IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Neo-essentialism and epistemic inequality: Critical perspectives in intercultural communication

21 February 2024, 4:00 pm–5:30 pm

Museums and galleries in UCL. Photo by freestocks on Unsplash.

Join this event to hear Adrian Holliday in conversation with Giuliana Ferri to talk about critical perspectives in intercultural communication.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







International Centre for Intercultural Studies


Room 728
20 Bedford Way

The conversation intends to prompt participants to scrutinise imbalances in knowledge dynamics and persistent essentialist and (neo)colonial influences affecting our understanding of intercultural communication.

In this conversation between Adrian and Giuliana, they will explore the following critical issues: a tendency towards a neo-essentialist reliance on culture as an explanatory category for behaviour in intercultural encounters; the role of intercultural learning in addressing unequal epistemic relations between the ‘West’ and the rest; and the effects of (neo)colonial thinking on notions of hybridity and globalisation.

The conversation aims to delineate key questions for a research agenda that places specific emphasis on addressing enduring global inequalities.

This event will be particularly useful for students, academics, educators and researchers working in intercultural communication.

Please note this is a hybrid event and can be joined either in-person or online.

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About the Speaker

Professor Adrian Holliday

Professor of Applied Linguistics & Intercultural Education at Canterbury Christ Church University

Throughout his distinguished career, he has been developing his thinking and writing around the relationship between the individual, culture and social structures.

His long-standing relationship with Iran and the Middle East more generally has provided him with an acute awareness of the global politics which surround these relationships, and of the profound lack of Western understanding of non-Western realities despite the massive proliferation of global information and communication.

More about Professor Adrian Holliday