This was a MITH Fellows Project of American Studies professor Jo Paoletti. The Intercultural Virtual Potluck featured a Virtual University of Maryland South Campus Dining Hall in order to research various aspects of racial, sexual, and ethnic tensions in human interaction.
This project was part of a much larger project Paoletti worked on during and after her fellowship time at MITH, entitled The Intercultural Learning Center (ICLC), one of the first online digital pedagogical resources and online learning environments in the early days of distance learning. The project was featured in an April 2000 Washington Post story entitled ‘Virtual Education 101.’ The ICLC comprised one website which initially supported four web-based distance courses: Diversity in American Cultures, Cross-Cultural Communication, and two courses in English for speakers of other languages from the Maryland English Institute. The four courses were also planned to be linked for some activities in a multiple-course environment. The site contained many pedagogical features including chat, threaded conferences, space for individual and collaborative projects, readings and other resources.