The 26th Annual Conference on Language, Interaction, and Culture

Access and Engagement: Mechanisms of Social (In)equality

April 23rd-25th, 2020
University of California, Los Angeles
Kerckhoff Grand Salon (Map)

Presented by:

The Center for Language, Interaction and Culture
Graduate Student Association at the University of California, Los Angeles
The Language, Interaction, and Social Organization
Graduate Student Association at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Plenary speakers:

Ananda Marin (UCLA, Dept of Education)

Justin Richland (UC Irvine, Dept of Anthropology)

Stephanie Hyeri Kim (California State University, Northridge, Dept of Linguistics)

Register here:

Information on conference schedule will be announced soon.

Plenary Presentations

Dr. Ananda Marin

The 4 R’s: A Lens for Exploring Access and Engagement in Studies of Learning-in-Interaction

In this talk, I build on a video-ethnographic study of Indigenous families’ practices for learning about the natural world (Marin, 2013) in order to examine multiple levels of access and engagement in learning interactions. First, I draw on Indigenous research paradigms (Brayboy et al., 2012; Smith, 1999; Wilson, 2008), including the 4 R’s (relationality, responsibility, respect, and reciprocity), as a lens for understanding how we as researchers might ethically engage Indigenous families with research and access research records co-produced by families. I then present a case from my video-ethnographic study to explore the micro-interactional processes of access and engagement. Using the tools of video and interaction analysis (Erickson, 2006; Jordan & Henderson, 1995; Goodwin, 2018) I demonstrate how family members, while on forest walks, draw on embodied and emplaced resources to access memories, engage one another’s attention, make entities available for observation, and co-operatively build knowledge together.

Dr. Justin Richland

Juris-dictions: Speaking of Knowledge, Norms, and Authority Across Legal and Political Divides

In this fractious sociopolitical moment in the U.S., questions of what we know, how we know it, and who is “in the know” have been thrown into radical doubt. I say radical doubt because in the rapid slide from “science skepticism” to “misinformation campaigns” what only a few years ago was characterized as a crisis of information has become a crisis of confidence that, by some accounts, has shaken the two pillars of U.S. constitutionalism–representative democracy and the rule of law.  Along the way, established principles of good governance, once assumed to be immutable, were revealed to be “mere” norms whose force and authority depended on the coordination and cooperation of actors who understood their political fortunes to be tied up in the (re)production of those norms.  What exactly is the relationship between knowledge, normativity and authority, and what might a linguistic anthropological investigation of their real-time unfolding in political and legal interactions suggest about how we got into these crises, and what it might take to get out?

In this paper, I consider these issues by drawing some comparative lessons from my work in a separate but similarly fractious political arena, the “meaningful tribal consultation” engagements that federal law requires US agencies to undertake with Native nations. Disagreement persists about the efficacy of such consultations and about why indigenous actors continue to participate in them. I consider a 2013 engagement between representatives of the Hopi Tribal Nation and officials from the U.S. Forest Service about the significance of several archaeological sites located in the Tonto National Forest. As I will show, Hopi officials’ contributions shape the interaction into an exercise of “juris‐diction,” the enactment of Hopi normative authority through discourses and metadiscourses about knowledge and its selective transmission. In this way, consultation participants negotiate which norms—those of Hopi tradition or Anglo‐American law—should govern how the significance of the archaeological sites, and the consultation engagement itself, is to be understood. I close by considering how these reflections on the juris-dictions of Native-U.S. engagements might shed light on the discourses of knowledge, normativity and authority in contemporary U.S. politics, and how linguistic anthropology and its particular brand of humanistic empiricism offers a critical angle of repose from which to gain some purchase on our politically divided moment.

Dr. Stephanie Hyeri Kim

On Imperative Requests in Korean Talk-in-Interaction

This study explores the use of two Korean imperative formats in requesting here-and-now actions, specifically how the selection of an imperative format is fitted to an on-going activity. A growing body of research on requests has shown that selections of request forms do not necessarily hinge on social dimensions such as politeness and power asymmetry, but (broadly) on the relationship between the requested action and the activity under way, beyond a single sequence of actions. Analyzing both verbal and embodied resources used by speakers in a variety of settings, this paper shows that Korean speakers’ design of an imperative turn is also sensitive to a specific situation in interaction rather than to the relationship between speakers as previously argued. More specifically, speakers choose imperative formats according to how the requested action is connected to the larger action trajectory within which they are situated: Plain imperatives are selected in situations in which speakers ask coparticipants to perform a relatively simple, isolated action not associated with an overarching course of action, whereas pwa imperatives are selected when the requested action anticipates a subsequent action and thus orients toward an overarching course of action. The study shows how a previously undescribed, situationally-relevant interactional dimension accounts for the distribution of the imperatives, highlighting the complexity of grammatical forms of imperatives requests.

Register here:

Information on conference schedule will be announced soon.