Archive for May, 2010

28 May 2010

Design Literacies

Interesting new book from Routledge: Mary P. Sheridan, Jennifer Rowsell (2010) Design Literacies: Learning and Innovation in the Digital Age.

Design Literacies: Learning and Innovation in the Digital Age explores new ways of meaning making by examining the practices, stories, and products of new and digital media producers with the goal of understanding the logic of marketplace production.

Based on interviews with thirty new media and digital technology producers, including designers of video games, community activists and marketers of digital technologies, Design Literacies looks at the shared patterns and common themes and offers a window into contemporary out-of-school practices, a language to describe these practices and a pedagogy that better meets students’ needs in this new media and digital age.

With a foreword by Gunther Kress and an afterword by James Gee, Design Literacies: Learning and Innovation in the Digital Age will be of interest to postgraduate and graduate students of applied linguistics and education.

27 May 2010

Foucault in Aachen

…or rather: Craig Mulholland working on Foucault’s theories of power in “Fragments of Machines” at the NAK (Neuer Aachener Kunstverein) from 29 May.

Craig Mulholland (GB) trained as a painter but his practice encompasses sculpture, installation and film making, addressing themes of alienation and complicity in the contemporary cultural economy. ‘The dominant concerns within Mulholland’s recent work have centred on Foucauldian theories of power – “the political dream of the plague […] the penetration of regulation into even the smallest details of everyday life”.’

‘Fragments of Machines’ is a group exhibition of painting, sculpture, textiles and video work by five contemporary artists based in Glasgow, Berlin, New York and Paris, alongside a rare screening of Lillian Schwartz’s seminal computer-animated 16mm film ‘Googolplex’, made in 1972.

Curated by Will Bradley. Featuring Tauba Auerbach, Claire Fontaine, Travis Meinolf, Craig Mulholland, Lillian Schwartz, Hayley Tompkins

Party “Body Xerox”, 29 May, 11pm.

…image: “Anger Management (2008) by Craig Mulholland

26 May 2010

Revisioning Pragmatism

Conference honoring the memory of William James at the University of Hamburg, June 24 – 26, 2010.

This conference takes place on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of William James’s death. While we want to honor James — arguably the most famous American philosopher — as a great scholar and the father of pragmatism, the conference aims at much more: It examines the impact of pragmatism on various disciplines in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and tries to engage in a discourse that breaks new ground and advances new perspectives in theoretical debates that still seem to be largely dominated by European traditions.

As with James’s work itself, whose interdisciplinary character has inspired work especially in philosophy, psychology and physiology, this conference is also characterized by interdisciplinarity and transnational dialogue. Scholars from the fields of philosophy, literary and cultural studies, social science, and religious studies will explore pragmatism’s importance, potential, and current relevance.

11 May 2010

Laughter in discourse

…some findings on my recent search for research articles on the use of laughter in meetings…

Janet Holmes. (2006). Sharing a laugh: Pragmatic aspects of humor and gender in the workplace. Journal of Pragmatics, 38(1): 26-50. (Abstract)

Humor serves a wide range of functions at work, one of which is to foster collegiality. An analysis of interactions in New Zealand workplaces showed that one of the most important functions of humor was the construction and maintenance of good relations with fellow workers. Such workplace collegiality is often constructed and maintained through extended sequences of humor. This paper examines some of the ways in which humor is used to construct collegial relations at work, with particular attention to the dimension of gender in the workplace.

Janet Holmes & Meredith Marra. (2002). Having a laugh at work: how humour contributes to workplace culture. Journal of Pragmatics, 34(12): 1683-1710. (Abstract)

Despite its frequency in everyday life, we know very little about the interactional characteristics of laughter. This paper explores some of the pragmatic features of laughter in conversation. Laughter is examined as: (1) a turn taking cue, (2) an instruction to hear, (3) a display of hearership, (4) an invitation to elaborate, and (5) a resource in affiliation.

Daniel C. O’Connell, Sabine Kowal. (2006). Laughter in the Film The Third Man. Pragmatics 16(2&3): 305-327 (pdf)

Daniel C. O’Connell, Sabine Kowal (2005). Laughter in Bill Clinton’s My Life (2004) Interviews. Pragmatics 15(2&3): 275-299 (pdf)

Daniel C. O’Connell, Sabine Kowal (2004). Hillary Clinton’s Laughter in Media Interviews. Pragmatics 14(4): 463-478 (pdf)

Nick O’Donnell-Trujillo & Katherine Adams. (1983). Heheh in conversation: Some coordinating accomplishments of laughter. Western Journal of Communication, 47(2): 175 – 191.

Complete abstract: Despite its frequency in everyday life, we know very little about the interactional characteristics of laughter. This paper explores some of the pragmatic features of laughter in conversation. Laughter is examined as: (1) a turn taking cue, (2) an instruction to hear, (3) a display of hearership, (4) an invitation to elaborate, and (5) a resource in affiliation.

…image thanks to composed volcano...

10 May 2010

Thomas Faist on diversity

Interesting discussion article from Thomas Faist (2009). Diversity: a new mode of incorporation? Ethnic and Racial Studies 32(1): 171-190 (pdf).


Lately, cultural diversity in Western societies has, in terms of religions, languages, ethnic we-groups, transnational ties, and countries of origin, once more undergone immense growth. Modes of migrant incorporation reflect endeavours to respond to this change.While some approaches such as assimilation and multiculturalism emphasize the social integration of migrants in the host societies, the vague term ‘diversity’ harbours innovative measures in two respects. First, diversity addresses not only the incorporation of migrants, but also how societies and particularly their organizations deal with cultural pluralism. Second, diversity can then be understood both as an individual competence of migrants as members of organizations and the civil sphere, and as a set of programmes which organizations adopt to address cultural pluralism. Also, novel forms of diversity have emerged, such as transnationality. Yet in the absence of a rights-based foundation the question arises of how social inequality can be dealt with.

…with thanks to Susanne for the link…

7 May 2010

Hegemony in Organisation and Management Studies

A fantastic collection of links is included in this course outline from 2006. The Organisation of Hegemony at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brasil. Guest course tutor: Steffen Böhm (University of Essex, UK).

This course engages with a particular body of socio-political theory which has been rather underexposed in organisation and management studies; that of the Argentinean political theorist, Ernesto Laclau. Laclau is most famous for his book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (co-authored with Chantal Mouffe), which could be regarded as one of the most important post-Marxist texts written in the past twenty years. This course will closely read this book and the subsequent work of Laclau within the wider tradition of progressive socio-political theory while focussing on its implications for the discourse of organisation and management studies (OMS). ‘Reading’ here means that we will not simply incorporate Laclau into OMS; on the contrary, we will read Laclau against the contemporary hegemonic discourse of OMS and vice versa. Reading is a praxis of translation as well as one of critique, and in this way this course aims to contribute to a project of re-reading organisation and management studies through the lens of Laclau’s project.

Looks like a good place to start looking for recent research for all those working in OMS and interested in discourse, hegemony and other post-structuralist appraoches.