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, Michal Jan, Ph.D.


Michal Jan Rozbicki is Professor of History at Saint Louis University. He holds a Ph.D. from Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, and a Ph.D. habil. From Warsaw University, Poland. He has authored or edited eleven books, including the award-winning Culture and Liberty in the Age of the American Revolution(2001), and held fellowships from several global institutions, including the Rockefeller Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, Oxford University, and the Kennedy Institute for North American Studies in Berlin. He served as Chair of the History Department, and currently is Director of the Center for Intercultural Studies which he founded in 2011. It is devoted to systemic research on the interactions between different cultures, and to developing interdisciplinary methodologies of interpreting the relationships of otherness.

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Selected Publications

Perspectives on Interculturality: The Construction of Meaning in Relationships of Difference, edited by Michal Jan Rozbicki (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming April 2015). The intercultural occurs in the space between two or more distinct cultures that encounter each other, an area where culture is translated and difference is negotiated. A half-century of critique of the concept of culture has made significant contributions, including foregrounding ethnocentrism as a source of research bias across disciplines; incorporating power into cultural studies; and expanding scholarship on cultures beyond ethno-linguistically defined groups.  Likewise, study of processes that transcend group divisions--globalization, empire, and neo-colonialism--has flourished.  Meanwhile, understanding mechanisms of interactions between cultures has not kept pace. Intercultural themes have thus far been mostly pursued withinbounded academic disciplines--especially communication, anthropology, and teaching foreign languages--but the very nature of interactions among cultures calls for concurrent and properly integrated input from a variety of disciplines. Indeed, the very fact that people as a rule have multiple, overlapping cultural affinities, and that cultures are dynamic because their structures are heterogeneous and man-made--not fixed, ahistorical systems--necessitates interdisciplinary approaches. It also calls for researchers to transcend the conceptual languages of their disciplines. For instance, a political scientist ought to be aware that culture is not an additional dimension of politics but constitutes the very mappings of politics. However, scholars are rarely trained to do so. They are also routinely impeded by insufficient epistemological capabilities--their own apperceptions and assumptions, miscommunication, and the incommensurability of frameworks of knowledge in an increasingly interconnected world. Intercultural studies are due for reflection and refinement. This volume brings together scholars from diverse disciplines and cultures to reflect on the current state of knowledge about these mechanisms, with the goal of assembling an innovative theoretical and methodological toolbox for researching and understanding the intercultural.