Attempts at including, mediating and creating ‘new’ knowledges: Problematising appropriation in intercultural communication education and research

Hamza R'BOUL, Fred DERVIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

In recent years, there have been multiple endeavours at unsettling the dominance of western voices in knowledge production, consumption and dissemination in language and intercultural communication education and research. Including, mediating and creating ‘new’ knowledges about interculturality are epistemic acts that may sustain and exercise decoloniality and decentering through (potential) dialogues with e.g., the Global South. However, these acts might unknowingly precipitate epistemological appropriation through their complicity or due to the pressures to comply with the skewed geopolitics of knowledge production, consumption and dissemination. This paper unpacks the complex deployment of languaging and knowledging in contesting, blurring and problematising both the dominant epistemological tenets and/or decentring attempts. For example, it presents the notion of ‘epistemological chameleon’ which captures how our knowledgings and languagings are (in)deliberately revamped and reshaped to fit ‘trendy’ narratives without destabilizing one’s assumptions and perspectives; an act that may often be driven by the necessity to survive within the skewed geopolitics of knowledge. The concepts and methods of devenir-langue and transknowledging as proposed by the authors, are used to examine how six recently published research papers in English by prominent Northern and Southern scholars may exhibit potential lingua-epistemological inaccuracies to include and showcase the voice of the Global South(s) while claiming in-/directly to push for decoloniality and epistemological diversity in language and intercultural communication education and research. These articles were selected as example cases based on their indicated rationales and intentions for decoloniality, criticality and inter-epistemological collaborations and are not meant to generalise the current state of this complex field. Implications from these analyses are the development of six ideal-types of inclusion, mediation and creations versus epistemological appropriation based on the papers. Further insights are made into the factors precipitating appropriation that may often be implicit, unheeded and unintentional. Copyright © 2024 De Gruyter Mouton. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Linguistics Review
Early online dateMar 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Mar 2024

Citation

R’boul, H., & Dervin, F. (2024). Attempts at including, mediating and creating ‘new’ knowledges: Problematising appropriation in intercultural communication education and research. Applied Linguistics Review. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2024-0009

Keywords

  • Appropriation
  • Intercultural communication education and research
  • The Global South
  • Devenir-language
  • Transknowledging
  • Research papers

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