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The School of International Studies helps to understand social, cultural and environmental futures emerging from transcultural and intercultural interactions and encounters produced by global change. Rethinking the category ‘area studies’ through transcultural worlds of global connections and cosmopolitanism is the legacy that underwrites research and teaching in the School of International Studies. Our work concerns the material contexts of processes of globalisation, especially how places, languages, and cultural ideologies become transformed in the context of local-global relations. Consequently, our research is interdisciplinary and draws strengths from both the humanities and social sciences: history, media studies, geography, cultural studies, visual cultural studies, sociology, language studies, languages education, linguistics, literary studies, and more. New International Studies researchers often work across multiple disciplines.

Research strands

At present the School of International Studies has two major research strands:

The Place and Space Initiative

The Place and Space Initiative disrupts the bounded terrain of traditional area studies by conceptualising processes of global change. Where traditional area studies described unique local characteristics of places, the Place and Space Initiative adopts a ‘global sense of place’ that simultaneously addresses the complexity of cultures, ground their histories, connects their trajectories and appreciates their diverse representations. Where geopolitical paradigms limited space to bounded nation-states, as if homogenous within, research on spatial relations takes into account multiple spatial scales, from the individual, the household and the neighbourhood to global events, networks between world cities, and global concerns of multilateral organisations.

Selected projects

The Translingual/Intercultural/Transcultural Initiative

The Translingual/Intercultural/Transcultural Initiative positions mobility as a core intellectual focus. Mobility concerns not only the literal and physical movement and displacement of people, but also the ideologies, linguistic practices and cultural identities that they carry with them, construct and modify as they move. Research in this initiative aims to shift the paradigms for language and cultural pedagogy and language ideologies. It promotes to adopt a more reflexive and proactive approach to cultural exchange, language practice and learning and engages with dynamic and contextualised interactions. It questions how language teachers and learners can adopt a ‘reflexivity’ to learn not only about the target culture and language, but also about ‘self’ and ‘identity’ in the process, filling the intercultural gap between first and target languages and cultures.

Selected projects

Postgraduate research degrees

Find out more about postgraduate research in the School of International Studies.