HOME..............SCHEDULE..............IPRH ............CENTER FOR WRITING STUDIES


Spring 2012 meetings for the IPRH reading group (Narrative tellings, retellings, and remediaitons: Readings on situated discourse practice) are as follows:

Friday May 4, 2012 1:15-3:15 English 107a
Leader: Michele Koven, Associate Professor, Communication
Title: Language, Return Migration, and Figures of Personhood: Luso-descendants’ Narratives about ‘Speaking French’ in Encounters with Nonmigrant Portuguese.

This work takes a transnational, polycentric approach to the study of migration, language, and identity. Instead of exploring how migrants experience language ideologies in the dominant ‘host’ society, I explore how Luso-descendants, the offspring of Portuguese migrants, encounter and interpret ideologies of monolingualism in the ‘sending’ society, i.e, Portugal. Specifically I analyze how Luso-descendants narrate previous difficult encounters with nonmigrants in Portugal. These narratives include moments when an emigrant or Luso-descendant was understood to speak French and was subsequently criticized. My analysis centers on the ideological premises behind, enactments of, and alignments toward two recurring figures in these stories: the ‘bad emigrant’ and the ‘intolerant nonmigrant.’ Attention to how storytellers align with or against different figures illuminates how these transnational actors contest and/or reaffirm dominant Portuguese ideologies of monolingualism, citizenship, morality, and agency

The following background reading for this session is available at e-reserve for IPRH 2012-Prior:

Agha, Asif. (2005). Voice, Footing, Enregisterment. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 15, 38-59.



Past events:

Friday, April 13, 1:15-3:15 at 107a English
Leader: Professor Karrie Karahalios, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science: Discovery-based Games for Learning Software

Video games and other digital spaces of simulation are a key site for the remediation of narrative practice. Professor Karahalios will center her presentation on a forthcoming co-authored paper (Tao Dong, Mira Dontcheva, Diana Joseph, Karrie Karahalios, Mark W. Newman, Mark S. Ackerman) for CHI 2012 (the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems) next month. Two readings from conference proceedings of earlier CHI meetings will also be discussed:  “Labeling images with a computer game,“ Luis von Ahn and Laura Dabbish, CHI 2004; and “Designing games for learning: Insights from conversations with designers,” Katherine Isbister, Mary Flanagan, and Chelsea Hash. The readings for this meeting are available in e-reserves (here) under IPRH 2012 Prior and information on the group is available on the Center for Writing Studies website (here).


Friday, March 30 1:15-3:15 at 107a English
Leader: Xin Chai:: Suicide Narrative in the Making.

I will present some in-progress textual and intertextual analyses on women’s suicide writings – personal writings followed with suicides - in contemporary China. Particularly, I will introduce a two-month personal blogging of a young Chinese woman named Stone who committed suicide in urban Beijing in 2007 as well as the reception and transmission of her suicide and blog online. For discussion, excerpts from the blog and online commentaries will be circulated; fictional and legendary stories of women's suicides in Ming Qing (1368-1911) China will also be circulated.  

I have tended to look at women's suicide writings in China as media of meaning making and Stone’s suicide blogging as creative and performative practice situated in and emergent from certain social and cultural contexts and dynamics - as part of a novelistic chronotope - rather than a manifestation of a depressive or suicidal entity. This analytical perspective was originally envisioned and articulated by Bakhtin (1981) in his chapters of “Epic and novel” and “Forms of time and chronotope in the novel” in The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin.

To give an example of the textual approach to women's suicides in China that has greatly informed my work, I selected a book chapter by Grace Fong (2001) “Signifying  bodies: The cultural significance of suicide writings by women in Ming-Qing China” in Passionate Women: Female Suicide in Late Imperial China as the primary reading. To give some alternative folk beliefs on women’s suicides in China, I selected the (male) anthropologist Wu Fei's (2006) Ph. D thesis chapter "Suicide and domestic injustice" in Living a Life of Fortune: Suicides of Chinese Peasants Women as another reading. 

Readings available at e-reserve for IPRH 2012-Prior:

1) Fong, G. (2001). “Signifying bodies: The cultural significance of suicide writings by women in Ming-Qing China.” In Ropp, P. S. et al., (ed.) Passionate Women: Female Suicide in Late Imperial China. Brill Academic Publishers

2) Wu, F. (2006). "Suicide and domestic injustice". In Living a Life of Fortune: Suicides of Chinese Peasants Women. Ph. D Thesis, Harvard University. 

Two background readings from:  Bakhtin, M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M. M. Bakhtin. (edited by Michael Holquist, translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist). Austin: University of Texas Press.

3) Extracts from "Forms of Time and Chronotope in the Novel" (pp. 84-85, 130-151, 250-259).

4) “Epic and Novel": the whole chapter, pp. 3-40.


Friday, March 2 1:15-3:15 at 107a English
Leader: Paul Prior :: Narratives and disciplinarity in text, talk, and other media.

In this meeting Paul Prior (Professor, English and Center for Writing Studies) will consider some of the ways that narratives are deployed in disciplinary arguments in text, talk, and other media. Drawing initially on Greg Myers’ classic analysis of the narrative differences between popular and scientific texts in biology, he will review how that framework informed his situated studies of seminar talk and student writing in sociology as well as of the situated production of a digital art object. Examining the ways narratives are deployed in disciplinary contexts has important implications for understanding disciplinary socialization processes as well as the nature of literate activity in the academy.

The main reading for this session is an extract from Greg Myers’s Writing Biology: Texts in the Social Construction of Knowledge. It is available here as a pdf through t e-reserves, under IPRH 2012 Prior

The presentation will also refer to two texts available free on line:

“Girl Talk Tales, Causal Models, and the Dissertation:  Exploring the Topical Contours of Context in Sociology Talk and Text.” http://wac.colostate.edu/llad/v1n1/prior.pdf


Remaking IO, Remaking Rhetoric: Semiotic Remediation as Situated Rhetorical Practice.
This is a webtext included in “Re-situating and re-mediating the canons” in Kairos 11.3


Friday, February 10 1:15-3:15 at 107a English
Leader: Prof. Peggy Miller
Peggy Miller (Professor Emerita, Communication and Psychology) will be discussing a forthcoming Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) monograph, How socialization happens on the ground: Narrative practices as alternate socializing pathways in Taiwanese and European-American families (see abstract below). Drawing on the discussion chapter, she will preview the monograph findings, particularly focusing on recurrence and repetition of stories and on listening practices. She is also interested in thinking with this group about one of her writing projects for the Spring, a theoretical piece about socialization that builds on the findings from the monograph.

Monograph abstract
This monograph builds upon our cumulative efforts to investigate personal storytelling as a medium of socialization in two disparate cultural worlds. Drawing upon interdisciplinary fields of study that take a discourse-centered approach to socialization, we combined ethnography, longitudinal home observations, and micro-level analysis of everyday talk to study this problem in Taiwanese families in Taipei and European-American families in Longwood, Chicago. Comparative analyses of 192 hours of video-recorded observations revealed that conversational stories of young children’s past experiences occurred in both sites at remarkably similar rates and continued apace across the age span (2,6, 3,0, 3,6, and 4,0), yielding nearly 900 narrations. These and other similarities coexisted with differences in culturally salient interpretive frameworks and participant roles, forming distinct socializing pathways. The Taipei families enacted a didactic framework, prolifically and elaborately narrating and correcting children’s misdeeds. They privileged the bystander and listener roles for child participants, whereas the Longwood families privileged the co-narrator role. The Longwood families repeatedly enacted a child-affirming interpretive framework, erasing or downplaying children’s misdeeds, accentuating their strengths, accepting their preferences, and lightening stories with humor. Over time the Taipei and Longwood children participated more actively and developed holistic but divergent senses of problem, reflecting the distinct socializing pathways that they navigated day by day. These findings open a window on how socialization operates on the ground: socialization through personal storytelling is a highly dynamic process in which redundancy and variation are conjoined and children
participate as active, creative, affectively engaged meaning makers.

Reading (in the UIUC e-reserves here under IPRH 2012): Miller, Peggy J.; Shumin Lin & Heidi Fung. (in press).  Discussion.  In Miller, Peggy, Heidi Fung, Shumin Lin, Eva Chen (eds.), How Socialization Happens on the Ground: Narrative Practices as Alternate Socializing Pathways in Taiwanese and European-American Families (pp, 105-114). Society for Research on Child Development (SRCD) Monograph.


Fall 2011 Meetings

Friday, December 2 1:15-3:15 at 107 English
Leader: Prof. Susan Davis
Prof. Susan Davis (Communication) has been working with students on the topic of oral story and legend for several years.  They've been collecting legends to try and understand processes of oral circulation, legend formation and the relationship between legend and place.  In her presentation, she'll talk a bit about how folklorists define this genre and why they care about it, and then give some examples from an assignment her students are working on right now.  She is especially interested in talking about the work of sensitizing students to the complexity of oral narrative.    

Reading: Bill Ellis.  Chapter 10: What Really Happened at Gore Orphanage." From Aliens, Ghosts, and Cults: Legends We Live. University Press of Mississippi, 2001. 186-198. The reading is available on reserves (at IPRH 2011--Prior). 

Upcoming: Our first meeting in the Spring will be on February 10, 2012 with Prof. Peggy Miller.


Friday, November 11 1:15-3:15 at 107 English
Leader: Alexandra Cavallaro
Alexandra will present a work-in-progress ethnographic study of coming out narratives. Drawing on data from an LGBTQ women's support group, Alexandra will examine the relationship between these narratives and rhetorical education, or the ways these women learn to talk about their LGBTQ identities through storytelling. After giving a brief overview of the project, she will circulate data excerpts for discussion.   

Reading (in the UIUC e-reserves under IPRH 2011): Bacon, Jean (1998). "Getting the Story Straight: Coming Out Narratives and the Possibility of a Cultural Rhetoric." World Englishes 17(2), 249-258. 


Friday, October 21 1:15-3:15 at 107 English
Leader: Andrea Olinger
I will present some early work-in-progress on the relationship between narratives and embodied actions like gestures. My data come from an episode of ABC's The Bachelorette in which a gesture, originated by bachelorette Ashley Hebert, gets recontextualized over several scenes and comes to index a certain way of being and interacting with men.  I will show the video clips and will also circulate a short proposal I'm working on for a journal. Though the articles, all by linguistic anthropologists, address very different contexts and speakers, they've helped me think about gesture, stancetaking, recontextualization, and narrative. 

I'm attaching three readings: two primary readings and one reference reading. (Click on the titles to download them from the library databases.) 

The first primary reading, "'Whatever (Neck Roll, Eye Roll, Teeth Suck)': The Situated Coproduction of Social Categories and Identities Through Stancetaking and Transmodal Stylization," by Marjorie H. Goodwin and H. Samy Alim (2010), published in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology20.1: 179-194, is not directly about narrative, but it does provide a way to analyze embodied actions like gestures and describes key concepts like stancetaking and stylization, which I see at work in the Bachelorette data.

The second primary reading, “'Whorish Old Man' and 'One (Animal) Gentleman': The Intertextual Construction of Enemies and Selves," by John B. Haviland (2005), published in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 15.1: 81-94, describes how a series of narratives told over the course of thirty years contribute to the sedimentation of the teller's self-concept. I see the repeated recontextualizations of Ashley's gesture as doing similar work, though over a much shorter timeframe. 

Finally, just for reference is a classic article by Richard Bauman and Charles Briggs, "Poetics and Performance as Critical Perspectives on Language and Social Life" (1990), published in the Annual Review of Anthropology 19: 59-88. It argues that concepts like entextualization, decontextualization, and recontextualization are crucial for studying performance(s) in linguistic anthropology and folklore.


Friday September 30 1:15-3:15 at 107a English 
Leaders: Julie Hengst and Paul Prior
This meeting will focus on questions of how narratives are defined, identified and analyzed in situated interactional data. We will also set aside some time for discussion of the kinds of narratives people in the group are interested in and the theoretical/methodological frameworks that people have used (or plan to use). 

We're attaching two readings here (click on the title to download). The first, main reading, "Semiotic remediation, conversational narratives and aphasia" is Julie's chapter from Exploring semiotic remediation as discourse practice  (2010). It sets up dialogic analysis of conversational narratives as semiotic remediation and then presents short analyses of three interactions involving individuals with aphasia and their routine communicative partners.  Julie is planning to show some of the videotape of these interactions (which adds another dimension to the analysis).

We're also including a second reading that you might look at (and some may already know), a classic article, "Storytelling as a theory-building activity," by Elinor Ochs, Carolyn Talyor, Dina Rudolph, and Ruth Smith. It is interesting in part for the ways it illustrates dialogic arguments through and around everyday narratives.