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COURSE NAME: "Intercultural Communications"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Effie Marie Quattrociocchi
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 8:30 AM 9:45 AM

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.

This course investigates the impact of culture in the communication process through understanding how cultural identities are formed and negotiated and the challenges present in communicating cross-culturally. Through in-class lecture and discussion, media analysis, and written assignments, issues of identity, history, power, representation, relationships, conflict and conflict resolution will be examined.


Students will be able to identify and understand how culture shapes communication exchanges both in sending and interpreting messages.

Students will be able to recognize global and historical conditions shaping intercultural communication exchanges and identity formation.

Students will be able to evaluate the role of media and communication technologies in intercultural exchanges.

Students will examine the sources and possible solutions to intercultural miscommunication.


Comparing Cultures PaperThis 5 page paper aims to examine intercultural exchange on an interpersonal level utilizing the theories examined in class to examine verbal and nonverbal communication patterns25%
Media Reflection Paper This 5 page paper aims to look critically at the production, reproduction and representation of cultures through cultural artifacts and media production25%
Final ExamShort and long answer questions.20%
Homework/reflections/quizzesThese are a collection of primarily weekly assignments and short answer quizzes done in class or as homework. They may be media responses, participation in mini, informal presentations, or responses to out-of-class excursions.30%

A100-90%. Work of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
B89-80%. This is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised. There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
C79-70%. This is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
D69-60%. This level of performance demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material. Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included. In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
F59-0%. This work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


Attendance is crucial to student success. 

  • You will be allowed three, no questions asked absences. After the third absence, 5% will be deducted from the overall grade for each additional absence.  

  • The only absences that will be excused are those that are approved by the Dean’s office. 

  • You are responsible for the material covered and completing in-class assignments if you are absent. Ask a classmate, check the Moodle course page or email me. 

  • Missed in-class writings must be submitted at the next class meeting. 

  • If you must miss a lesson for religious reasons, please inform me in advance.

  • Absence does not excuse work from being graded as late. 

  • To attend a lesson remotely, students must present written permission from the Dean of Students in advance of the lesson.

  • Students who arrive to class after attendance has been taken will be counted as late. Two late arrivals will count as one absence.

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed.
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.
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.


Important Dates and Schedule

Sept. 4th: Classes Begin

Sept. 8: Last day to drop or add classes

Sept. 15: (Fri) Make-up Day for Thursday, Nov. 23

Oct. 20. (Fri) Make-up for Wednesday, Nov. 1st

Oct. 30:  Midterm Warnings

Nov. 1: Holiday

Nov. 7:  Last day to drop classes

Dec. 11-15: Final Examinations


Tentative Schedule

The schedule provided below provides a general outline of the units and readings but is subject to change.


Content/Important Assignment Due Dates

Materials/Weekly Readings and Supplemental Videos

Part 1

Week 1-3

Introduction to Intercultural Communication

Required Reading:

Chapter 1-3 ICC textbook

Chapter 2, 6 CBC textbook

Supplemental Videos:

“Cross Cultural Communication | Pellegrino Riccardi | TEDxBergen.” YouTube, uploaded by Pellegrino Riccardi, 21 Oct. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMyofREc5Jk.

“Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Culture | Saba Safdar | TEDxGuelphU.” YouTube, uploaded by Saba Safdar, 30 Dec. 2012, www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaOJ71czAGQ.

Part 2

Week 4-5

Identity, Language, Nonverbal Communication

Required Reading:

Chapter 5-7 ICC textbook

Chapter 7, 8, 9 CBC textbook

Supplemental Video:

“Kwame Anthony Appiah: The Lies That Bind.” YouTube, uploaded by Kwame Anthony Appiah, 15 Jan. 2019, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfkl98599w4.

Part 3

Week 6-8

Globalization, History, Power

Required Reading:

Chapter 4, 8 ICC textbook

Chapter 5, CBC textbook

Supplemental Reading:

Said, Edward W. Orientalism. Introduction (pages 1-30), 1st Vintage books ed., Vintage Books, 1979.

Part 4

Week 9-11

Media and Representation

Required Reading:

Chapter 9, ICC textbook

Hall, Stuart, Representation and the Media

Supplemental Video:

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. “The Danger of a Single Story.” TED Talks, uploaded by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, 7 Oct. 2009, www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en.

Part 5:

Week 12-14

Culture and Conflict


Required Reading:

Chapter 11, 12 ICC textbook

Supplemental Reading:

Maoz, Ifat. “Does Contact Work in Protracted Asymmetrical Conflict?Appraising 20 Years of Reconciliation-Aimed Encounters between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.” Journal of Peace Research, vol. 48, no. 1, 2011, pp. 115–125., https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343310389506.

Said, Edward W. “The Clash of Ignorance.” Nation, vol. 273, no. 12, 2001.

Supplemental Videos:

Abumiz, director. The Myth of the "Clash of Civilizations". YouTube, YouTube, 13 May 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPS-pONiEG8. Accessed 1 July 2022.

“Kwame Anthony Appiah: Cosmopolitanism.” YouTube, uploaded by Chicago Humanities Festival, 2 Dec. 2014, www.youtube.com/watch?v=opXlIYRnu0A.