Interdisciplinary Cluster for Research on Intercultural Contact and Interaction (CRICI)


News and Events

5 Dec

November/December Meeting

Andres Carlos Luco, “Intervening in other societies” (Looked at the ethics of ‘intervening’ in the affairs of another social or political group). 

Abstract: I would like to explore the ethics of “intervening” in the affairs of another social or political group. Is it unethical for outsiders to try to change the practices of a cultural, religious, or national group that they themselves are not members of? Is it morally permissible for a government to prohibit foreigners from engaging in political activism intended to change attitudes or policies within the country’s borders? I will argue that it is not unethical to attempt to change the practices of another group, provided that the effort has the potential to eliminate suffering and discrimination. I will also argue that it is morally impermissible for governments to prohibit foreigners from engaging in political activism, because such prohibitions restrict the free exchange of ideas and reduce a society’s ability to envision alternative ways of life.

Francesco Perono Cacciafoco, "How to Find the Way: Navigational Knowledge and Oral Tradition in the Context of Aboriginal Societies”:

Abstract: This Project is focused on the notion of traditional navigational knowledge among aboriginal and minority peoples. The approach is comparative, dealing with unrelated contexts from South-East Indonesia and South-West China. The Project is aimed at the documentation of possibly common patterns inherent in traditional navigational knowledge in societies where writing and technology are not yet widespread. Ancestral knowledge connected with the description and the perception of landscape by local people is preserved through the vocabulary of the languages spoken by local communities and in their stories. Often, place names and landscape names include the description of an orientation system based on the geo-morphological structure of the territory (position of hills and mountains, 'directions of trees' in connection with the directions of winds, 'movement' of water in river and streams, orientation of puddles and pools) and on the 'experience' of the movements of stars and constellations. Those toponyms and lexical 'landmarks' are, generally, connected with traditional atavistic stories describing the process of the 'making' of the names of the 'directions' (not properly the cardinal points) and the 'ideal map' of their territory developed by aboriginal people (a sort of 'landscape of the memory'). The Project aims at the development of a comparative dictionary of toponyms and landscape names connected with ancient traditional knowledge in oral word societies (or prevalently oral word societies) and at the safeguard and documentation of the intangible heritage of oral traditional stories that, sometimes, give origin to this specific lexicon and, sometimes, have been made-up to explain it. 

​Oct 29

​October Meeting

Carol Chia, "Gezai opera in Singapore: Oral Transmission, improvisation and dependence on 'fixed texts’”. 

Abstract: Gezai opera is a genre of improvisational plays performed in the Hokkien (Minnan) language. Originating from Taiwan, Gezai opera spread to Singapore in the 1930s and has continued to be performed since. While the genre was quite popular in Singapore from the 1930s to the 1970s, the later language policy of privileging Mandarin and English over local languages and dialects has challenged the relevance of Gezai opera in Singapore. How do performers of recent years learn this theatrical form? What is the role of oral transmission, improvisation, and dependence on “fixed texts” in the education of young performers and in their daily preparations for the stage? Reading and writing seem to play only a minor role in the process of putting on a play. However, how individual performers learn their art and prepare for performances depends on the performer’s degree of literacy. In the period after the 1970s, the dependency on aural and visual “fixed texts,” such as cassette-tapes, CDs, and videos, has had a great impact on rehearsal practices, while written or printed texts – apart from the stage outline – appear marginal for this art.

Randy J. LaPolla, “Cultural skeuomorphism” (extending the concept of skeuomorphism--making something new and unfamiliar look like something more familiar in order to get people to accept it--from objects within a single culture to the cross-cultural promotion of cultural concepts)

​Sep 21


Guinevere Barlow, "Using English in Irish Literature"
​Sep 20

​September Meeting

Sim Wai Chew, “’Translanguaging’” to literary studies”.



wok Sai Hang, “intercultural philosophy” (how cultures with different world views can develop a common ground for intercultural communication)


Chan Wan Ting, “Conceptualising Health from an Abui Perspective” 

The particular case of Abui speakers in Alor, Indonesia, to show how our cultural conceptions of diseases are embodied in our languages, and so Western-trained health-workers trying to get the Abui people to go along with malaria-eradication efforts need to work through those languages to understand the concepts of the Abui speakers and develop approaches to treatment and compliance with treatment that take those concepts into account


David Holm, “Literate Shamanism: The priests called Then among the Tày in Guangxi and northern Viet


​Sep 19


“Phenomenology and Intercultural Questioning”

​Kwok Sai Hang
​Jul 1 - Sep 30


"Singapore Traditional Chinese Glove Puppetry"

Caroline Chia Boon Han

​Aug 31

​August Meeting

First meeting to discuss the direction of the Cluster
​Aug 24


"Arguments for Seeing Theme-Rheme and Topic-Comment as Separate Functional Structures: Evidence from Tagalog”

Randy J. LaPolla


Heidegger, Zhuangzi, & Intercultural Philos

Kwok Sai Hang

​Aug 10 - 11


Rethinking Sinitic Literacy: A Study of Sinitic Texts in Southeast Asia​

Caroline Chia Boon Han