ICMI – the Research Center Intercultural Communication in Multimodal Interactions is an inter-institutional and international network of researchers who aim to analyze intercultural communication in interaction from micro-analytical and multimodal perspectives in order to single out how interactants co-construct alterity, cultural key concepts, dimensions, language attitudes and identities on verbal, prosodic, and corporal-visual planes. Concurrently, we concentrate on the emergence of intercultural spaces which arise as a result of the interwoven character of the disparate worldviews the co-participants bring into the interaction, but which are simultaneously poised to engage each other reflexively, resulting in the creation of something new. Thus, we aim to bring together pragmatic, conversational, sociolinguistic and cognitive research fields since the multimodal analysis starts with concrete interaction sequences, but concurrently represents a point of access to the conceptual and cultural level. In methodological terms, one core method is the videotaping and transcribing of intercultural interactions occurring in natural, elicited and institutional settings, and the analysis of these using theories from the field of contrastive and intercultural pragmatics, interactional (socio)linguistics and cultural linguistics, as well as social semiotic multimodality.
The center was constituted in December of 2019 as a first result of the project “Intercultural communicataion in interaction: multimodal approaches”, funded by WUN-RDF – Worldwide Universities Network Research Development Fund. ICMI represents the follow up group of the prior Brazilian Research Group Comunicação (Inter)Cultural em Interação – NUCOI that began its activities with a pilot project in 2010. Since the beginning, the essential aim has been to create a corpus of film recordings and their transcriptions, based on elicited, institutional, and natural interactions among participants from different cultures, as well as among participants with the same linguistic and cultural background, for comparative purposes. Currently, the ICMI corpus (previous NUCOI corpus) comprises of about 2,496 minutes of videotaped interactions with a total of 56,164 intonation units. At the present moment, the research group/center ICMI counts with researchers from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), the University of Gießen (Germany), the University of Potsdam (Germany), the University of Alberta (Canada), the University of Leeds (UK), and the University of Sheffield (UK).