competencies through Collaborative Rhetoric” has experimented with innovative uses of technology by bringing together students at Stanford and Örebro Universities in globally-distributed teams to analyze rhetorical artifacts (speeches, advertisements, architectural landmarks, representations of nationhood) with the aim of facilitating both practical and deep learning of effective cross-cultural communication skills and transnational cultural understanding.

In addition to this academic impetus, this project emerged to meet a very practical goal: how to prevent deep misunderstandings that can lead to conflagrations such as seen in the recent furor over a series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad; this incident focused worldwide attention not only on the power of images but also on the violence that can result from miscommunication stemming from narrow perspectives that fail to take into consideration intercultural contexts. Scholars Carl Lovitt and Dixie Goswami label this increasingly important skill intercultural competence and sensitivity.

In such a globally connected world – where published words and images give rise to bombing and burnings – teachers need to know how to instruct students in intercultural rhetoric, that is, how to persuade people to understand the way in which others located in different global contexts perceive, analyze, and produce situated knowledge. By addressing this situation faced by academics and people in the field, our project aims to contribute both theoretical knowledge and a practical methodology for scalable implementation in other institutions as well as business and professional settings. Our larger goal is to build meta-knowledge about the critical role that intercultural competences and effective technologies solutions can play in global communication and international relations.

Learn more about the project by visiting our website at https://www.stanford.edu/group/ccr/