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Archive for the ‘Discourse Analysis’ Category

POROI 10.1 contains articles by Celeste Condit, G. Thomas Goodnight, and Joshua Welsh.  They are linked by a thematic concern with how new technologies affect common sense and deliberation. Condit, University of Georgia, suggests that digital communication can become an effective means of deliberation and decision. Welsh, Central Washington University, contrasts Aristotle’s negative attitude toward the effect of new technologies on common sense with the more welcoming attitude of modern rhetorical theorists. Goodnight, University of Southern California, argues that the architectonic rhetorical theories of modernity must give way in the digital era to “polytechtonic” approaches.The issue also contains reports from the 2013 pre-conference of the Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology (ARST).  They are about how rhetorical scholars are working with scientists as communication consultants on funded collaborative research projects. These reports are by Caroline Druschke, University of Rhode Island; Jean Goodwin and her collaborators at Iowa State University; Sara Parks, Iowa State University; John Reif, University of Pittsburgh; and Kenny Walker, University of Arizona.  The reports are introduced by Jean Goodwin, Iowa State University.  They are commented on by Jamie L. Vernon, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, and Leah Cecarrelli, University of Washington.

POROI welcomes submissions that bring rhetorical invention and criticism to bear on the production, circulation, and consumption of claims to knowledge in all disciplines, professions, communities, and cultures.

To read articles from the latest issue of Poroi, click here.

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(Inter)faces of Dialogue: Constructing Identity through Language Use

5 – 8 June 2014 at Transilvania University of Braşov (Romania)

IADA Workshop

The way people talk, dress or behave are types of social codes, important ways of displaying who we are; in other words, they indicate our social identity. Each individual wants to build (him)herself a certain identity. There are multiple identities – some of them are wanted, while some others are unwanted – and a speaker faces a dilemma to choose the best identity for a certain situation and this “browsing” of identities may be achieved through dialogue. In approaching the topic of this workshop, we start from the premise that humans are dialogic beings, users and learners of language in various contexts. While acting and reacting in ever-changing environments (interpersonal or institutional), people try “to achieve more or less effectively certain purposes in dialogic interaction” (Weigand 2008: 3).

The academic interest for social relationships and the way they are organized in dialogues can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century, once Malinowski first suggested in 1923 that humans share “phatic communion”. Scholars in interpersonal communication, social psychology and sociology have ever since highlighted that the concept of ‘identity’ is important for studying the organization of social life. (more…)

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Discourseanalysis.net is hiring a social-media/web coordinator.  More details can be found here.

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I keep hearing from colleagues in other disciplines that the stakes are incredibly low in contemporary psychology.  Requests for explanation get me no further than utterances of despair over the stranglehold caused by increased ethical standards for research on humans.  There will be no more Stanford prison experiments or Milgram authority tests.  All that is left are either peculiar lab objectifications of the social or discourse analysis.

I don’t understand the despair:  we’ve learned what we needed to from Zimbardo and Milgram, surely.  The new social psychology involved with cognition and discourse provides good fodder for argumentation studies (or at least it can).  It encourages critical thinking that will be informed by empirical analysis of what works, rather than armchair speculations.  All this feeds democracy.

Argumentation and discourse analysis (of which I have only the vaguest understanding) seem especially important given the current proliferation of discourse.  Discourse may also be the site of some of the most persistent stumbling blocks to social justice.  Micro-inequalities and implicit bias impede women’s and minorities’ social and political participation.

Cecelia Ridgeway suggests implicit bias may be a central cause for the stalled gender revolution:  despite the massive improvements for women in wealthy countries during the 20th century the progress stalled around 1990.  On the major markers of social status (income, wealth, and political participation as I recall), we are still where we were 22 years ago!

While Ridgeway argues we cannot directly affect our cognitive biases, given their deep and unconscious operation, we can certainly affect their impact on our discourse, watch for it, and compensate.  We can revise our hiring and promotion practices, we can change more casual standards too perhaps, e.g. by making direct eye-contact with marginalized people.  That could be part of critical thinking too, and might aid its impact. Attention to micro-inequalities may be critical too in the sense of necessary to push beyond the stall, and psychology is helping us sort them out.  The stakes remain pretty high for women and minorities.

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The Communication of Certainty and Uncertainty: linguistic, psychological, philosophical aspects PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 October 2011 19:33
3 – 5 October 2012
University of Macerata (Italy)

The Certainty or Uncertainty of a piece of information communicated by a speaker plays a significant role both in building knowledge or beliefs in the interlocutor’s mind and in choosing the appropriate linguistic and non-linguistic behaviour during and after verbal interactions.

The Conference focuses on how interlocutors express their individual degrees of Certainty or Uncertainty towards the piece of information they are giving hearers/readers during the communicative process, i.e. at the time when (= Now) and in the place where (= Here) communication occurs. This topic may be related, more or less directly, to what in the linguistic literature is called epistemicity and evidentiality.

The Conference topic can be approached from different perspectives and in different – European and non European – languages.

Proposals are invited for papers mainly on linguistic, psychological and philosophical aspects of the communication of Certainty and Uncertainty. The Conference aims to be interdisciplinary and therefore welcomes proposals from scholars from different areas.

We are particularly interested in studying the communication of Certainty and Uncertainty in dialogue; we are interested in how it evolves during the interactional sequences between at least two interlocutors, how an interlocutor switches from Certainty to Uncertainty and vice-versa, how a content communicated as Certain or Uncertain is disrupted or argued, negotiated and co-constructed by the interlocutors. This may also be approached from a non-verbal communication standpoint. (more…)

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Note: This is a re-posting to remind readers that the CFP deadline is fast approaching!

This Call for Papers is for the first issue of the Electronic Journal of Integrated Studies in Discourse and Argumentation

From the EID&A home page:

Linked to the Department of Arts and Literature of Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, the Journal EID&A – Electronic Journal of Integrated Studies in Discourse and Argumentation – arises from a mission to contribute to the dissemination of studies located in the interface between Discourse Analysis and Argumentation. Thus, papers submitted to this Scientific Committee should be taken on the perspective of studies that comprise the argumentation in the process of constructing meaning in discourse and in the utterance situation. The goal is to promote discussion of theoretical objects or analysis of these discursive practices in society.

Call for Papers

The first issue EID&A will gather papers which focus precisely on the essence, problems and prospects from the interface between Discourse Analysis and Argumentation.

The journal EID&A – Electronic Journal of Integrated Studies in Discourse and Argumentation – invites researchers to contribute with papers focused on the discussion about the nature, problems and prospects of the interface between the Discourse Analysis and the Argumentation.

The Journal EID&A is going to publish papers, translations and reviews. For more details, authors must consult the rules for submissions of papers, available on the website www.uesc.br/revistas/eidea/english.

The deadline for submission of papers will end on July 1st, 2011. The first edition of the EID&A is awaited to September 2011.

Read the original announcement via the Analysis and Discourse wiki here.

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OSSA 2011 is now officially in the bag.  It was a good week. With such a high volume of papers presented it’s possible to follow many trajectories, but these were my highlights:

The Ambassador Bridge

  • Attending a pre-conference workshop on normative pragmatics with Jean Goodwin and Beth Innocenti. Jean and Beth did a fantastic job explaining their views and those of Fred Kauffeld, with whom I was also fortunate enough to chat with at length. Even having known something of these views before, I left considerably enriched for the experience, and convinced that normative pragmatics is a research program that deserves a lot more investigation and development.
  • Discourse analyst Karen Tracy’s keynote address on reasonable hostility in public hearings was also rich with ideas that I intend to think a lot more about in the coming weeks–especially her conception of how issues move through phases of being unarguable (unreflectively taken as settled), arguable (manifestly unsettled or controversial) and then unarguable again (settled sufficiently for the public discussion to move on).  This is not to say that the other keynotes were not also worthwhile–they were. Paul Thagard’s effort to bring a neuropsychological viewpoint to the discussion over the nature of critical thinking was timely, and David Hitchcock’s presentation of his work on inference claims was as interesting and challenging as those who know his work would expect it to be. (You can read the abstracts of the keynotes here.)
  • Having the chance both to attend Maurice Finocchiaro’s session on deep disagreement and to chat with him about it afterwards was illuminating.  As readers of this blog will know, deep disagreement is one of my areas of interest within argumentation theory. Finocchiaro’s work, which will be part of a forthcoming book on meta-argumentation, moves the discussion of deep disagreement forward in what I think are all the right ways.  I’m very glad he’s taken the problem on in the way that he has.
  • Of course I have to thank the wonderful audience that attended my presentation on the history of conductive argument and reflective equilibrium as well. We had an excellent discussion from which I learned much that I will bear in mind as I carry forward my work on this and other projects.

Finally, no discussion of an OSSA conference would be complete without mention of the enormous camaraderie and good will that animates these events.  Coming away from this iteration of OSSA I am reminded of my initial impression that the argumentation community models what I think are scholarly ideals of diversity of approach, internationality and interdisciplinarity.  Of course, we have our divisions and competitive moments just like any other body of scholars.  This is only natural among diverse people who care deeply about what they study and who struggle to get it right.  What is impressive about argumentation theory is that these divisions enliven the discussions rather than hamper them.  In many ways, these gatherings are as much gatherings of friends as they are academic gatherings. Thus, though I won’t try the reader’s patience with a long list of names, I will close this entry by saying how glad I am to have had the chance to catch up with so many old friends, and to have made so many new ones. All in all, it was a week well spent. I look forward to the next one.

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Electronic Journal of Integrated Studies in Discourse and Argumentation

From the EID&A home page:

Linked to the Department of Arts and Literature of Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, the Journal EID&A – Electronic Journal of Integrated Studies in Discourse and Argumentation – arises from a mission to contribute to the dissemination of studies located in the interface between Discourse Analysis and Argumentation. Thus, papers submitted to this Scientific Committee should be taken on the perspective of studies that comprise the argumentation in the process of constructing meaning in discourse and in the utterance situation. The goal is to promote discussion of theoretical objects or analysis of these discursive practices in society.

Call for Papers

The first issue EID&A will gather papers which focus precisely on the essence, problems and prospects from the interface between Discourse Analysis and Argumentation.

The journal EID&A – Electronic Journal of Integrated Studies in Discourse and Argumentation – invites researchers to contribute with papers focused on the discussion about the nature, problems and prospects of the interface between the Discourse Analysis and the Argumentation.

The Journal EID&A is going to publish papers, translations and reviews. For more details, authors must consult the rules for submissions of papers, available on the website www.uesc.br/revistas/eidea/english.

The deadline for submission of papers will end on July 1st, 2011. The first edition of the EID&A is awaited to September 2011.

Read the original announcement via the Analysis and Discourse wiki here.

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