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About Cultnet

Cultnet: Intercultural Community for Researchers and Educators is a group of researchers and lecturers who share an interest in culture, intercultural communication and education. The group aims to develop research collaborations and publications, share teaching materials related to culture, and to provide a supportive environment in which doctoral students and researchers can meet to exchange ideas and support one another’s professional development. It primarily includes researchers in the areas of languages, linguistics, education, and psychology but all with an interest in culture are welcome.

If you wish to join Cultnet send us a short bio using the contact tab or simply email:

Culnet annual meetings are the highlight of each academic year for many cultnetters. The aim of these meetings is to discuss work in progress in a friendly environment. Over the years, these meetings have mostly taken place at Durham University during the spring break. Exceptionally for 2021, Cultnet annual meeting will be held online.

A word from Mike Byram

“In the mid-1990s I met several people at conferences who said they were researching intercultural aspects or the cultural dimension of language teaching. The first was, I think, Lies Sercu who asked me to be a joint supervisor as her supervisor in Leuven was not a specialist. With the agreement of her supervisor, I became a joint supervisor for Lies. However as more people asked me the same question I realised I could not say yes to everyone and I suggested we should have a meeting in Durham where they could help each other and I could comment too in an informal way, i.e. not as a formal supervisor.

For the first few years then the group was a self-help group of PhD students. Gradually they all completed their theses but others joined and the original ones remained so it became a group of c=doctoral and post-doctoral people who helped each other. The purpose was to consider work in progress and not to focus on formal presentations although some people began to do this as they neared the end of their work.

The post-docs then wanted to work together and decided on a project similar to one Karen Risager and I had conducted in Denmark and England in which we explored teachers’ views on the cultural dimension. This went ahead under the leadership of Lies Sercu and a book was published.

Read more about the history of Cultnet here 

For the 20th anniversary of Cultnet, the collective has created this book (here) in memory of their experience at Cultnet.

As time passed more and more people wanted to join as they heard about the network. The number attending the annual meeting (which moved from December to April for practical reasons) rose form the original dozen to 20 or 30 depending on the year and also depending on how many Durham students attended. One year under the aegis of Anwei Feng the meeting was held in Bangor but otherwise, it has proved most practical to hold the meetings in Durham.

And so the network and annual meetings have continued presumably because they serve a function not otherwise available i.e. to provide help and information to people with work in progress whether their PhD or a post-doc project….’

A word from Ulla Lundgren:

“Cultnet has meant a great deal to my professional and private development. The open and generous atmosphere with lack of prestige, an ethos set by Mike, has been most encouraging for me and many others struggling with our research. Still, retired and thus deprived of collegial academic stimulation, I very much enjoy being a member of the Cultnet network and coming to the annual meetings in Durham, to learn and keep up with the forefront of our field. Not least is it a great treat to meet old friends and make new ones among the increasing Cultnet group. Being one of the original little group of 12 ´homeless´ research students who were invited by Mike to Durham in 1997, it is amazing to realize that the Cultnet mailing list now covers many hundred names. What especially makes me happy is the keen interest among young researchers whose high-quality presentations at the annual meetings guarantee the regrowth of our important research field”. (Ulla Lundgren, 2019)

If you wish to join Cultnet send us a short bio via the contact tab or send an email to