This book aims to act as your map through the world of African art. As such, it will help you define the competencies you need to develop–visual analysis, research, noting what information is critical, asking questions, and writing down your observations–and provide opportunities for you to practice these skills until you are proficient. It will also expose you to new art forms and the worlds that produced them, enriching your understanding and appreciation.
International student exchanges are an increasingly popular aspect of the internationalisation of higher education around the globe. Whether as short-term mobility projects or semester long ‘study abroad’ opportunities, the benefits of such international study experiences have been well documented.
Higher education institutions, departments and disciplines, or individual academics are often tasked with preparing students for such international experiences. Such preparation often focuses on the practical and logistical aspects of student travel, overlooking a crucial dimension of student learning.
Intercultural learning: Critical preparation for international student travel aims to take students beyond practical preparation, to equip them with a critical lens through which to view and understand their international experiences. The book leads students toward a deeper understanding of culture and cultural difference through an exploration of challenging concepts such as imperialism, racism, privilege and intercultural practice.
As an adjunct to traditional approaches, the book adds a significant and valuable dimension to the process of preparing students for international study, increasing the potential for meaningful and transformative learning experiences.
This book is intended for readers who have never studied the Middle East, or experts who may wish to fill gaps in their knowledge of the region from other disciplines. Whether for establishing or deepening one's knowledge of the region, these fundamentals are important to know. The languages, cultural, religious and sectarian communities of the region, and selected turning points and influential people in history are starting points for gaining an understanding of the diverse contexts of the region. It isbased on introductoryand graduatecourseson thecontemporaryMiddle East, which the Center's director, Dr. Alam Payind, has been teaching for the past 30 years. The book's co-author,Melinda McClimans,hastaught these and other courses with him, as well as her own,for the past 15years. The material isintendedengage with diverse – even conflicting – culturaland historicalperspectives,andways of perceivingboth Middle Easternandworld historyfrom perspectives within the region. It is not intended to reinforce a monolithic or matter-of-fact perception of the region.For this and many other reasons, images are an important aspect of the knowledge presented. Each chapter starts with links to its image galleries, along with other visual aids and key elements.
The purpose of Speaking of Culture is to define culture and many other concepts associated with it. My hope is that the readings in this book will help you to better understand the breadth of the concept of culture and provide you with a vocabulary for discussing it more articulately.
Culture is one of those broad concepts that is used widely, although somewhat imprecisely, in everyday English. It also cuts across many academic disciplines, and this book draws on many of them. It touches, for instance, on anthropology, biology, history, mythology, political science, psychology, and sociology.