Our team is committed to “Creating a distinctive kind of rhetorical community: an intercultural, problem-focused, local public sphere designed for talking about others across differences” (Flower, 2008).
In line with Flower’s work, we aim to:
- Be open to discovery
- Accept discursive conflict
- Reach for resolution, not consensus
- Know such work requires rhetorical confidence
- Build identities as well as arguments
- Transform public interaction
We actively encourage, model, and support multiple types of mentoring: vertical, horizontal, and lateral. This approach to mentoring benefits the whole team, but particularly the undergraduate and graduate researchers. We rotate project leads across the whole team to offer everyone chances to develop confidence, and so that the team benefits from diverse perspectives. Finally, we encourage an ethic of care when working with partners, participants, and each other.
The Transculturation team began in 2016 when two new officemates, Hadi and Rebekah, discovered a shared commitment to intercultural engagement, and were curious about what it might look like to address intercultural work in first-year writing.
In Spring 2016, Hadi developed the first draft of a writing curriculum that engaged students in multicultural issues, drawing on his experience teaching in multiple cultural contexts. In Fall 2016, Hadi and Rebekah, supported by Bradley, fleshed out an intercultural-competence-focused version of this curriculum and proposed initial implementation in the Purdue ICaP Program for Spring 2017. They were awarded Most Innovative Syllabus Approach by the English department.
Parva and Phuong joined the research in 2017, bringing international teaching experience and expertise in qualitative research to the team. They also taught the curriculum in 2018. Funding from CILMAR-Purdue offered key support for the project.
During Spring and Summer 2018, the team worked intensively on developing analytical methods and further data collection. With additional funding from CWPA, two undergraduate researchers — Ryan and Echo — joined the team in Spring 2019, offering valuable energy and fresh perspectives to the research. Data analysis from the Purdue implementation was completed in 2020, and results can be found in several publications.
Between 2020 and 2022, all four graduate researchers completed their PhDs and became faculty members at four institutions across three countries. A new phase of this project is underway at the University of Massachusetts – Boston. Recently, Alec Langlois from UMB joined the project as a graduate research assistant. You can here more about this new phase on the Strathclyde School of Education Podcast.
Flower, L. (2008). Community Literacy and the Rhetoric of Public Engagement. SIU Press.