(Video still: Lukas Georgiou/ Source: Michael O’Connor Between Foam and Origami)
A Day of Sense-Making
Living, Moving, Knowing, Feeling, Gesturing
Friday 9th December 2022, Online
International Society of Gesture Studies Hong Kong / Department of English (CityU)
Sense-making helps us think about the ways we move and mingle with each other and our environments, offering a range of empirical and philosophical resources for working with gesture.
A Day of Sense-Making brings together researchers whose interests in gesture and ecological-enactive ideas range in scope and proximity. Their research explores our ways of relating with diverse cultural activities and environments, including online teaching, pre-school childplay, interactive lecturing, improvisational dance, language learning, and surfing – inviting reflections on gesture within and across different scales of register (individual subjective experience and intercorporeality or social understanding; from screen media to playgrounds and oceans).
“What happens to the hand gesturing of teachers and students who are engaged in video-mediated interactions?”; “What comes to matter with and through interactions of dancers moving parts and bodies?”; “How do gestures respond to the inter-affective dynamics evolving in situations?”. Such are examples of our questions. Our perspectives on gesture will enfold movement qualities, affective intensities, entanglement, deep learning, virtual co-presence, withness, languaging dynamics, translanguaging and multimodality, embodied lines, and more.
Overview of Schedule
Morning session 9-12 (HK timezone)
9am. Elena Cuffari – Partial gestures, partial languaging?: Searching for participatory sense-making in video-mediated classrooms
10am. Jenifer Ho – Demonstration of ‘knowing’ in digital context: A dialogue between multimodality and translanguaging
11am. Dan Shi – Languaging dynamics in interactive lecturing: Exploring an embodied approach to deep-learning in L2 higher education contexts
Afternoon session 3-6 (HK timezone)
3pm. Simon Harrison – Waving gestures ~~~ and our surfing them
4pm. Silva Ladewig – The Slapping movement as an embodied practice of dislike. Inter-affectivity in interactions among children
5pm. Michael O’Connor & Alan Cienki – Moving Bodies. Moving Landscapes
Register in advance for this event:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the zoom meeting.
Event chairperson and contact: Simon Harrison (email@example.com)
(Keep scrolling for speakers’ information and abstracts)
Speakers & Abstracts
Morning Session (9-12)
9am. Elena Cuffari (Assistant Professor of Psychology & Scientific Philosophical Studies of Mind / ECC Lab, Franklin & Marshall College)
Partial gestures, partial languaging?: Searching for participatory sense-making in video-mediated classrooms
Sense-making for language users is qualitatively enlanguaged; gestures, even when non-communicative, are part of languaging behavior. They make sense in an enactive and participatory way. What happens to the hand gesturing of teachers and students who are engaged in video-mediated interactions? This talk will present findings from a qualitative study of zoom classroom recordings. The characteristics of this corpus motivate a current experimental study on the sense-making and participatory sense-making effects of partially visible gestures. This empirical work is grounded in the enactive idea of linguistic bodies, which I will also discuss, and carries broad implications for the questions of virtual co-presence that the theory of participatory sense-making now faces.
10am. Jenifer Ho (Assistant Professor, Department of English, City University of Hong Kong)
Demonstration of ‘knowing’ in digital context: A dialogue between multimodality and translanguaging
The ‘Trans’ turn in applied linguistics unsettles the role of language as a static, monolithic entity that can be named, and challenges the ideological preoccupation of language as a dominant mode (Li, 2018; Hawkins, 2018). As Hawkins (2018: 55) observes, the ‘trans’ turn in applied linguistics involves the orchestration of “a vast array of semiotic resources that are entangled with language in fluid and unpredictable ways”, thus giving rise to possibilities for sign-makers to draw on a wide range of multilingual and multimodal resources for meaning/sense-making. This is particularly salient in digitally-mediated communication which affords sign-makers with an enlarged semiotic repertoire to make meaning while interacting with technological and environmental affordances. The strategic orchestration of the plurality of resources available leads to a mobilization process which is a “whole-body-sense-making” activity (Thibault, 2017), also a process of translanguaging (Ho & Li, 2019). This talk focuses on the process of mobilization in digitally-mediated communication contexts and demonstrates how the complex mobilization process needs to be examined through an integrated multimodal and translanguaging lens. Through examining two excerpts of data collected on the internet on different ways of ‘knowing’, this conceptual, exploratory talk aims to bring the constructs of translanguaging and multimodality into dialogue and examine the possibilities and challenges of integrating the two concepts analytically.
Hawkins, M. R. (2018). Transmodalities and transnational encounters: Fostering critical cosmopolitan relations. Applied Linguistics, 39(1), 55–77. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amx048
Ho, W. Y. J., & Li, W. (2019). Mobilizing learning: A translanguaging view. Chinese Semiotic Studies, 15(4), 533–559. https://doi.org/10.1515/css-2019-0029
Li, W. (2018). Translanguaging as a practical theory of language. Applied Linguistics, 39(1), 9–30. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amx039
Thibault, P. J. (2017). The reflexivity of human languaging and Nigel Love’s two orders of language. Language Sciences, 61, 74–85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2016.09.014
11am. Dan Shi (Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics, School of Education and English, University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
Languaging dynamics in interactive lecturing: Exploring an embodied approach to deep-learning in L2 higher education contexts
The study explores an embodied approach to students’ deep learning; specifically, how deep learning is interactively achieved through teachers’ languaging dynamics and multimodal representations in interactive lecturing in L2 higher education contexts. The purpose is to understand how an instructor’s embodied and multimodal pedagogic practices of interactive teaching facilitate students’ active classroom engagement in lecture sessions that are often considered a form of passive knowledge transmission. The case study focuses on the languaging dynamics mobilized by the target teacher participant recognized as a representative of teaching excellence via an international background and rich localized teaching experience. Aligned with the theoretical underpinnings of an embodied approach to learning from the constructivist perspective, this study focuses on the multimodal repertoire employed by the teacher’s use of gestures to stimulate students’ responses to the pedagogically designed high-order questions.
Afternoon Session (2-5)
3pm. Simon Harrison (Assistant Professor, Department of English, City University of Hong Kong)
Waving gestures ~~~ and our surfing them.
Whether referring to the ‘fifth wave’ of COVID-19, to lovers affectionately waving goodbye, or the physical properties of all atoms and molecules, waves are fundamental to our relating with each other and our world. Waves and water have also helped scholars to think through our worldly-bodily relating from diverse empirical and philosophical perspectives, as examples from philosophical biology, social anthropology, media theory, and education can show. Then there are surfer-scholars for whom waves offer not only stimulus for critical thought but also method and locus of study. My presentation explores some of this work and its resonance with different lines of gesture / gesture research.
4pm. Silva Ladewig (Post-Doc / Principal Investigator – DFG, Eigene Stelle – University of Göttingen)
The Slapping movement as an embodied practice of dislike. Inter-affectivity in interactions among children
This paper introduces the Slapping movement as an embodied practice of dislike or meta-commentary recurring in conflictive situations between German children aged four to six (Hotze 2019; Ladewig & Hotze 2021, in press). Children move this way primarily in stopping a co-participant’s action and protesting against the action to be stopped. In our data of seven hours of natural and everyday interactions among children between the age of four to six, we identified 20 cases of the Slapping movement which were embedded in conflictive situations or negotiations. All forms of the Slapping movement are linked to one another by a particular movement gestalt and by their communicative function.
However, the Slapping movements documented showed different manners of execution. Some forms appeared to be very expressive, others were more schematic. Inspired by a phenomenological approach to multimodal communication that sets affectivity center stage (Horst, et al. 2014; Müller & Kappelhoff, 2018; see also Fuchs 2017), our analysis reveals that the movement qualities show different degrees of communicative effort and affective intensity. Affective intensities are not considered as represented by single words or gestures, but they emerge during the interaction. They are discernable by the qualities of multimodal expressions such as intonation, tempo, or rate of turn takings in speech, and repetition, overlapping gesticulation of different speakers, speed, size and accentuation in gestures (Horst et al., 2014; Ladewig & Hotze 2021). Based on our analysis of the temporal unfolding of affectivity, we argue that the Slapping movements do not stand out but form an integrated whole with speech which is embedded in a flow of emerging inter-affective dynamics. What is more, the affective intensities unfolding in the situations analyzed also influence how the hands are moved. In more detail, we observed that the higher the affective intensities become the larger and more vigorous the Slapping movements are.
Fuchs, T. (2017). Intercorporeality and interaffectivity. In C. Meyer, J. Streeck, & S. Jordan (Eds.), Intercorporeality: Emerging socialities in interaction (pp. 194–209). Oxford: Oxford University Press
Horst, D., Boll, F., Schmitt, C., & Müller, C. (2014). Gestures as interactive expressive movement: Inter-affectivity in face-to-face communication. In A. Cienki, E. Fricke, S.H. Ladewig, D. McNeill, & J. Bressem (Eds.), Body – language – communication: An international handbook on multimodality in human interaction (Vol. 2, pp. 2112–2125). Berlin & Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.
Hotze, L. (2019). Multimodale Kommunikation in den Vorschuljahren – Zur Verschränkung von Sprache und Gestik in der kindlichen Entwicklung. (Dissertation thesis). Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt Oder.
Ladewig, S. H. & Hotze, L. (in press). From action to performative gesture. The Slapping movement used by children at the age of four to six. In: Semiotica.
Ladewig, S. H. & Hotze, L. (2021). The Slapping movement as an embodied practice of dislike: Inter-affectivity in interactions among children. In: Gesture 20:2, 285–312.
Müller, C. & Kappelhoff, H. (2018). Cinematic metaphor: experience – affectivity – temporality. Berlin & Boston: Walter de Gruyter.
5pm. Michael O’Connor* & Prof. Alan Cienki** (*Doctorate Student, Faculty of Humanities, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; **Professor of Language Use & Cognition and English Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Moving Bodies. Moving Landscapes.
Movement, in improvisational dance, is used in the present project to form dialogic relationships between several theoretical principles, and between dancers and the environment they dance in. In this context, lines become a tool to make sense and create meaning that is situated. Here we find a type of withness, a term from John Shotter, that describes a responsive way of moving in our environment and with other moving bodies, one which creates temporary forms of knowledge. Withness can be seen as having some overlap with terms like ‘participatory sense-making’ and ‘intra-action’, where what comes to matter is made with and through interactions of moving parts and bodies. The talk will introduce the idea of ‘Embodied Lines’ as a bridging concept, uniting theoretical notions from movement analysis and the cognitive sciences with artistic and dance practices.