Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS)

Guest lectures
Language and Social Justice

Embodied Interaction – Multimodality – Intercorporeality: New Perspectives on “I’s” and “We’s” in Interaction

Thursday, 2021/12/02, 16:15

Event organizer: Center for the Study of Language and Society
Speaker: Christian Meyer (Universität Konstanz)
Date: 2021/12/02
Time: 16:15 - 18:00
Locality: B101
Fabrikstrasse 8
3012 Bern
Characteristics: open to the public
free of charge

Abstract: In recent times, embodied and multimodal approaches have not only widened the scope of interaction research to encompass further modalities but also demonstrated the need to reconfigure basic theoretical assumptions derived from the former verbal-vocal and visual focus. In particular, research on touch (Nishizaka, M. Goodwin, Cekaite) has drawn our attention to the fact that in some social situations, it is impossible to attribute single actions to individual participants. Rather, moments of intercorporeality and interkinaesthesia (Streeck, Meyer) make clear that in many social activities, the multimodal capabilities of the body and its movements are (re-) used by co-participants as objects or media, so that sometimes individual participation becomes blurred and the acting unit might be called a “we”. Thus, rather than being constituted by the coordination or alignment of discrete individuals, some social actions are intrinsically accomplished by “we’s”. In my talk, I will try to identify some of the circumstances that are necessary for the formation of “we’s” and I will describe some of the multimodal practices and intercorporeal procedures that are employed to prepare, establish, and close we-agentic units in their sequential embeddedness.