Interdisciplinary Cluster for Research on Intercultural Contact and Interaction (CRICI)

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What happens when cultures come into contact? How do cultures influence each other? What manifestations do we find of cultural contact? How does the nature of the society shape the outcome of cultural contact? Do the different belief systems of different cultures allow for true communication between the cultures? These are the sorts of questions the Interdisciplinary Cluster for Research on Intercultural Contact and Interaction (CRICI) seeks to investigate. Aside from formal talks and symposia, we have informal monthly discussion sessions where people can talk about on-going research and get feedback.


Research Interests


  • The spread of cultivars and their relationship to the spread of languages.
  • Genetics in relation to culture/language.
  • The mutual influence of the native Taoist traditions and the foreign Buddhist traditions in China.
  • The role translation has played in the development of languages (e.g. Chinese in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) and its role in historical events such as modernisation.
  • The influence of foreign literature (including translation) on native genre or styles.
  • Convergence in world views manifested in philosophy/literature and its causes.
  • Enrichment of languages through contact/multilingualism.
  • Post-colonial mindsets as a result of the history of colonisation and cultural adoption, and their linguistic and cultural manifestations.
  • Cultural changes in the spread of technology and science across cultures. (E.g., in linguistics, there is evidence of influence in the spread of a style of writing we can call “scientific writing” and how that affects cognition.)
  • When there is less than total biculturalism or convergence, to what extent a particular contact variety of, for example, a language, manifests the cognitive categories of the original native language vs. the cognitive categories of the target language. Singlish is one language that would be interesting to look at in this regard.
  • Migration history and its influence on the development of cultures/languages. 
  • Change in writing scripts due to contact. 
  • Change in oral traditions due to contact. 
  • Comparative folklore.