In the following article, I argue that speculative realism offers intercultural researchers heuristics to observe intercultural spaces without having to pay exclusive attention to the relationships present within those spaces. In other words, intercultural spaces can be considered independent of the researcher’s mind, because they are co-created by intercultural researchers (Cummings, 2014, p. 129). Following Gabriel (2014), perspectives on intercultural spaces are just as real as the spaces themselves. It is intellectually unproductive, however, to compile a list of all possible perspectives on an intercultural space to know what it truly is, which is what the local only approach to intercultural research tends to presuppose. The list of all perspectives will not grant us access to the thing itself, despite said perspectives being real, because the space itself withdraws from our ability to access it fully (Gabriel, 2013, p. 126; Harman, 2009, p. 135). While not explicitly referencing this concept of withdrawal, Healy (2013) contends that the common schemes used to understand or translate another culture are inadequate because the contents generated from finding similarities with another culture do not guarantee complete understanding (pp. 272-273). In short, though translation enables the translated, in whatever mode, to appear in a context that is useful for the intercultural researcher, this appearance is always highly contingent.
"Towards a Contingent Intercultural Methodology: The 2012 Québec Student Strikes and the Rhetorics of Universality,"
Journal of Rhetoric, Professional Communication, and Globalization: Vol. 7
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/rpcg/vol7/iss1/4