Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reflections on AAAL 2011 Chicago--Saturday afternoon

Saturday, March 26 (evening)

After lunch, I attended  the colloquium on emotions. It was very interesting.

Kasper, Gabriele (University of Hawaii at Manoa,
Prior, Matthew (University of Hawaii at Manoa,
Discursive Approaches to Emotions and Affect in L2 Talk and Interaction

The panel extends the existing research traditions on the discursive construction of emotion to L2 speakers, examining how participants from a range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds construct emotion-implicative actions, identities, and stances through their rhetorical and categorial work in ordinary conversation and institutional settings.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 • 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm • Chicago Ballroom 10 • DIS

Colloquium Papers
Gabriele Kasper (University of Hawaii at Manoa,
Repeating Direct Represented Speech: A Device for Affective Display
This conversation-analytic study examines how multilingual speakers take up affective and evaluative stances through repeated direct represented speech in stories told in autobiographical interviews. Focus is given to the sequential placement and semiotic resources through which the practice of repeat quotation locally accomplishes affective displays and moral positioning.

Tim Greer (Kobe University,
Oh or Ogh? Socially-Accomplishing "Awe" in L2 Talk
Based on a collection of video-recorded interaction, this Conversation Analytic study examines how Japanese speakers of English employ prosodic variations of the receipt particle “oh” to socially accomplish “awe” in L2 interaction. The analysis will emically account for the way these participants
make public their emotional stance in interaction.

Priti Sandhu (University of Washington,
Interactional Accomplishment of Subjectivity, Ideology and Prejudice in Narratives of Medium-of-Education
This paper examines how the participants use explicit emotion expressions to describe self and others or to narrate others’ descriptions in order to construct subjective stances towards Hindi and English medium education in India. It demonstrates how subjectivity, ideology and prejudice are
interactionally accomplished or resisted through attribution and categorization.

Matthew Prior (University of Hawaii at Manoa,
"No, I Said That in My mind": Negotiating Represented Speech and Thought in L2 Complaint Talk
Taking a conversation-analytic and discursive constructionist approach, this study examines represented speech and thought (RST) formulations in complaint talk by Southeast Asian immigrants in the US and Canada. Analysis focuses on RS-RT contrasts as an interactional resource for doing
subjectivity and RS/RT ambiguity as both facilitative and requiring resolution.

Yuzuru Takigawa (Doshisha University,
Displaying Negative Affect with "Moo" in Bilingual Couple Talk
This conversation analytic study examines the social actions and affective stances accomplished through a particular use of the Japanese marker moo. The collection of moo instances comes from 16 hours of audio-recorded everyday conversations between bilingual couples (Japanese wives and
North American husbands) talking in their homes in Japanese.

I left the colloquium a little early to attend to Hanako Okada's presentation and saw some familiar faces among the audience there too.

Okada, Hanako (Sophia University,, Casanave, Christine (Temple University, Japan Campus,
Researching and Writing Beyond Labels that Dichotomize
This paper explores the “in-between” experience of a Japanese doctoral student at an American university in Japan. Using autobiographical narrative data, we explain how she used her own deeply multilingual/multicultural experience to transcend dichotomous labels when writing about herself and her participants in her dissertation.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 • 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm • Superior B • RWL

I really wanted to attend to many other presentations too but alas I had to choose. I wish I could attend the following presentations among others.

Markee, Numa (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,, Kunitz, Silvia (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Doing planning talk: A non-cognitive perspective
Using CA, we show: how participants use word searches to do planning talk; how they do such talk in the moment and over time; how they orient to these practices during final task performance; how this analysis helps us understand what an interface between behavior and situated cognition looks like.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 • 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm • Ohio • DIS

Hyland, Ken (University of Hong Kong,
"He works as a lecturer": Identity in academic bio statements
This paper offers an analysis of the biographical statements which accompany research articles. Drawing on 600 bios in three fields categorised by status, gender and discipline, I explore the moves and process types writers use to construct an academic identity.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 • 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm • Colorado • TXT

Ford, Cecilia E. (University of Wisconsin-Madison,
Stickle, Trini (University of Wisconsin-Madison,
Current Projects in Applied Conversation Analysis: Strategies and Results
Conversation analysis offers unique analytic rigor, but it also presents unique challenges for application. Presenters in this colloquium highlight the challenges of applied and interdisciplinary CA as they share strategies and findings from on-going projects, combining CA with other methods and translating findings from CA for institutional interventions.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 • 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm • Michigan B • DIS

Colloquium Papers
Amanda Beth Godbee (University of Wisconsin-Madison,
The Now of Social Change: Empirical Methods for Documenting Change in the Moment
This project uses conversation analysis to document potentials for social change in one-with-one writing conferences and to identify conditions that heighten these potentials. The presenter addresses challenges of using CA in a mixed-method, interdisciplinary study and argues for the value of CA for broader audiences and toward practical ends.

Felicia Roberts (Purdue University,, Steven R. Wilson (Purdue University,
Application of conversation analysis to the study of verbal aggression and improvement of a community parenting program
We used multiple methods, including conversation analysis, to study parent-child playtime. The goal was to identify interactional patterns of parents who scored high on self-report measures of verbal aggression. We examine the advantages and challenges of using conversation analysis for this
research and for transmitting findings to community stake-holders.

I especially regret not being able to attend my professor Felicia's presentation. I am fortunate to take a conversation analysis course from her.

Harrie Mazeland (University of Groningen,
Building a world around CA in courses on the analysis of talk in institutional settings
CA's attention to detail and students' interests in macro issues may seem incompatible. In university courses on applied CA, I address this issue both by borrowing from other social theories and by focusing on participant orientations to larger courses of action.

Hanh Nguyen (Hawaii Pacific University,
'Motivated Looking' at the 'Prime Questions' in Pharmacy Patient Consultations
Using conversation analysis (CA), I examine pharmacists’ use of so-called 'prime questions' in patient consultations. While these questions aim to encourage patients’ participation, in the sequential organization of real-life consultations, they are often treated as problematic. This ‘motivated’
analysis provides useful implications for health communication training and maintains CA’s principles.

Maria Egbert (University of Southern Denmark,, Ben Matthews (University of Southern Denmark,
User Centered Design as a Framework for Applying Conversation Analysis in Hearing Aid Consultations
A conversation analyst and a designer/engineer report on a methodological collaboration between Conversation Analysis and User Centered Design/Participatory Innovation. This approach to innovation takes the participants’ (i.e. ‘users’) perspective as a point of departure. The successes and pitfalls of this collaboration are illustrated by a project on hearing aid fitting.

Carolina Gonzalez Schlenker (Dignidad sin Fronteras Community Theatre,
The 'Nosotros' Workshop: Using micro-sociology to teach adolescents at risk how to build trust
The 'Nosotros' workshop was developed to teach adolescents at risk of school dropout how to build trusting, dignified face-to-face interactions. Adapted concepts and methods from conversation analysis and ethnomethodology were taught in four modules using simple visual aids and
dramatizations. The workshop is applicable to other community settings.

Well, after listing the presentations I attended and was not able to attend, now it's time for the best part of the day, James Paul Gee's plenary talk. James Paul Gee is the professor of my professor so I think I can say academically speaking we are related, though he really does not know I exist ^_^.  Below is the abstract from the program book. It was a very entertaining and interesting address.

In this talk, I will look at some of the ways in which both digital media and popular culture are changing language and literacy practices, as well as creating new forms of learning. These changes, I will argue, are transforming issues about equity, education, and language and languages in the modern world. Digital media, as well as new forms of social organization facilitated by digital media, are giving rise to a great many new social languages or registers. These social languages are often as complex -- or more complex -- than the styles of academic language that give many learners so much trouble in school.
Furthermore, in digital communities of practice of a type I call "passionate affinity spaces," we see new and powerful ways in which language, literacy, learning, participation, and problem solving are being integrated. These changes are at the forefront of real "learning reform" in a society like the United States today -- not the more publicized efforts at "school reform." At the same time, they call for new forms of work in Applied Linguistics. 

I was also very happy to witness Diane Larsen-Freeman getting the award for distinguished scholarship and service. She looked very happy and maybe a little nervous. Regulars of this blog know that I like her framework and enjoy reading her work.

After the plenary address, there was the opening reception. It was really crowded as you might imagine and guess what nothing was left when it was my turn to get food. This reminded me of PhD comics' regular jokes about graduate students looking for free food ^_^. Fortunately, this was the only time I was hungry. The good thing about it was that I had a chance to go to dinner with an old friend from Spain who had visited Purdue some time ago. So, we could catch up. Now thinking about it I'm not sure if this happened at the opening reception or the next day. The funny thing about it is that, I was very grumpy for waiting so long in line and for nothing that I was complaining in the elevator to my friend as we were going to our rooms to get our coats before going out for some food. The elevator was crowded and I did not pay attention to who was around, a big mistake. As some people left the elevator I realized that Suresh was in the elevator too. Only after this embarrassing moment did I think about how trivial my hunger was in the grand scheme of things and could I appreciate the difficulty of organizing such a conference. I do not know if Suresh heard me or not. If I was not so embarrassed I would apologize for my rudeness and thank for his time and effort for this very well-organized conference. Anyway, I think this is all I can write for today. 

Lesson 1--Attend as many presentations as you can
Lesson 2--It's sometimes difficult to follow some presentations that use conversation analytic framework. It is partly because it's new to me. But at the same time I think it is because of the nature of conversation analysis. Giving a presentation based on conversational analytic research poses a challenge for presenters because (1) conversations are dense and messy (2) not all presenters can provide transcripts (3) focusing the attention of the audience on what you want to focus is challenging (4) the time allocated to presentations are rarely enough to tackle with so some presenters read the transcripts which might be a good strategy to be on the page with the audience but it does not work well for keeping the audience interested. I'm sure you can think of more reasons why these--and qualitative research--presentations require a different format than quantitative research presentations.
Lesson 3--Do not miss plenary talks.
Lesson 4--Appreciate the time and effort put into organizing conferences and do not complain in public. You never know who might hear you ^_^
Lesson 5--Do not wait to write your reflections for too long because if you do you forget stuff. If there is a mistake in my narrative I assure you it's not intentional. Please feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken about something.

To be continued...

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