3 responses to this post.

  1. The UotSC formats are surprisingly effective. In fact, I would say that it’s in some ways more effective than the academic blogosphere. People speak more freely, “interactivity” is direct in that it’s synchronous and not based on author-ship/-ity, and many of the most active participants are non-academics with a thirst for knowledge.
    Elizabeth Hunt is actually doing research on those conversation formats, using a wide variety of disciplinary approaches. My advice to her was to look at the “ethnography of speaking” and other dimensions of linguistic anthropology (Joel Sherzer, Dell Hymes, Judith Irvine, Dick Bauman, Penny Eckert, Charles Briggs, Dennis Tedlock…).

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  2. Thanks for the first hand info. I’ve never had a chance to attend one of the discussions, but I will once I get back to MTL.

    I haven’t had much luck getting feedback online from people outside academia, but I think that’s mostly due to my research topic.

    Linguistic anthro keeps popping up… Feel uncomfortable diving in! Might have to soon.

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  3. @Owen During last week’s conversation on personal sustainability, I told Elizabeth about this post. She’s a bit busy (this season’s last UotSC conversation is tonight). She was actually quite happy to know that you had found out about UotSC. Personally, I had simply assumed that everybody knew. She mentioned wanting more people on the Facebook group. Spread the word!

    As for ling. anthro., you really shouldn’t feel uncomfortable! We’re a fun field!
    My advice might be to read Hymes’s seminal Breakthrough Into Performance first. I’m guessing you might get into it quite well and I can see connections with your own research (don’t ask me why: I don’t want to impose my reading).
    Briggs’s Learning How to Ask should be required reading for any ethnographer. I’d say it’s a fairly easy read.
    Of course, if you need more hints about those topics, feel free to ask!

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