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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CMS 280"
COURSE NAME: "Intercultural Communications"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Simran Sethi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 1:30-3:20 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS:
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
An exploration of some of the historical and political conditions that make intercultural communication possible, the barriers that exist to effective intercultural communication, and possible solutions to the problem of intercultural misunderstanding. The course examines examples of differences in communication styles not only between cultures but also within. As a result, issues of race, nation, class, gender, religion, immigration, and sexual orientation will be of significant concern. The course stresses the notion that knowledge of human beings is always knowledge produced from a particular location and for a particular purpose. As a result it encourages students to think carefully about the discipline of Intercultural Communication—its conditions of possibility, its assumptions, and its blind spots—as well the need to be mindful of the limitations and interests of our positioning as investigating subjects.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This skills-based course is intended to help you become a better, more conscious communicator in business, school, community and personal interactions. Through self-inquiry, public observation, lectures and in-class discussions, you will explore the concept of cultural awareness and learn about communicative structures and how they function within a system of intercultural communication. Through increased awareness, you will be better equipped to identify structural conflicts that emerge in intercultural situations and know how these challenges can be addressed and diffused.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

After completing this course, you should be able to: 
1. Understand the ways in which aspects of the self—and others—are socially constructed.  
2. Comprehend the influence of culture on the dissemination and interpretation of messages.
3. Appreciate the complexity of intercultural exchanges in daily life.
4. Develop a reflective process for improving your analysis of intercultural exchanges, as well as the exchanges themselves. 
5. Recognize the influence of your personal cultural situation in regard to sending and interpreting messages.


 

TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Attendance and participationThis is an interactive, experiential class. You are expected to engage actively and participate thoughtfully. Participation is 20 percent of your grade and is earned for full involvement—through quality (not quantity) contributions and critiques and by listening to and with others, offering honest and constructive feedback, asking appropriate and helpful questions, and integrating learnings into class discussion. You are allowed two absences without penalty. Additional absences require a doctor’s note or written approval—or will result in a 10-point reduction in your final grade. Missed assignments are due on the date you return to class. You will be marked as absent for a full class if discovered using unauthorized technology in class. 20
Assignment GuidelinesAssignments are intended to help you reflect on your personal experiences with intercultural communication. Only through this awareness will you will be able to effectively engage across cultures. Papers should be up to 3 pages in length, with 1.5 spacing and in 11-point font. Please do your best to print double-sided to save paper. Make sure your full name and date are on your papers and that they are stapled (not paper clipped), if needed. Assignments are graded on 1) honesty; 2) clarity; 3) knowledge (your ability to apply theories, ideas and terms from class readings and discussion); and 4) appropriate citation of references. Late assignments will be marked down by 10 percent for each day they are late.  
Cultural Self-Assessment - Due July 17, 2019 Knowledge of intercultural communication begins with an understanding of one’s own cultural assumptions, socialization processes and behaviors. Self-assessment is not a process that has an end; it is an ongoing relationship with the self. As such, this assignment asks you to reflect on the ideas and beliefs about identity with which you were raised, as well as those to which you continue to subscribe. Please follow these guidelines: - Include a one-paragraph introduction and a one- to two-paragraph conclusion. - Within the body of the text, briefly describe any identifications you wish to share (race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, religion, abilities, etc.). Also address other important cultural identifications, such as your primary language and geographic orientation. Did you grow up in a small town or large city, both/either? Did you often come into contact with people who were culturally different from you? What identities were significant to you? What identities are important to you now? What ideas/values were important? How are they similar to, or different from, the values of your family and/or friends? How rigid/flexible are they? How have your values changed/adapted/strengthened over time? Who, and what, influences them? - Aim for depth over breadth. Share what is relevant in shaping who you are and influencing how you both give and receive communication(s). 20
Media Reflection - Due July 25, 2019 We contain multitudes, but, for the purposes of this exercise, select a single identifier (see list under the last assignment) that is distinct from your own. You will use that identifier to explore how individuals and groups within that specific identifier are depicted in the news by following a single news story about your identified subjects for three consecutive days through two distinct news outlets (e.g. The Guardian and Fox News, La Stampa and Corriere della Sera, etc.). You will review and evaluate six separate pieces of reportage in total. As you analyze the material, reflect on the experiences of the people shown or highlighted. Evaluate the ways in which their interests are represented publicly. Then turn your attention to the messenger. What do you know about is his/her/their story? If a newspaper or website is the only experience outsiders have with people who are “different” from them, then what have they “learned” through the reportage? Please cite each article/story, include hyperlinks and make sure to answer all queries above, plus the following: - What is the identifier you have chosen? How easy/difficult was it to parse life experience through a single lens? - What are the experiences of the people depicted? - How are they portrayed? Give a general overview as well as details about the tone/expression of each publication. - Describe whatever details you know about the messenger (the writer, reporter) from whatever you can see or glean from their social media or past reportage. How do their experiences influence what they share? - How did the reportage affect your perceptions? - How do you think the reportage affects perceptions at large?20
Intercultural Exchanges 1) External Event - Due August 1, 2019: Attend a cultural event that is unfamiliar to you: a dance, a parade, a poetry reading—anything that takes you outside of your comfort zone. The experience should provide you with an opportunity to explore and discuss themes of this course. Drawing from theories, ideas and concepts covered in our readings and discussions, write about your intercultural interaction. How did you approach the experience (psychologically or physically, whatever makes sense)? Was there a separation between the culture and aspects of your lived experience? How does the culture view itself in relation to other cultures? How are values enacted/reflected/communicated within the culture? How is this similar to, or different from, your own experiences? Here are some additional ideas for activities: weddings, religious ceremonies, holiday celebrations, festivals and sporting events. Be sure to relate theory, terms, articles and themes from class. Cite all sources. 2) Internal Exploration - Due August 8, 2019: Intercultural contact is not only available through interpersonal exchange, but also through thoughtful engagement with cultural artifacts (e.g. a novel, movie, poem, song, art exhibition—anything that can expand your worldview). Engage in thoughtful interaction with this new-to-you artifact. Begin with a short review of the intercultural exchange (i.e. the way you approached the artifact/experience). Next, analyze your cultural perceptions. Be sure to relate theory, terms, articles and themes from class and cite all sources. 20 percent each, 40 percent total

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AThis work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and displays originality. There is clear evidence of significant comprehension of the course material and full participation in class.
BThis work demonstration some ability to critically evaluate course theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect your own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. Written work is sufficient: It does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of clear understanding and analysis of lectures, discussions and readings.
CThis work shows an acceptable level of performance and offering clear, but limited, reflection on the information offered in the lectures and reference readings (absent deep understanding or analysis).
DThis work shows you lack a coherent grasp of the material and have done little to persuade the instructor that you should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised. Most of the material shared is irrelevant and/or is plagiarized.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

This is an interactive, experiential class. You are expected to engage actively and participate thoughtfully. Participation is 20 percent of your grade and is earned for full involvement—through quality (not quantity) contributions and critiques and by listening to and with others, offering honest and constructive feedback, asking appropriate and helpful questions, and integrating learnings into class discussion.

You are allowed two absences without penalty. Additional absences require a doctor’s note or written approval—or will result in a 10-point reduction in your final grade. Missed assignments are due on the date you return to class. You will be marked as absent for a full class if discovered using unauthorized technology in class. 



ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

SCHEDULE (Subject to change): 

WEEK 1
July 8: Welcome & Course Overview
July 9: Exploration of Culture and Communications
July 10: Last day to Drop/Add
Exploration of Intercultural Communications
July 11: Exploration of Modes of Connection  

WEEK 2
July 15: Theories of Intercultural Communications, Exploration of Race 
July 16: Exploration of Race & Ethnicity, Code Switching 
July 17: Cultural Self-Assessment Due
Exploration of Different Ways of Seeing with Guest Lecturer Lisa Fedich
July 18: Self-Study

WEEK 3
July 22: Exploration of Cultural Self-Perception, Socio-economic Class & Education
July 23: Exploration of Barriers to Intercultural Communication, Age
July 24: Exploration of Non-verbal Communication, Abelism
July 25: Media reflection due
Exploration of Subject/Messenger/Audiences Roles in Intercultural Communications

WEEK 4
July 29: In-Class Lab
July 30: Exploration of Gender 
July 31: Exploration of Gender Identity
August 1: Intercultural exchange #1 due
Exploration of Sexual Orientation

WEEK 5
August 5: Exploration of Language & Geography 
August 6: Exploration of Politics & Power
August 7: Exploration of Conflict Resolution
August 8: Last day of class 
Intercultural exchange #2 due
August 9: Attendance Required for Student/Teacher Meetings and Wrap-Up. No Final Exam.

READINGS: 
All readings will be assigned and reviewed in class.