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  • Periodic Report Summary 1 - GLOCADEMICS (Glocal Languages’ and ‘Intercultural Responsibility’ in a postcolonial global academic world(GLOCADEMICS): Power relations between languages/cultures within and between research groups)

Periodic Report Summary 1 - GLOCADEMICS (Glocal Languages’ and ‘Intercultural Responsibility’ in a postcolonial global academic world(GLOCADEMICS): Power relations between languages/cultures within and between research groups)

Given the association of European languages/cultures with historical colonialism and nowadays with economic and epistemological imperialism, the nature of their reception, use and evolution as well as the role of local native/indigenous languages in academic contexts deserve scientific attention. Furthermore, internationalization and globalization have been established as governmental priorities and subsequently as main goals for higher education institutions and research programmes. At the same time, English has become a powerful linguistic tool, all over the world, and also among doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, but Spanish and Portuguese are gaining preponderance as global languages, also due to their colonial past and with the raise of Latin American economies, especially Brazil.
Together with this criss-crossing of linguistic networks, there are cultural identifications and hybridizations that require researchers, in any field of knowledge, here named as ‘GLOCADEMICS’, to be critically reflexive upon the subtleties of intercultural communication/interaction in democratic, postcolonial and global academic exchanges. They should be able to act within a conceptual framework that is mindful of an ‘ecology of knowledges’ and capable of promoting a dialogue between different epistemologies. GLOCADEMICS has been carrying out research on the representation, positioning and workings of European ‘glocal’ languages (English, Portuguese and Spanish) and of indigenous languages as well as on the promotion of ‘intercultural responsibility’, both through the study of language and intercultural policies in the curricular management of a sample of Language/Culture Departments and of intercultural communication/interaction in a sample of research teams, both in the Social Sciences and in the Life Sciences. It has undertaken document analysis and field research, through observation of meetings, individual meetings and focus group interviews in Brazil. In addition, its PI also aims to carry out comparative research with Europe, in the future.
This ongoing project has fulfilled Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project and has just initiated a final Phase 3.The overall objectives leading the whole project activities have been above all: (a) to focus on (south-south, south-north, north-south) epistemological exchanges as well as on the corresponding institutional and personal relations; (b) to critically analyse the postcolonial tensions between different multinational and multicultural research team members; (c) to critically examine the power relations between English, Portuguese and Spanish in the academy and, if any, the native/indigenous languages with institutional representation, both in the curriculum and in research; (d) to analyse how the three European languages most widely spoken in the world (English, Portuguese and Spanish) relate to each other in the Brazilian academy (Social Sciences and Life Sciences); and (e) to find out about language representation and policies in the Brazilian Academy.
Brazil is an immense geographical area with a wide variety of cultural, linguistic and institutional differences and each university context is very different, with different interests and needs that provided many challenges for the PI to overcome and consequently urged for a lot of learning and training of skills about implementing an innovative and ambitious in an unknown environment in the middle of deep political and social crisis. However, the Brazilian academy, although lacking in open access to information about international research projects, is rightly known for being very welcoming and supportive in what is new and challenging.
Phase 1 (September 2014 – September 2015)
» data collection from language teachers of Portuguese, English, Spanish, Indigenous languages and Afro-Brazilian teachers at the Universidade de S. Paulo (USP), Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA) and Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR) (27 teachers altogether);
Phase 2 (September 2015 – September 2016)
» research on research, with 5 research groups (3 universities), it included individual meetings with researchers, document reading (reports, papers and related documents on each research topic) and final focus-group interviews;
Participant universities in phase 2 » Universidade de S. Paulo (USP), Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA) and Universidade Federal do Sul da Bahia
Accordingly, this project, albeit one carried out by an individual researcher only, can be considered, precisely due to the PI’s previous experience and expertise in the field and in project coordination, as field analysis and a pilot study for a ”major international collaboration”. Not only should this project be considered as such for a “major international collaboration” between Europe and Brazil but also of a major development programme aimed at young researchers’ learning about the implications of plurilingualism, intercultural communication and intercultural epistemological translation for the purpose of their international research collaborations and exchanges. From the participant language professors and international Brazilian researchers, this project, enabled finding out about the complex potential of international and intercultural co-operation, with a view from below – South/North – of this process, which is currently so dear to the goals of the European Commission with regard to scientific research programmes. This project suggests that universities should also focus on research micro-contexts while implementing institutional agreements for the purpose of their internationalisation and globalisation. It also offers support to programme developers with a theoretical and practical study introducing a new conceptual framework, which deserves to be further developed: - ‘Glocademics’, ‘Glocal languages’, and ‘Intercultural Responsibility’ – complementary and/or alternative to current concepts/notions such as: - ‘Higher Education globalisation/internationalisation’, ‘Lingua franca’ and ‘Intercultural Competence’.


João Paulo Dias, (Executive Director)
Tel.: +351239855570
Fax: +351 239855589


Life Sciences
Record Number: 195326 / Last updated on: 2017-03-13
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