Beyond and besides language: Intercultural communication and creative practice

This Special Issue was originally published by the Language and Intercultural Communication journal. The Special Issue was co-edited by Lou Harvey, Jessica Bradley and MIDEQ researcher Gameli Tordzro. Full details and the original publication can be found on Taylor & Francis online.

The intercultural field has some history of drawing on the arts and creative practice to support the teaching, research and understanding of communication. However, there has been little theoretical engagement with the relationship between language and creative practice: most of this work has either not foregrounded language and communication as part of its agenda (e.g. Burnard et al., 2016) or has taken language for granted as a focus for communication (e.g. Crutchfield & Schewe, 2017). In recent years an emerging body of intercultural work engaging with post-human and new materialist philosophy and arts-based methodology has problematised the role, representationality and materiality of language and its role in communicating, knowing and being (Bradley et al., 2018; Bradley & Harvey, 2019; Frimberger, 2016; Frimberger et al., 2018; Gonçalves Matos & Melo-Pfeifer, 2020; Harvey & Bradley, 2021; Harvey, McCormick, & Vanden, 2019; Harvey, McCormick, Vanden, Collins, et al., 2019; Harvey et al., 2021; Lytra et al., 2022; Moore et al., 2020; Phipps, 2019; Porto & Houghton, 2021; Ros i Solé et al., 2020). The philosophical excavation of the ontology of language, and its relationship with other modes of communication beyond and besides language (Thurlow, 2016; see also Pennycook, 2018), has enabled this research to engage productively and innovatively with ongoing and urgent questions in the field relating to de-essentialising (Ferri, 2018; Harvey, McCormick & Vanden 2019; MacDonald, 2019; MacDonald & O’Regan, 2013); decolonising (Phipps, 2013, 2019); research methodology, relationships and ethics (Bradley et al., 2018; Holliday & MacDonald, 2020) and artistic research and production processes as communication and interaction (Tordzro, 2018a, 2018b, 2019). This special issue invited contributors to engage deeply with the role of language in relation to creative practice in intercultural settings to further engage with these concerns at the levels of ontology and epistemology, and to consider the implications for social justice and knowledge democracy.