Women as Intercultural Relations: Re-visioning the field through a feminist lens

Presentation Description: As the study and work of intercultural relations (IR) moves solidly into the 21st century, there is dearth of information documenting the contributions of women and the roles they have played in the development of the field. In contrast, women have been consistently over-representing in areas such as training, international education, and communication studies for years. In fact, the U.S. chapter of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research (SIETAR-USA) defined as “a professional membership organization for those who are concerned with the challenges and rewards of intercultural relations” (SIETAR-USA, 2007) show 72%  (n = 275) of their current membership is female (SIETAR-USA, 2006, p. 1). The welcome page on the organizational website states, “our members work within many environments and professions – business and industry, consulting, training, K-12 and higher education, counseling, all aspects of the media and arts, to name a few” (SIETAR-USA, 2007, p. 1).  Within this context, women have been shaping knowledge in IR for years. This presentation introduces the conceptual framework and preliminary findings from my study on women’s contributions to the interdisciplinary field of intercultural relations.

SIETAR-USA. (2006). SIETAR Membership Roster, Report from SIETAR-USA
SIETAR-USA. (2007). Welcome.   Retrieved March 10, 2007, from http://www.sietarusa.org/message.html

Nancy O’Brien is a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Policy and Administration at the University of Minnesota. She works in graduate studies at the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, Oregon and is returning intern faculty with the Summer Institute of Intercultural Communication. Nancy teaches intercultural communication at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota.