Writing new thinking

One of my colleagues noted my reference to Omar Khayyám at the end of my last blog — ‘The moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on’, and about not being able to ‘cancel half a line’.  The past cannot be changed. But in the process of writing about it, …

The final forming

Then, when you have a text that you almost like, it needs the final forming – shaving, cutting, sharpening, bringing down to the size that fits. The bringing together of the total form into a whole single body. Designing it for the reader. And in doing this you may find …

Stepping outside the literal

Writing with another person is a wonderful thing to do when thoughts match across space, time, personal background and experience. It takes care of a lot of the ‘how is it possible to write’ need to reflect out loud – which has been a purpose of this blog. But one …

So what do we mean by intercultural?

The intercultural is to do with interaction between people with different cultural experience. This difference is more obvious where the experience is markedly divergent as a result of histories, grand narratives and practices that are specific to particular societies with their economies, political systems, geographies and events. The particularities of …

About boundaries of cultures

I have talked about small cultures as being things that can be seen and described. Does this mean that they exist as things, as entities that have boundaries? And if they do, can we not work up from this and think of there being large cultures with boundaries? And if …

What is it possible to say and think about culture?

In a non-essentialist approach we try to avoid using stereotypes to define and confine the characteristics of members of ‘a culture’. We recognise that national or ethnic cultures are largely ‘imagined’ – ideologically defined, the constructs of political, nationalistic, militaristic or other such agendas and narratives – carved by the …

Narratives as dark matter

I am referring to narratives as the stories that we use to make sense of the world and of each other. They are sometimes provided for us by the social structures that we are brought up with, though political ideologies, all sorts of media, what we are taught at school …

What to say about nation

There has been a swing away from an essentialist approach to culture and from taking the nation state as the basic definer of everything around us. We should not however go too far in discounting everything that our national upbringing gives us, but put these influences in their place. It …