It is the middle of summer in the northern hemisphere, a time when many of us would normally pack our suitcases, travel the world, and present our research in a range of conference venues. Unfortunately, we have had to manage as a globally distributed community with events like the International Pragmatics Conference taking place online. And while not everyone is a fan of Zoom presentations, virtual lectures organised by Rutgers, Loughborough, York, and Mannheim are attracting hundreds of scholars from around the world – some getting up in the middle of the night! It seems that, if nothing else, Covid is bringing us together as a global community in new ways.
By Dr Marco Pino and Dr David Edmonds
Misgendering occurs when a person is addressed, referred to, or described with language that does not match their gender identity (Dolan et al., 2020). Misgendering affects transgender people (henceforth trans)—people whose gender is not the same as the sex that they were assigned at birth. Misgendering has repeatedly been cited as contributing to the social exclusion and oppression of trans people, and it can have negative impacts on their health (McLemore, 2015). Existing studies of the experiences and effects of misgendering have been based on survey or interview data. While the findings of such studies acknowledge that misgendering occurs in conversations (although not exclusively), to our knowledge, there is no research on how it actually unfolds in situ. Our project focuses on how misgendering happens and is addressed (or not) in social interaction.
By Agnes Löfgren, PhD candidate at Linköping University
The 17th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA 2021) took place online between 27 June – 2 july 2021. This is a report from the conference, from the perspective of a PhD candidate, with a focus on the general experience of the conference and some highlights of topics I found interesting. I’m Agnes Löfgren, a PhD candidate at Linköping University, Sweden, working with multimodal interaction analysis on depictions in opera rehearsals.
By Enhua Guo
Data sessions are an essential means of doing being a member of the CA community, and more importantly, a means to increase the validity and reliability of the research findings. In China, only a very small number of universities and research institutes conduct in-person CA data sessions on a regular basis, including Shanxi University, Ocean University of China, Shandong University, etc. Unfortunately, the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 brought them all to an abrupt halt. However, the passion and need among Chinese CA scholars for data sessions persisted through Covid-19. It was this unstoppable academic zeal in the time of Covid that catalysed the birth of the CA webinar of Happy Data Session in China (HDS).
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.