Héritages et Constructions dans le Texte et l'Image


Space, place and discursive action within social media/real life communicative environments


28 - 29 May 2015
University of Western Brittany, Brest, France



Space, place and discursive action within social media/real life communicative environments
(Space/Place/Social Media)

Guest speakers:
Marcel Burger, University of Lausanne; Richard Fitzgerald, University of Macao

Call for Papers:
The broad theme of this colloquium is the discursive organisation, representation and negotiation of space/s and place/s as interactional practices within the online environments of social media.

Working interactively in these environments (FB, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram, online news, chat and comment forums, specialised sites such as ‘Tripadvisor’, virtual game worlds) is an increasingly routine aspect of how we communicate socially, within work, as work and with institutions. Life-logging, geo-tagging and moving in and out of virtual spaces have become commonplace practices for many, while many organisations, from newsrooms to universities to tax offices, have joined the socially mediated ‘scene’.

As yet, the relationship between online and offline interactive environments, and the forms of discursive actions and interactions that occur within and between them, are only just beginning to be explored. Existing linguistic research has tended to focus on the relationship between digital technology and the performance of social identity-ies, on corpus approaches to the analysis of ‘e-language’, and on the narrative character of discourse within the social media. While this research is developing apace, less attention has been paid to other forms of representation, action and interaction that take place in and through the digital spaces/places of the social media, where multi-modal posting and sharing practices serve to organise actions and interactions within an increasingly permeable virtual/real communication environment.

We therefore invite contributions to the Colloquium that address this relationship between interactive environments and social interaction in terms of how users represent, construct and orient to space and place as topic/context from relevant theoretical linguistic, pragmatic, multimodal and discourse-interactional perspectives.

Examples of the kind of issues relating to interactivity and interaction and the social media, focussing on the relationship of users to their digital contexts as a locus of interaction might include (but are not restricted to):

• representations of social media as ‘cyberspace’ locus in and of itself, as a virtual contextual environment for action and interaction
• social media as a location for construction/representation of other spaces/places outside the digital environment, the relationships between digital space and RL (real life) place
• social media as a site for the organisation and co-ordination of activities through multiple and multi- modal forms of communication.

English and French

Scientific committee:
Richard Fitzgerald, Joanna Thornborrow, Mohamed Saki, Ghislaine Lozachmeur

Closing date for submission of abstracts (approx. 300 words): 28 February 2015
Please send abstracts to joanna.thornborrow@univ-brest.com

Burger Marcel & Daniel Perrin (2014), « Ce que le quotidien des journalistes nous dit sur les tension des disours médiatiques », in Berthoud Anne-Claude & Burger Marcel (2014), Repenser le rôle des pratiques langagières dans la constitution des espaces sociaux contemporains, Bruxelles : De Boeck, pp. 165-194.

Knight, D., Adolphs, S. and Carter, R., (2014 in press). CANELC - The Cambridge and Nottingham eLanguage Corpus Corpora. 9(1.

Page, R. (2012) Stories and Social Media: Identities and Interaction. London: Routledge

Thornborrow, J. (2014 in press) The Discourse of public participation media: from talk show to Twitter. London: Routledge.

Thornborrow, J. and Fitzgerald, R. (2013) ‘Grab a pen and paper’: Interaction v. interactivity in a political radio phone-in. Journal of Language and Politics 12 (1) 1-28.