5.12.2014 Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity: Riitta Hari
Understanding Others: a Neuroscientist’s Perspective
Professor Riitta Hari (Aalto University) gave the last lecture of the autumn 2014 in the series Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity. The lecture was titled Understanding Others: a Neuroscientist’s Perspective. Hari opened up how it is possible that people understand each other although everyone has a unique brain and a private mind. She introduced various experimental researches which concern measurements of brain activation and comparison of the results among subjects. These neuroscientific studies show that brain activation is similar between subjects when they e.g. watch the same movie scene. Hari considered that brain research alone can’t give a comprehensive explain to mutual understanding. The view of the world and intersubjectivity, which are developed in interaction with others, might be default and guide also brain activation.
7.11.2014 Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity: Elise Kärkkäinen
Perspectives on Intersubjectivity: from Stance Taking to Accomplishing Activity Shifts
Professor in English philology Elise Kärkkäinen (University of Oulu) gave the November lecture in the series Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity organized by the Centre of Excellence. Her topic was Perspectives on Intersubjectivity: from Stance Taking to Accomplishing Activity Shifts. In her lecture Kärkkäinen gave an overview of how intersubjectivity has been seen in the research projects that she has been involved with.
Kärkkäinen’s research projects have previously been more focused on language, whereas recently more attention has been paid to other aspects of human interaction. Intersubjectivity has been seen as many kinds of collectivity between people: stance taking, non-verbal cooperation, orienting to a shared task, and acting in a shared space in a way that takes others into account.
3.10.2014 Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity: Riikka Rossi
Ugly Feelings and Shock Effects: Disruptive Communication in Realism
Docent in Finnish literature Riikka Rossi (University of Helsinki) gave a lecture in the Centre of Excellence lecture series in October. Her topic was Ugly Feelings and Shock Effects: Disruptive Communication in Realism. In her lecture she described how the reader’s emotions play a role in constructing the experience of reading contemporary realism. She used Sofi Oksanen’s novel Puhdistus (tr. as Purge by Lola Rogers) as an example.
According to Rossi, the description of an everyday situation with a certain geographical and historical accessibility creates a familiar and comforting effect of reality for the reader. At the same time, alienating emotions are being induced by the detailed description of repugnant things and events. This suspense between pleasant and unpleasant emotions is often what invites the reader to engage in the experience of reading contemporary realism. Feelings of disgust, repulsion and shock can lead the reader to ponder the ethics of the fictional world. Rossi proposed that these ethical feelings are not limited to the reading experience, but provoke ethical reflection of our own reality.
5.9.2014 Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity: Sandra Thompson
Responses to Informings in American English Conversation: Prosody and Word Order Working Together
The first lecture in the series Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity was given by professor Sandra Thompson (University of California, Santa Barbara). Her title was Responses to Informings in American English Conversation: Prosody and Word Order Working Together. The lecture was based on a larger research project on how informings are received and responded to in interaction.
In her lecture Thompson presented findings on the differences in responding with ‘you do’ and ‘do you’. She also discussed the significance of rising and falling intonation in these responses. Thompson presented that word order is used to display epistemic stance: is the information new or known beforehand to the recipient. A rising intonation in these cases invites the informer to reaffirm or explain the information, but a falling intonation doesn’t.
5.9.2014 Experiences in ICCA
International Conference on Conversation Analysis, Los Angeles, California
The fall semester at the Centre of Excellence began with discussing experiences in the ICCA conference. The International Conference on Conversation Analysis was held in Los Angeles in the end of June. Many researchers and doctoral students from the CoE were there to present their study, listen to other presentations and discuss with international researchers.
The CoE members who had participated in ICCA described the experience as rewarding and inspiring. Many remembered the lively and even heated discussion about the studies on language universals. Some had noted also that analysis in data sessions is less restricted in Helsinki than in Los Angeles. A more systematic approach to analysis could be tried in data sessions at home, as it could bring out some new viewpoints on data.
1.9.2014 Guest Lecture: Charles Antaki
Police Interviews with People with Intellectual Disabilities Alleging Rape: Questioning or Challenging
Professor of Language and Social Psychology Charles Antaki (Loughborough university, UK) visited the CoE for one month in autumn 2014. During his visit he gave a public lecture introducing his latest research project. Antaki presented how interaction is constructed in police interviews where the interviewees are people with intellectual disabilities alleging rape. He exemplified some interaction practices of the interviewers that might challenge the truthfullness and reliability of the descriptions of the interviewees. These practicies are certain interrogative formats, specially why didn’t you do X, how come you did Y, and how, if A was the case, B happened.
23.5.2014 Guest Lecture: Doug Maynard, Waverly Duck ja Jason Turowetz
Autism, Social Order, and Intersubjectivity: Preliminary Investigations
Professor Doug Maynard, assistant professor Waverly Duck and Ph.D student Jason Turowetz from the University of Wisconsin-Madison gave a talk on their ongoing research project on autism. The topic of the presentation was Autism, Social Order, and Intersubjectivity: Preliminary Investigations. Maynard began by talking about the definition and diagnosing of autism and their development. He also described the ethnomethodological framework of the research. Duck continued by demonstrating how autistic children use their concrete and abstract competence when asked to describe their emotional state. Turowetz then presented how clinicians make and support diagnostic claims through narratives when they are determining whether a child is autistic.
19.–20.5.2014 Intersubjectivity of Emotions -seminar
Hotel Rantapuisto, Helsinki
The Centre of Excellence organized an internal seminar on the Intersubjectivity of Emotions on May 19–20th in Hotel Rantapuisto. Jörg Bergmann, Per Linell, Auli Hakulinen and Anssi Peräkylä each gave a talk on the subject of emotions occurring in interaction. During the seminar, data was also studied in groups. The aim of the group work was to discuss how data and theoretical viewpoints to intersubjectivity come into contact. On Tuesday afternoon Doug Maynard and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen summarized the seminar in a dialogic final address.
9.5.2014 Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity: Ann Weatherall
I Understand Your Concern About That’: Self Avowals to an Other’s Mind
Professor in psychology Ann Weatherall (Victoria University of Wellington) gave the last lecture of the spring 2014 in the series “Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity”. She talked about her early stage research, which focusses on how an other’s feelings are avowed in interaction. The lecture was titled I Understand Your Concern About That’: Self Avowals to an Other’s Mind.
Weatherall presented Swedish and English data extracts where one of the interactants claims to understand or know what the other is feeling. This claim is often produced when there is a place for affiliation in the conversation. A claim of understanding can also transform what the previous speaker expressed.
2.4.–6.5.2014 Lorenza Mondada’s visit
Lorenza Mondada, who is professor in linguistics in the University of Basel, was a guest of the Centre of Excellence for a month. During her visit she gave a presentation on the multimodality of interaction, which is one of her central research interests. In her presentation she demonstrated how a functional collection can be built from multimodal data. Mondada also hosted a datasession on the use of the particle voilà in French interaction. During her visit she participated in the activities of the CoE and opened up fruitful discussion on interaction research.
11.4.2014 Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity: Jan Anward
Burning Common Ground: On Iconoclastic Interaction
In April the lecture series was continued by professor of language and culture Jan Anward (University of Linköping), who discussed his thoughts on the boundaries of language and interaction. In his lecture Burning common ground: On iconoclastic interaction Anward presented attempts at going beyond language, such as glossolalia and scat singing. According to Anward, all these attempts bear features of language, such as syllables, rhythm and prosody. This makes them recognizable as a non-existing language. Anward proposed that the audience of these turns builds a context around them and make them understandable, even though they were originally placed outside of all traditions.
17.3.−11.4.2014 Ilana Mushin’s visit
Senior lecturer in linguistics Ilana Mushin from Queensland University in Australia visited the CoE in spring 2014. During her visit she gave a talk and hosted a datasession on her current research project, which studies interaction in elementary school classes. In an open datasession Mushin presented data on the particle ngala in a turn-initial position in the Australian Aboriginal language Garrwa.
24.−25.3.2014 Seminar on prosody
A seminar on prosody was organized at the end of March to reflect how prosody can be studied, and what can be learned from studying it. Four lectures and a panel discussion were heard in the seminar. In addition, an internal prosody research workshop was organized on Monday afternoon for the members of the Centre of Excellence.
The seminar began with Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen’s lecture on expanding the research of prosody towards a more dialogical perspective. Next, Heini Kallio introduced a current research project that aims to map the regional and social variation of Finnish prosody. On Tuesday the seminar continued with Richard Ogden’s lecture. He expressed that prosody is a complex phenomenon that can and should be researched broadly as a feature of interaction. The last lecturer was Mattias Heldner, who demonstrated how the organization of spontaneous interaction can be studied with statistical methods. The seminar ended in a panel discussion. The panelists were Auli Hakulinen, Mattias Heldner, Richard Ogden and Melisa Stevanovic.
20.−21.3.2014 Scientific Advisory Board meeting
The CoE organized a two-day SAB meeting in March 2014. The objective of the meeting was to present and evaluate the activities of the CoE during the last three years. The aim was also to describe goals for further research. The CoE had invited SAB members Ruth Ayass, Arnulf Deppermann and Charles Goodwin as well as representatives of the Academy of Finland and the University of Helsinki.
On Thursday, March 20th, there was an afternoon seminar where three CoE members, Aino Koivisto, Elina Weiste and Jarkko Niemi, presented their current research.
19.3.2014 Perspectives on interaction research -seminar
The Centre of Excellence in Intersubjectivity in Interaction organized a public lecture event. Three lectures were given by the international members of the Scientific Advisory Board meeting.
The seminar was begun by Ruth Ayass (Klagenfurt University), who stressed the need to develop a shared method for transcribing multimodal data. The title of her talk was Doing Data: The status of transcripts in Conversation Analysis. Next, Arnulf Deppermann (Mannheim University) gave a lecture titled Failures of Intersubjectivity: the Case of Egocentric Instructions in Driving School Lessons. The lecture presented Deppermann’s current conversation analytic study of driving school lessons. The last speaker in the seminar was Charles Goodwin (University of California, Los Angeles), whose lecture was titled Actors, Actions and Environments. In his lecture Goodwin emphasized the significance of predecessors in all human social action.
14.2.2014 Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity: Ivan Leudar
Against Theory of Mind: Towards a Pragmatic Account of Intentionality
Emeritus professor in historical psychology Ivan Leudar (The University of Manchester) was the first lecturer of the spring 2014 in the series Helsinki Lectures on Intersubjectivity. Leudar’s topic was Against Theory of Mind: Towards a Pragmatic Account of Intentionality. Theory of mind has traditionally been defined as an achieved understanding of one’s own and others minds. Leudar’s lecture gave a critical view against theory of mind. He presented that theory of mind is actually a theory of communcation. Leudar highlighted that social interaction is interaction of minds.
23.−24.1.2014 The Conference on Conversation Research 2014
The CoE organized the national conference on conversation research this year. The theme of the conference was social action design in interaction. During the two days 19 presentations were given. Presentations were divided into six groups, which all highlighted phenomena of social action in interaction.
On Thursday the presentations focused on proposals and decisions, repair as action and understanding and evaluation. Presentations on Friday concerned themes such as multimodality of actions, overlap of actions and turn design and context. The last event in the conference was a panel discussion with Ilkka Arminen, Marja Etelämäki, Elise Kärkkäinen, Marja-Leena Sorjonen and Melisa Stevanovic. The panelists discussed their views on social action design, and summarized what the presentations and following discussions had covered.