IOW Project

IN OTHER WORDS. A Contextualized Dictionary to Problematize Otherness

The project consists in the development of an online dictionary of keywords which have been/are shaping the narratives of different forms of Otherness juxtaposed to some creative proposals to reverse such perspective. Its aim is to develop and share critical and intercultural awareness able to challenge the (re)production and the dissemination of dehumanizing, stigmatizing, and stereotyping language. It is structured as an online web application with free access to students, teachers, scholars, educators and activists, and it is meant to be used for free in different social and educational contexts.
The project is both a product and a process, being a collaborative, collective, creative, and interdisciplinary project. It is therefore conceived as a work-in-progress open to diverse contributions. It also aims to bridge theoretical reflections and practical actions, involving teachers, educators, activists and volunteers who work in several fields – e.g., critical linguistics, critical social studies, visual arts, cross-cultural and critical pedagogies.
To contribute, one has to share the critical, creative, and collective stance of the project, and then choose one or more keywords from the list on the web application or add new ones. Here are some of the keywords which have already been identified: age, borders, class, disability, foreignness, gender, immigrant, knowledge, language, margins, minority, multiculturalism, power, racism, stereotypes, tolerance, tradition, violence, war, and xenophobia.
There is also a special section of the words of COVID-19. This section analyses critically how, in different countries and different contexts, words have been used and mobilized to create specific narratives of the pandemic – e.g., to make people accept severe limitations to their rights; to spread terror or hope; to deliver para-scientific terms and fake-news; to favour or contrast conservative and divisive views of communities and societies; etc.
The web application is still in a reserved area, since the first keywords discussed are under final revision. As soon as the collaborative revision is completed, the web application will be visible online, disseminated in several international networks, and open to further contributors.

For further info, please contact:
Paola Giorgis
Foreign Language Teacher, Independent Scholar