Religion and Politics

The Humanities Research Center and the Division of Arts and Humanities, in collaboration with the Undergraduate Studies program, are pleased to present a lecture and discussion on religion and politics, on Monday 26 September, 2022 via Zoom and in person in Barcelona. The event comprises a guest lecture, which will be presented via Zoom, and a discussion, which will take place in person in the Barcelona student residence. Continue reading “Religion and Politics”

The Ukraine Crisis: A Roundtable Discussion

Duke University’s Franklin Humanities Institute will convene a roundtable discussion on the Ukraine Crisis on Wednesday March 9, 2022 at 9pm China time. The discussion will be held on Zoom, and advance registration is required.

The roundtable aims to discuss the causes of and future prospects for the Ukraine crisis, the impact on the world geopolitical situation, and perceptions of the crisis in Chinese official and social media.

Click here for more information

Click here to register

The Citizenship Lab Presents: Planetary Health and the Biopolitics of Home

You are cordially invited to join Miguel Vatter on his talk on “Planetary Health and the Biopolitics of Home.”

Tuesday, March 1,  10am-11:30am BJT
Zoom ID: 969 4153 4843

Speaker Bio: Professor of politics at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalization at Deakin University. His areas of research are history of political thought, especially Machiavelli; biopolitics and neoliberalism; political theology. His most recent books are: Divine Democracy. Political Theology After Carl Schmitt (Oxford UP 2020) and Living Law. Jewish Political Theology from Hermann Cohen to Hannah Arendt (Oxford UP 2021)

This event is co-hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Studies, the Cultures and Movements Major, and the HRC Citizenship Lab.

Black or black?

This event has passed. You can now watch the recording here:

Presented by Freedom Lab

Friday, December 3rd
Time: 9PM (China Time)
Zoom: 261 330 4845

Speaker: Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw

Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw is a Professor of French Literature at The University of the West Indies (St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago). She is both an award-winning fiction writer as well as widely-known scholar of the French Caribbean. Her fiction books include such titles as Four Taxis Facing North (2007) and Mrs. B (2014). She has edited such books as Border Crossings: A Trilingual Anthology of Caribbean Women Writers (2011), Echoes of the Haitian Revolution (2008), and Reinterpreting the Haitian Revolution and Its Cultural Aftershocks (2006). In 2021, she published a biography of the poet Aime Cesaire.


Continue reading “Black or black?”

Dec. 3 – Third Space Lab – Guest Speaker Series – Chad Hoggan – The Varieties of Transformative Experience

Dear all,

You are cordially invited to the guest lecture of the Third Space Lab by Associate Professor Chad Hoggan (North Carolina State University) on The Varieties of Transformative Experience.
We hope you will join us!
Please RSVP here:

Date: December 3rd, 2021

Time:  10 pm (China time) / 9 am (EST) / 3 pm (Berlin time)

Zoom Meeting ID:      248 487 9248

Presentation Description:

This presentation traces the history of transformative learning theory within the discipline of adult education. It presents a new metatheory of transformation based on the vast scholarship that has arisen around transformative learning. Included in this metatheory are definitions and criteria to distinguish transformative learning from other types of learning, a typology of transformational outcomes, key components of the transformation process, conceptual tools by which to analyze different types of transformation, and implications for practice.

Continue reading “Dec. 3 – Third Space Lab – Guest Speaker Series – Chad Hoggan – The Varieties of Transformative Experience”

The Thursday Night Tea Research Group | Graphic Narratives with Racha Chatta 

By Anisha Joshi

Class of 2022

Translation is a familiar experience for much of the community at DKU- many juggle at least two (if not more) languages daily in a multitude of contexts as we navigate communicating with an international community. So what a gift that this semester the Thursday Night Tea Research Group is returning to DKU with the theme Translation!

Rasha Chatta kicked off the series this month as the first guest speaker leading a discussion on the topic of Graphic Narratives. Chatta’s research interests at the moment include Arab migrant literature and graphic narrative, and she holds two fellowships at the moment- at the Forum Transregionale Studien in Berlin, and at the Merian Center for Advanced Studies in the Maghreb in Tunis. Continue reading “The Thursday Night Tea Research Group | Graphic Narratives with Racha Chatta “

TSL Brown Bag Lunch Research Talk | The Multi-Sensory Star Culture in the Late Qing and Early Republican Periods: A Case Study of the Snuff Bottles Featuring Tan Xinpei’s (1847–1971) Image

You are cordially invited to attend the first Brown Bag Lunch Research Talk in the fall semester by JI Wenting on The Multi-Sensory Star Culture in the Late Qing and Early Republican Periods: A Case Study of the Snuff Bottles Featuring Tan Xinpei’s (1847–1971) Image at noon on Friday September 17th, 2021 (China Standard Time).

Please RSVP by 5 pm China Standard Time Thursday September 16th :

Location: CC 1095. Zoom link will be sent to remote participants. Bring your own lunch and enjoy the talk! Snacks and bubble tea provided—please be sure to RSVP.


The TSL brown bag lunch research talk is open to all members of the DKU community and beyond who are interested in engaging in a conversation about research projects, either a published work or a work-in-progress, broadly related to languages, cultures and intercultural communication.

If you are interested in participating either as a speaker or as audience, please fill out this survey with your availability and the potential topic/work you’d be interested in discussing:

Third Space Lab – Guest Speaker Series – Michael Byram – Why intercultural (critical) competence in languaculture teaching?

Dear all,

You are cordially invited to the guest lecture of the Third Space Lab by Professor Emeritus Michael Byram (Durham University, UK). We hope you will join us!
Please RSVP here: 

Date: April 30th, 2021

Time: 7 pm (China time) / 7 am (EST) / 12 pm (UK time)

Zoom Meeting ID:  985 9099 3775

Why intercultural (critical) competence in languaculture teaching?

I will begin with a personal answer to my title question, and describe my professional journey from studying languages to teaching and researching intercultural citizenship in language teaching, and across the curriculum.

I will then argue for the educational values of teaching for intercultural communicative competence and intercultural citizenship, using both an example and an educational perspective. The example will demonstrate that language teaching and intercultural competence teaching are inter-related and mutually supportive: language learning is improved by teaching for intercultural citizenship.

My position has however implications for teachers which cannot be ignored. There are ethical issues to consider and challenges to professional identities, and I will raise these for discussion.


Michael Byram is Professor Emeritus at Durham University (UK) and Research Professor at Sofia University, Bulgaria. He studied Modern and Medieval Languages at King’s College, Cambridge, including a PhD in Danish literature, and then taught French and German in secondary and adult education. He then moved to Durham University, where he was involved in teacher training and research on languages and education. His books include Minority Education and Ethnic Survival (1986) and Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence – Revisited (2021). He was Adviser to the Council of Europe Language Policy Division and a member of the working group which produced the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture.

To think about in advance:

When people ask me “What do the English think about…. (e.g. global warming or capital punishment or Donald Trump etc etc.)”, they think that, because I am English, I can tell them. Yet I hesitate and try to avoid answering. If they ask me if ‘he goed to London yesterday’ is correct, because I am English, I don’t hesitate; I know the answer. Is it possible to know about ‘English culture’ – or any other? Instead of ‘English’ put your own word and ask yourself how you would answer.

How important is it to teach/learn knowledge? Which knowledge?  How important to teach/learn skills? Which skills? How important to teach/learn attitudes? Which attitudes?

To watch in advance:

Third Space Lab – Guest Speaker Series – Adrian Holliday on Third Space Methodology

Dear all,

You are cordially invited to the guest lecture of the Third Space Lab by Dr. Adrian Holliday (Canterbury Christ Church University). We hope you will join us!
Please RSVP here:

Date: April 9th, 2021

Time: 5 pm (China time)/5 am (EST)/10 am (UK time)

Zoom Meeting ID: 936 1008 0413

Third-space methodology: Finding deCentred threads in small culture formation on the go

The biggest barrier to intercultural travel is its framing as between large, national or civilisational ‘cultures’. This framing falsely claims, for example, that (a) Western and Eastern people are essentially different to each other because their behaviour and values are determined by these separate large ‘cultures’, and that (b) learning a second language requires the native-speakerist activity of learning a second large ‘culture’. This large-culture approach originates from a racist, structural-function­al­­ist, Orientalist, Centre, Western grand narrative that falsely separates the world into superior individualist and inferior collectivist ‘cultures’. It therefore creates essentialist blocks that pull us apart.
Intercultural travel instead requires deCentred threads. This is not learning the ‘other culture’. Although we are brought up differently in our national systems, with different histories, practices and architectures, we share everyday, common, hybrid, underlying, intercultural experience ‘on the go’ such as going to school for the first time, visiting friends’ families, and joining new work and leisure groups. This existing underlying intercultural competence needs to be recalled as the best resource for engaging with more distant intercultural realities. However, ‘us’-‘them’ prejudice is everywhere and makes us vulnerable to blocking large-culture grand narratives. Third-space methodology is the hard and uncomfortable, intersubjective work of rooting out and putting aside prejudice in a new, deCentred, decolonising, thinking-as-usual. We can then see culture as creative, flowing, changing, hybrid, boundary dissolving and figurative, rather than confining and separating.

About the speaker

Adrian Holliday is a professor of applied linguistics and intercultural education at Canterbury Christ Church University. After completing his Bachelor’s in sociology in 1971 and beginning his career as a teacher of English, History, Economics and Sociology in London, he embarked on a six-year international experience as an English teacher and then English program manager in Iran, from 1973 to 1979. After returning to the UK and completing a masters degree at Lancaster University, from 1980-1985, he was involved in setting up the English for Special Purposes Centre at Damascus University in Syria. This is now the successful Higher Languages Institute. Then, in 1985-1990, Professor Holliday was involved in a national university curriculum project in Egypt which comprised 18 universities across the country. The experiences during this project provided him material for his Ph.D. at Lancaster University, which he received in 1990. He headed the Graduate School at Canterbury Christ Church University from 2002-2017, providing academic management for research degrees, and was a program director for the Ph.D.s in Applied Linguistics and in Education. He also chaired the  British Association of TESOL Qualifying Institutions and helped set up the British Institute of English Language Teaching. Throughout his career, he has been developing his thinking and writing around the relationship between the individual, culture and social structures. His long-standing relationship with Iran and the Middle East has provided him with an awareness of the global politics which surround these relationships.

This event will be recorded and posted on the Third Space Lab’s Sakai site for all to view.

Freedom Lab Event Report on “The Utopianism called Decolonization: Thinking with Tagore”

By Yue Qiu

Class of 2022

On June 11, 2020, The Freedom Lab invited Professor Sandeep Banerjee from McGill University to lead a discussion on “The Utopianism called Decolonization: Thinking with Tagore“. The Freedom Lab co-directors, Professors Jesse Olsavsky and Selina Lai-Henderson hosted the lecture. Professor Titas Chakraborty and around 20 students attended the conference.

Professor Chakraborty introduced the guest speaker. Professor Banerjee is a literary theorist, cultural critic, and historian who studies the literatures and histories of decolonization, particularly in India. Besides writing on colonialism and liberation, he also writes on a wide range of topics such as travel narrative and photography. He published the book Utopia and Indian Decolonization: Literary Pre-figurations of the Postcolony last year. Continue reading “Freedom Lab Event Report on “The Utopianism called Decolonization: Thinking with Tagore””