The Beginning of the Academy
A group of about a dozen distinguished researchers from a number of fields realized that while there was intercultural research going on in a number of disciplines, those studies rarely, if ever, crossed academic lines. Hence, they felt that while their research could benefit from other points-of-view, there was no venue where such views and approaches could be appreciated and, then, incorporated in their own work. Through the joint efforts and support of the Intercultural Communication Institute and the International Journal of Intercultural Relations, the founding group met in Portland, Oregon in the Summer of 1997.
The group (called the “Organizing Committee,” see the listing below) set about creating a viable organization that would provide a venue for senior scholars to meet and exchange ideas as well provide a mechanism to encourage students and young scholars to enter the field. From the initial 10 members, the Academy has grown to close to well over 200 Fellows, Members, and Students scattered in every continent around the world. Communication between members occurs through email, the pages of the Academy’s official journal, The International Journal of Intercultural Relations, biennial conferences, books, and other virtual modes of communications.
The Organizing Committee consisted of researchers (Stella Ting-Toomey, Rosita Albert, Dharm Bhawuk, Dan Landis, Ken Cushner, Ed Dunbar, Gary Fontaine) as well as practitioners (Michael Paige, George Renwick, Fred Casmir, Janet Bennett, Milton Bennett, Bruce LaBrack, Peggy Pusch). They came from the disciplines of Psychology (Landis, Dunbar), Education (Cushner, Paige, Pusch), Communication (Ting-Toomey, Albert, J. Bennett, M. Bennett, Casmir, Fontaine), Anthropology (LaBrack) and Management (Bhawuk). Most had reached across disciplinary lines to inform their thinking and research.
Members of the Academy, as mentioned above, are located on all the continents but, more important, the original aim of the Academy to be interdisciplinary has been realized by the observation that they come from every conceivably relevant discipline. The pages of IJIR and the presentations at the biennial conferences range far and wide across the disciplinary landscape. In truth, we are creating a new discipline that has tremendous potential to make a better world.