Center for Intercultural Studies


Who are we? The Center for Intercultural Studies at Saint Louis University is dedicated to comprehensive, systemic and interdisciplinary research on the mechanisms involved in intercultural relations. Since its founding in 2011, it has published several volumes of studies on interculturality, created a world-wide network of collaborating scholars in the field, hosted visiting scholars, and sponsored global conferences. With its 32 core research faculty and a substantial presence at Saint Louis University, its plans include expanding into a larger, global institute offering graduate and undergraduate degrees as well as training in intercultural competence. 

What is interculturality? Interculturality occurs in the space between two or more distinct cultural groups that encounter each other, an area where meaning is translated and difference is negotiated. Intercultural Studies is a new and fast growing academic discipline, much in demand across the world, and the Center hopes to capture this opportunity by making it a part of Saint Louis University's brand. It would not be too much to say that if an academic discipline were to be constructed around the Catholic and Jesuit educational principle of "preparing men and women to be for and with others," it would look very much like Intercultural Studies.

Why we need it? An education that is limited to one's own kind does not lead to a dialogue among different cultural groups, whether they are local or international. In an often divided and conflicted world the need to promote a deeper and more effective understanding of the intercultural process is one of the most urgent challenges facing humanity. It has immense implications for policy, law, and global engagement, as well as academic scholarship in a wide spectrum of disciplines. Exploring intercultural relationships such as difference, dialogue, coexistence, hybridity, pluralism, and cultural transfers, enables us to open up new areas of knowledge, just as looking at ourselves in the mirror of the Stranger allows us to become aware of how our own culture shapes the meaning of reality for us, and awakens our capacity to deal with otherness.

I invite scholars and students to join us in contributing to this exciting endeavor.

   Michal Jan Rozbicki

Call for Papers: "Intercultural Origins of St. Louis and Trans-Mississippi West" Conference, March 22-23, 2018
 April 28, 2017   The Color Curtain: Richard Wright on Race, Rights, and Western Values
Charity in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Traditions




Welcoming Dr. Ling Wang


Please welcome our new Visiting Scholar at the Center for Intercultural Studies, Dr. Ling Wang. She is a professor in the English Department of the School of Foreign Languages at Yunnan University in China. Her research interests are English linguistics and literature, cultures and arts of ethnic minorities in China, and intercultural comparison, translation and communication. She is of Yi nationality, one of the 25 ethnic minorities in Yunnan Province in Southwest China.

She obtained her M.A. degree in English Linguistics and Literature from Yunnan University in 1996. From 2000 to 2001 she was a visiting scholar at the School of English Studies at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. She was awarded a Ph.D. degree in ethnic cultures and arts by Yunnan University in 2006. From 2009 to 2013 she was a postdoctoral researcher in arts at Fujian Normal University. Professor Wang has had over 50 papers and six books published in Chinese or English, at home and abroad. During her stay at the Center for Intercultural Studies she will participate in its various activities as well as offer lectures on intercultural issues.




Publication in the Fordham University Newsletter Noting CIS Faulty Member

A faculty member of CIS, Elizabeth Blake, PhD, was cited in the Fordam Newspaper on her book, Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground.

"At a November 10, 2015 lecture sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center, Dostoevsky scholar Elizabeth Blake, PhD, assistant professor of Russian at Saint Louis University, spoke with undergraduates and faculty at the Rose Hill campus about Dostoevsky’s strong opinions about religion. The author, who yesterday would have celebrated his 194th birthday, was deeply critical of Catholics and especially of the Society of Jesus.

In her book Dostoevsky and the Catholic Underground (Northwestern University Press, 2014), Blake traces Dostoevsky’s disapproval back to his experience as a political prisoner in Siberia. For four years he was imprisoned with a group of Polish Catholic political activists and revolutionaries."

Photo and article by Mercuri, Joanna, Dostoevsky’s Sharp Criticisms of Catholicism Examined in Orthodox Christian Studies Lecture, November 12, 2015,





 "Our Police, Our Community" Working Conference

The Center for Intercultural Studies and Baobab People, a grassroots community organization in St. Louis, partnered to co-sponsor a working conference "Our Police, Our Community” on October 23rd, 2015. The session brought together police officers, community leaders, social workers, religious leaders, and academics to engage in dialogue on how to restore trust between law enforcement and our communities. The three main themes discussed were: what to do with the burdened past, how to effectively defuse current tensions, and how to have a constructive dialogue on these difficult issues.

Guests from right to left: Remargo Yancie, Dr. Michal Jan Rozbicki, Director of the Center for Intercultural Studies, Charisse Moore, Edem Dzunu, Baobab People Organization.





Education Week at the Center for Global Citizenship

The kickoff celebration for International Education Week at Saint Louis University was held at the Center for Global Citizenship on November 17, 2014.

Guests from right to left: Dr. Ellen Harshman, Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Mary Jean Eisenhower, Keynote Speaker and former President of People to People International, Dr. Diana Carlin, Associate Vice President for Graduate Education & International Initiatives, and Dr. Michal Jan Rozbicki, Director of the Center for Intercultural Studies.















Welcoming Mary Petri Bokern

The Center for Intercultural Studies is delighted to announce that Ms. Mary Petri Bokern has joined us as an Administrative Assistant. We are very pleased to add Mary to our team. Her degree is in Organizational Communications, with a minor in Marketing. She brings a wealth of administrative knowledge and a track record of success with her twelve years of experience in business and management. These skills will be invaluable in meeting the goals of our pioneering institution. If you are in the Center for Global Citizenship building, please stop by our office in Suite 124E to meet and welcome her.


Translating Intercultural Theory Into Practice

Diana Bartelli Carlin

Diana Bartelli Carlin, Associate Vice President for Graduate Education, Professor of Communication and faculty member at the Center for Intercultural Studies, has worked for the past fifteen months on a civil society project in Afghanistan to develop a curriculum to teach public speaking, argumentation and debate. She trained faculty at seven universities to teach the curriculum, and tested it at three universities in Kabul. The students implemented the lessons through participation in British Parliamentary Debate Tournament. In July 2011, Dr. Carlin helped organize the inaugural Kabul city and Afghan National debate competitions. There were eighty students participating, all speaking fluent English. For some, this was the first time they traveled out of their province. As a rule, these students work, many full-time, as well as attend classes early morning and late evening. They are majoring in business, law, political science, and medicine. In their post-event evaluation comments, many said that it was a transformative experience for them, inspiring hope about the future of their country.








Higher purpose. Greater good.
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