Course Title: Inter-Cultural Practices

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Inter-Cultural Practices

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies

Face-to-Face or Internet

Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 2 2018

Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Yaso Nadarajah

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3542

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.05.28

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course is primarily concerned with challenging narrow disciplinary thinking about the role of different knowledges and cultures in management, planning and development discourses and practice. It aims to nurture the practice of deep reflexivity and critical thinking as transformative modes of inquiry and learning; understanding that the nature of the intercultural discourse is, at its core, ideological, epistemological and political. However, identifying a difference of ‘perspective’ is much more complex than it may appear. The course focuses on deconstructing dominant ideas, discourses and cultural practices; while also participating in the re-thinking of intercultural spaces as transformative processes that invigorate and enrich scholarship and practice, counterbalancing the cultural hegemony and monologue in the field.  

The course explores reciprocal dialogue and meaning produced by relations between ways of knowing, cultural processes, people and places. It draws insights from deep ecology, decolonial theory, sensuous philosophies, literary and critical theory, performance, theories of marginality and difference, landscape urbanism, political ecology, environmental justice, and diverse ontologies and cosmologies on human and more-than-human relationships.  

The course will encourage students to critically examine a wide range of readings, case studies, and visual material to think more broadly about the construction of plural, non-hierarchical, reciprocal and  enriching discourse, practice and action to address the complex local and global development challenges in our contemporary times.  It will, most importantly, provide practical insights and skills to engage reflexively about their own knowledge, positionalities and cultural histories and how it relates to themselves, their work/vocation and the world around them, whether that be in Australia or elsewhere in the world.  

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

This course contributes to the development of the following program learning outcomes: 

  • Critically reflect on socio-cultural diversity and values, world systems and the benefits of local and global development practices for communities engaged in development processes. 
  • Determine and apply the specialist knowledge and technical skills required to creatively solve problems, demonstrating expert judgement and ethical responsibility in your professional practice in international development and humanitarian work. 
  • Critically analyse, synthesize and reflect on personal awareness and lived experience, theories and practices of development, both local and international, to extend and challenge knowledge and practice in the discipline. 
  • Professionally communicate propositions, processes and outcomes relating to international development and humanitarian responses to address specialist and non-specialist audiences. 
  • Critically reflect on the causes and impacts of poverty in global contexts and evaluate the theories and practice of development institutions. 

Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  1. Reflect critically and analyse key discourses about different cultural ways of knowing and being with their associated values, beliefs and historical foundations 
  2. Appreciate the critical need to engage in multiple epistemologies and ontologies, particularly given the contemporary complex effects of   economic, cultural and political dimensions of identity and place 
  3. Compare and contrast the ways in which theory, reflexivity and action can combine to form coalitions that can lead to promising possibilities for analysis and action 
  4. Employ reflexivity as a valuable methodological tool to recognise, negotiate and communicate within the micropolitics of context, subjectivity, and struggle, as well as the politics of global economic and political systems and processes 
  5. Have reflexive skills to facilitate across different cultural perspectives and voices in planning and development practices 

Overview of Learning Activities

This course can be completed either face-to-face or online Modes. 

Primary learning activities for the Intensive Mode (face-to-face) include intensive mode workshops.  A participatory approach is used in these workshops to examine, host and harvest key ideas, concepts, practices and considerations.  Workshop activities will include guest lectures, analysis of visual materials, discussion of case studies; collective mind maps (graphic representations of information and priorities); and presentations (issues of concern and case study analyses). 

Primary learning activities for the online mode include discussion platforms, lectures, visual materials, case studies; and scenarios on key ideas and concepts. Thematic questions and activities will be posted weekly for students to work on, drawing on their course materials, discussions and lectures. It is expected that students will also work in groups, on specific case scenarios. 

Overview of Learning Resources

In this course we use Canvas to provide access to course materials, discussions, submission of assignments and other information related to the Course. Guest lectures, presentation handouts will also be recorded and made available on Canvas. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

A Study Guide, providing an overview to key concepts, definitions, including a list of key Culture in Practice related institutions, websites and other resource listings will also be provided. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

The assessment tasks in this course work together to provide students with integrated opportunities for applied, reflexive-based study and learning within realities of changing local and global environments and challenges. 

Assessment Tasks

  1. Short essay, 25%, Aligned Course Learning Outcomes: 1 and 2 
  2. Reflexive Post, 25%, Aligned Course Learning Outcomes: 1, 3 and 5 
  3. Discussion & Activities, 20%, Aligned Course Learning Outcomes: 3 and 5 
  4. Essay/Exegesis Option, 30%, Aligned Course Learning Outcomes: 2, 3 and 4 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.  

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.  

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.