The Role of Interculturalism in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Outcomes of online discussions
This article reports on the results of online discussions held in February-March 2022 to share different perspectives on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis upon interculturalism. Organized under the title “The Role of Interculturalism in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic”, the editors of INContext invited scholars from various academic backgrounds. The aim of this discussion was not to provide practical solutions nor to draw a coherent picture of the current crisis provoked by the pandemic. Rather, it endeavored to test the possibility of analyzing this crisis in terms of interculturalism, thereby seeking the possibility of broadening the approach in general. There has been a large amount of scholarly research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon global community in various academic fields. In order for intercultural studies to make a contribution to this task, it is urgent to encourage active exchange of opinions among those whose academic interests lie in cultural communications and interactions.
This article first summarizes some notable academic discussions on intercultural studies, including politics, education, art, and iterature. Comparing the opinions submitted for the discussions is the basis of the present research before drawing any significant academic implications. Among those who provided their opinions through various channels, five scholars were chosen to represent different aspects of the topic: the psychological aspect of the COVID-19 crisis; the implications of cyber literature access for youth
education; the efforts of a regional community to maintain its creative spirit in arts and culture; and the crisis of liberalism in international relations. The contribution from these five scholars provided the basis for the case studies presented here and analyzed through an intercultural lens for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on humanity.
Just as the scope of intercultural studies is shaped and enriched by contributions from many academic fields, the participants in the online discussions cited here also entertain the hope that this article will help INContext shape the agenda in the field of interculturalism and thereby spearhead academic endeavors to include divergent perspectives in the quest to understand humankind and the diverse cultural manifestations which are its reflection.
interculturalism, online discussion, COVID-19 pandemic, cultural communications, cultural interactions