Western Bank

Atypical Interaction: Conversation Analysis and Communication Impairments

University of Sheffield, UK - Thursday 27th and Friday 28th June 2013

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

  • Charles Antaki (Loughborough University)
  • Douglas W. Maynard (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Rosemarie McCabe (Barts and the London School of Medicine)
  • Mick Perkins (University of Sheffield)

Conference scientific committee

Scott Barnes (University of Sydney, Australia); Suzanne Beeke (University College London, UK); Jack Damico (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA); Hilary Gardner (University of Sheffield, UK); Minna Laakso (University of Helsinki, Finland); John Rae (University of Roehampton, UK); Gitte Rasmussen (University of Southern Denmark); Ben Rutter (University of Sheffield, UK); Charlotta Saldert (University of Gothenburg, Sweden); Ray Wilkinson (University of Sheffield, UK)

This conference aims to advance research which uses Conversation Analysis to investigate naturally-occurring social interactions involving one or more participants with a communication impairment.

Conversation Analysis (CA), which examines the moment-by-moment organization of social interaction, and which developed in the context of researching everyday talk, has proven to be a fruitful methodology for the analysis of interactions involving participants with communication impairments.  It has provided new perspectives on the nature of these impairments and how they impact on everyday talk and social identity, and has also been used as the basis for implementing and evaluating intervention programmes which have been used by clinical practitioners such as speech and language therapists.

A particular strength of CA is its capacity to examine what actually takes place in interaction and to focus on the part played by all participants.  Moreover, in examining the full range of interaction resources that participants utilize, such as gesture (including eye gaze and body movement) and the use of objects, as well as spoken language, CA has the potential to examine the diverse ways in which communication can be accomplished despite the communication impairments.  In addition, the analysis of interactions involving persons with a challenged capacity to communicate raises fundamental questions that are relevant for our understanding of human interaction and intersubjectivity.

This conference will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss new findings, methodological innovations and practical applications in this growing area of applied CA work.

The conference will include empirical papers, data sessions where conference participants can analyze recordings of communication impairment interactions, and a round table discussion.  We hope the conference will be of interest to people from a wide range of academic backgrounds (including speech and language pathology/therapy, audiology, linguistics, psychology, and sociology) and practitioners (including those from speech and language pathology/therapy, audiology, education and clinical rehabilitation).

Ray Wilkinson (University of Sheffield) and John Rae (University of Roehampton), Conference Organizers