Re-imagining the Tower of Babel
Languages, Cultures, Cultural Diplomacy & World Peace
May 25th-28th 2020
University of Luxembourg, Campus Belval – Esch-sur-Alzette
The Transatlantic Dialogue conference series on global citizens, held in Luxembourg since 2008, explores the significance of culture and liberal education for fostering global citizenship from both US and European perspectives.
‘In the 2014 edition of Transatlantic Dialogue Dr Elizabeth Minnich, Senior Scholar for the Association of American Colleges and Universities, assessed the contribution of culture to our development as social beings on a global scale. She noted how contexts into which we are born may be both endowed with meaning, as well as deciphered, through our practice of culture. Furthermore, the ‘more astute awareness we achieve concerning our own and others’ cultures, the more sophisticated we can be as thinkers and actors on a world stage.’ Therefore, our engagement with diverse forms of cultural expression may enable us to relate to different codes of humanity with confidence, sympathy and growing curiosity towards each other.’
The 2020 edition of Transatlantic Dialogue aims to explore the complexities of human communication and develop our skills at engaging with them. By channeling discussion around three main areas of focus, it will encourage participants to reflect on our contemporary patterns of communication and the way they shape, hinder, and enable more meaningful relationships. Taking the lead from the historical, literary and spiritual layers of representation and interpretation of culture supplied by the powerful image of the Tower of Babel, these three focus areas are:
- Languages & cultures
- The practice of cultural diplomacy
- The pursuit of peace
Each day of the conference will have an overarching question that the plenary and program sessions, creative ateliers, and roundtable discussions will address. Which question does your program address?
- How are languages and cultures enablers of and barriers to communication within and across cultures?
- In what ways can we serve today as cultural diplomats within our personal and professional lives?
- In what ways can we promote inner peace and peace within, between, and among communities?
A key component underlying and inspiring conversations will be trust. Participants will be encouraged to engage with openness, honesty, vulnerability, reliability, competence, and benevolence as we reflect on these concepts across the conference.
Interdisciplinary keynote speeches, plenary sessions, roundtable discussions, panels, creative ateliers, and social encounters including a cultural and leisure programme will provide the venue spaces to share and discuss possibilities and strategies for translating notions of languages and cultures, cultural diplomacy and peace into action.