Crossroads on the Silk Road: accounts of a U.S.-American faculty member’s culture shock and adaptation in Uzbekistan

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2024-03-01
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Taylor and Francis
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Coffelt, Tina
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English

The Department of English seeks to provide all university students with the skills of effective communication and critical thinking, as well as imparting knowledge of literature, creative writing, linguistics, speech and technical communication to students within and outside of the department.

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The Department of English and Speech was formed in 1939 from the merger of the Department of English and the Department of Public Speaking. In 1971 its name changed to the Department of English.

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1939-present

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  • Department of English and Speech (1939-1971)

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Abstract
The knowledge of and experience with culture shock and intercultural communication come under analysis in this autoethnography of a U.S.-American faculty member’s Fulbright teaching experience in Uzbekistan. As a relatively new country couched under the blanket of Russian and Chinese influence, Uzbekistan strives to shift its economy, language, and geopolitical connections toward the West. Cultural knowledge about Uzbekistan is likewise still hidden behind the Uzbek and Russian languages, leaving English speakers from the West with few resources to engage in predeparture uncertainty reduction. This manuscript chronicles the early days of a sojourn of a faculty member who had cognitive knowledge of intercultural communication concepts but had no immersion experiences in which to test her abilities to adapt. Anxiety uncertainty management theory offers some insight into the culture shock and adaptation experienced by this faculty member. The study benefits teachers who may enter this or similar cultures, teachers who instruct with an interpreter, and anyone seeking cultural information about Uzbekistan.
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This accepted article is published as Coffelt, T.A. Crossroads on the Silk Road: accounts of a U.S.-American faculty member’s culture shock and adaptation in Uzbekistan, Review of Communication, 2024, Latest Article view, https://doi.org/10.1080/15358593.2024.2316076. Posted with permission.
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