The year has been off to quite an inauspicious start. While vaccine rollouts show promise for life possibly returning back to normal at some point this year in some parts of the world, the state of the pandemic still means that most of our teaching and research will remain at least partly remote for a while yet. What this means for conferences, such as the International Pragmatics Conference, which is supposed to take place in Switzerland in June/July, remains to be seen. Will we move to a hybrid system or will we stick to a virtual conference?
By Virginia Calabria, PhD candidate at KU Leuven and University of Neuchâtel & Sophia Fiedler, PhD candidate at University of Neuchâtel and Hamburg
This paper analyzes CORE-ILCA (virtual community of early career researchers – ECRs – in Interactional Linguistics, Ethnomethodology & Conversation Analysis – ILEMCA) as a social phenomenon. On an international level, ECRs often do not have many opportunities to interact except for large conferences. These are often expensive and not easily attainable for everyone, let alone on a regular basis. In times of Covid-19, networking has become even harder and many ECRs lack intellectual exchange and social contact with their peers.
By Dr Ariel Vázquez Carranza, lecturer at University of Guadalajara
Epistemic asymmetry may be considered as a defining characteristic of institutional talk (Drew 1991; Drew and Heritage 1992): it is common to find institutional contexts where one of the participants has (professional) expertise in the business at hand; and such organisation of knowledge between the participants (i.e., one knowing more, K+, than the other, K-) outlines the sequential and linguistic design of the interaction (Heritage and Raymond 2005; Heritage 2013; Drew 2018). For instance, this has been described for medical encounters (e.g., Strong 1979; Silverman 1987; Maynard 1991; Heath 1992, inter alia), courtroom interactions (e.g., Drew 1992; Komter 1995; inter alia), guided tours (Mondada 2013), service encounters (Lee 2016), etc. In the present analysis I look at instances of epistemic asymmetry in a 25-hour corpus of commercial interactions in a Mexican fruit and vegetable shop. I focus on how the epistemic congruence is maintained.
Happy New Year! And more importantly, welcome to the second year of the ISCA Newsletter. We have left a strange year behind us. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, academic life has been turned upside down: research projects have been temporarily suspended, online teaching has become the norm, most have to work from home, and ICCA 2022 had to be postponed. And while there is light at the end of the tunnel, the immediate outlook is still pretty bleak, with many countries dealing with new and extended lockdown measures.
By Maha Alayyash, Assistant Professor, English Department, Jeddah University
The Saudi society is based on strong family ties rather than patient autonomy (Aljubran, 2010). Therefore, the disclosure of cancer diagnosis is still related to the misconception of incurability (Khalil, 2013). To facilitate the misconception of cancer as a life-threatening illness, physicians tend to disclose cancer diagnosis to chaperones and conceal from, or even modify the unfavourable information given to the patients. Some patients have no right to know the reality of their illness nor to report on their illness. In short, epistemic asymmetry is conceptualised here as violating knowledge norms including the patient’s epistemic primacy (i.e. right to know) (Heritage, 2013). Therefore, the aim of this paper is to describe the epistemic resources that are used by the oncologist and chaperone to share epistemic access regarding the patient’s illness. Thus, this study attempts to answer the following research question:
How do the oncologist and the chaperone share epistemic access regarding the patient’s illness without involving the patient?
By Dr Daniela Andrade, associate professor at Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos
CA-based research (e.g., Bergen et al., 2017, Koenig, 2011, Stivers, 2006, Street et al., 2005) has demonstrated how patients use the interactional machinery to resist healthcare providers’ recommendations (i.e., deontic actions, determining how the world should be, Stevanovic, 2011). Those might comprise medication, lifestyle, or health conditions monitoring. A recent study (Ostermann, in progress) shows that patients’ reluctance to accept healthcare-providers’ recommendations resides in a continuum between passive resistance and outright rejections.However, research on patient acceptance and resistance in this context has mostly concentrated on verbal actions – including the absence of verbal responses. Patients’ embodied responses to healthcare-providers recommendations received much less attention. Adopting a multimodal interactional approach that seeks to scrutinize visible conducts (Hepburn, Bolden, 2017) in this context may illuminate how the “complex organization of multimodal Gestalts” (Mondada, 2014a) materializes on the unfolding sequences of interest.
By Verónica González Temer, UMCE; and Katherina Walper Gormáz, UACh.
The Permanent Seminar for Conversation Analysis (SPAC for its acronym in Spanish) was born in the middle of 2020 from the need to establish a community that brings together academics interested in working with Spanish interactions from a CA perspective. As part of their activities, they hold regular data sessions run entirely in Spanish.
By Marije van Braak on behalf of the ECCA 2020 Organizing Committee
There is always a first time for everything – and, well, ECCA 2020 surely was a conference of first times in many respects. A first European Conference of Conversation Analysis, a first junior CA-conference, and one of the first online EMCA-conferences. It was also a conference of firsts in terms of new connections, sharing of initial analyses, prerecorded presentations, password protected data, game time, asynchronized birthday singing… and much more.
Dispreferred actions generally come with accounts. While in this case, COVID-19 is fairly obviously the issue, we do want the community to realize that our executive board did not make this decision lightly.
After a short summer hiatus, we are back with the third edition of the ISCA Newsletter. With the growing stress and anxiety many of us are experiencing due to a range of global issues, this seems an opportune time to share some positive developments, which show how we as a community can come together. While it will be a while before we get to see each other again in person, we manage to find ways to keep connected and indeed use this time to become even more of a global, inclusive community. And who knows, some of these innovations may be here to stay.