Ethnography of Comm conference 2012

The “Ethnography of Communication: Ways Forward” conference was held June 10-14, 2012, at Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska. Dr. Jay Leighter was the conference organizer, together with Dr. Donal Carbaugh; the National Communication Association sponsored the event as one of its summer conferences (along with funding from several parts of Creighton University).

I presented a paper co-authored with Dr. Patricia Lambert, of the Institut Français de l’Éducation in Lyon, entitled “A Prophet Abroad? The Impact of Hymes’ Notion of Communicative Competence in France and French-speaking Switzerland.” In addition, I was invited to participate in two roundtable discussions, one on “Ethnography of Communication Theory and Methodology: Taking Stock and Ways Forward” and the other “Ways Forward: Institutes, Centers, and Affiliations.” In the latter, I was invited to present a description of this Center, which resulted in many new “likes” to the Center’s facebook page.

Many of those participating in the conference are included in the following photo (though certainly several critical people are missing, including Dr. Gerry Philipsen and Dr. Donal Carbaugh).

One of the pleasures of the conference for me was the presence of so many of those involved in the NCA Summer Conference on Intercultural Dialogue, held in Istanbul in 2009, which led to the creation of this Center. This included several from the organizing committee (Drs. Tamar Katriel, Donal Carbaugh, Kristine Fitch Muñoz, and Saskia Witteborn), one of the guest speakers (Lisa Rudnick) and several of the participants (Drs. Todd Sandel, Chuck Braithwaite, Evelyn Ho, Eric Morgan, and Tabitha Hart). Another was catching up with Dr. Susan Poulsen, who organized “Ways of Speaking, Ways of Knowing: Ethnography of Communication” in Portland in 1992, the predecessor conference to this one in terms of topic. Other joys of the week included having time to connect with people I had not seen in a long time, previously only had met through correspondence, or students of my colleagues who I did not know at all.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Ethnog of Comm conference

Ethnography of Communication: The Ways Forward June 10-14, 2012 Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska Proposal Deadline: December 17, 2011 Conference Organizers: Dr. Donal Carbaugh, University of Massachusetts and Dr. Jay Leighter, Creighton University

The summer of 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of Dell Hymes’ 1962 landmark publication of The Ethnography of Speaking, and the 25th anniversary of Gerry Philipsen’s 1987 influential theoretical work, The Prospect for Cultural Communication. These milestones in the Ethnography of Communication (EC) come at a time when EC scholarship is developing intensively as it is being applied to practical concerns and social problems worldwide.

The Ethnography of Communication: The Ways Forward is a conference designed to bring together scholars in the EC tradition, broadly conceived. The conference takes as its impetus the celebration of several simultaneous milestones in the field of EC but aims to bring EC scholars from around the world together for the purpose of charting ways forward in research, teaching and practice.

Scores of Ph.D.s in communication have contributed EC scholarship and leadership to several areas in the field including but not limited to Environmental Communication, Ethnography, Intergroup Communication, International and Intercultural Communication, Language and Social Interaction, Performance Studies, Religious Communication, and Rhetoric and Public Address. The past several years have seen advances in theoretical and applied work in several settings. In addition, EC scholarship has had a foundational influence in the creation of two international research centers: The University of Washington Center for Local Strategies Research (UWCLSR) and the Center for Sustainable Social Change (CSSC, UMass Amherst). This conference provides an opportunity for intellectual discussion and discovery among beginning and established scholars within this broad tradition. EC scholars are spread worldwide and this event presents a unique forum for bringing them together to discuss theory, methodology and practice in a concentrated way.

We are now taking proposals for papers, panels, and roundtable discussions.
Proposals are due Dec. 17, 2011. Please submit your conference proposals to Jay Leighter.

Conference sponsorship includes: Department of Communication Studies, Creighton University and Office of Multicultural Affairs, Creighton University. Partial funding for doctoral student attendees is currently being sought and hopefully anticipated. Inquiries about doctoral student funding should be directed to Jay Leighter.

Patricia O. Covarrubias

Patricia CovarrubiasPatricia O. Covarrubias (Ph.D. University of Washington, 1999) is Associate Professor and Director of the M.A. Program in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  My previous careers include work as a broadcast journalist for KCRA-TV (NBC affiliate in Sacramento, California) and owner of OCELOTL, a consulting company providing presentation skills to US and Japanese business persons.

My academic research focuses on understanding and describing how local cultures influence people’s ways of communicating and vice versa, and on describing how culturally-grounded communicative practices reflect and create a unique life for groups of people.  Ultimately, I am interested in the influence of culture and cultural diversity in the activities and events of everyday life across a variety of contexts.   My research goals include contributing to the ethnography of communication and to language and social interaction approaches.  Further, my aim is to contribute to cultural and intercultural communication, metaphors as communication, cultural/intercultural communication in health contexts, and the much understudied communicative aspect of communicative silence.  In whatever context, my professional passions and research impetus are driven by my personal ideals for achieving social inclusivity and justice, improving institutional (and other) contexts, more peaceful living, richer multicultural experience, and greater benefits from our human socio-cultural distinctiveness.

In the area of communicative silence I am interested in exploring silences as “generative” rather than “consumptive” enactments.  For example, I have studied silence as a generative means for perpetuating, particularizing, and/or protecting culture.  To this research I would like to add uses of silence to enact social resistance for purposes of emancipation.  Also, I am interested in studying the kinds of social worlds people create when competing culturally situated silences collide.  For example, using American Indian examples, I have taken a critical look at silence enactments that reveal what I call “discriminatory silence” within the context of the college classroom.  In future work, I hope to explore the silencing of women who practice orthodox religions, particularly to not exclusively, in college contexts.  The study of communicative silence is a much under-studied aspect in the field of communication, among other academic fields, and my goal is to contribute to centralizing its importance in studies about human communication.

My past research includes ethnographic investigation of the ways of speaking of native Mexican construction workers and the ways they use pronominal address to create interpersonal webs that in turn enabled them to achieve workplace cooperation.  This work was the focus of my doctoral dissertation, which subsequently was published as a book under the title, Culture, Communication, and Cooperation: Interpersonal Relations and Pronominal Address in a Mexican Organization.

In 2014-2015 I was one of nine professors selected for the first ever Teaching Fellows program at UNM. As part of my commitment to this program I am studying some unexplored reasons why so many Latino students drop out of college at undergraduate and graduate levels. Using double bind theory I am looking at potentially contradictory messages about college within Latino families. This project also involves designing creative writing assignments to help students manage their double bind realities and persist in accomplishing their goals of graduating from college.

Another current research project involves problematizing the concepts of respect and respeto (respect in Spanish) as they are understood in the applied context of immigration discourses. This study argues that respect and respeto are not necessarily equivalent and, thus, serve as loci for sociocultural misunderstandings and alienation. Because my research commitments embrace continuing work with Mexican/Hispanic/Latina(o)/Chicana(o) ways of communicating, potential new directions consist of inquiry into the emotional impact of undocumented immigration on behalf of Mexican women.  This project would help address the complicated impact of a contemporary social problem that affects the health, health care, and clinical practices enacted in New Mexican communities.

Publications & Other Productivity
Book

Covarrubias, P. (2002 Culture, communication, and cooperation: Interpersonal relations and pronominal address in a Mexican organization, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Boulder, CO. (Soft cover edition 2005)

Articles
Covarrubias, P., & Windchief, S. (2009) Silences in Stewardship: Some American Indian College Students Examples.  The Howard Journal of Communications, 20, 4, 1-20.

Covarrubias, P. (2008). Masked Silence Sequences: Hearing Discrimination in the College Classroom. Communication, Culture & Critique, 1, 3, 227-252.

Covarrubias, P. (2007). (Un)biased in Western theory: Generative silence in American Indian communication. Communication Monographs, 74, 2, 265-271.

Philipsen, G., Aoki, E., Castor, T., Coutu, L., Covarrubias, P., Jabs, L., Kane, M., & Winchatz, M. (1997). Reading Ella Cara Deloria’s Waterlily for cultured speech. Iowa Journal of Communication, 29, 31-49. (order of authorship beyond Philipsen was selected at random)

Chapters in edited volumes:
Covarrubias Baillet, P.O. (2009). The Ethnography of Communication. In Littlejohn, S. and K. Foss (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Communication Theory (pp. 355-360). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Covarrubias Baillet, P.O. (2009). Speech Codes Theory. In Littlejohn, S. and K. Foss (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Communication Theory (pp. 918-924). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Covarrubias, P. (2005). Homemade talk: Language, identity, and other Mexican legacies for a son’s intercultural competence. In Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz (Ed.), From generation to generation: Maintaining cultural identity over time (pp. 29-47). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.

Philipsen, G., Coutu, L. M., & Covarrubias, P. (2005). Speech Codes Theory: Revision, Restatement, and Response to Criticisms. In William Gudykunst (Ed.), Theorizing about communication and culture. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. (order of authorship beyond Philipsen was selected at random)

Covarrubias, P. (2000). Of endearment and other terms of address: A Mexican perspective. In M. W. Lustig and J. Koester (Eds.), AmongUS:  Essays on identity, belonging, and intercultural competence.  New York: Longman.

Other
Covarrubias, P. (January 2006). The findings from my invited research presentation, “Defining success: Overhauling our assumptions,” were included in the published conference proceedings, Redefining Student Success: The Challenges and Implications of Extending Access, published by The College Board.

Covarrubias, P., & Turner, M. (Spring 2006). Cultural Codes in Communication, a video production. This video produced on DVD, conceived by Patricia Covarrubias and produced by UNM undergraduate student Mike Turner, served as promotional and teaching tool at a communication codes conference at the University of Washington in May 2006.

Todd L. Sandel

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Todd Sandel is Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Macau. He was formerly based at the Department of Communication at the University of Oklahoma. From 2007-2008 he was a Fulbright Scholar and Senior Researcher, affiliated with National Chiao-Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan and studied “Transnational Families” in Taiwan. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Language and Social Interaction Division of the National Communication Association, and Secretary of the LSI Division of ICA. From 2006-2007 he was the President of the Association for Chinese Communication Studies. He also was the recipient of a two-year research grant from the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, from 2002-2004, and studied Mother Tongue Preservation and Language Ideologies in Taiwan and the U.S. From 1991-1996 he was a faculty member of the English Department of Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan. Finally, since 2009 he has taught a four-week summer class for the University of Oklahoma on Intercultural and Chinese Communication on the campus of Yunnan University, Kunming, China.

His research interests include intercultural communication, family communication, language perceptions and ideologies, identity formation, and the ethnography of communication. Most of his research has been conducted in rural areas of Taiwan and aims to understand how cultural values and practices are communicated cross generationally in a changing environment. His most recent work, supported by a Fulbright grant, looks at how marriages involving Taiwanese male spouses and Southeast Asian or mainland Chinese female spouses are constituted and maintained. He also works with graduate students who look at intercultural issues and challenges across a range of contexts, such as Muslims in Europe, Hispanics in the U.S., Japanese international students in the U.S., Lebanese Americans, Chinese students, and Indonesian young people.

His work has been published in a number of scholarly journals, including the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Language in Society, Research on Language and Social Interaction, Narrative Inquiry, Ethos, Parenting, Journal of Family Communication, Journal of Contemporary China, Social Development, and Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. His most recent project is work on a book in progress that will show how transnational or cross border families are one of the unintended outcomes of globalization and demonstrate the intersection of traditional cultural practices and novel personal agency using the tools of globalism.

NOTE:
One of the goals of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue is to help researchers connect with one another across international boundaries. This is one of a series of posts describing a particular researcher, focusing on research interests. Click on the Category term “Researcher profile” (bottom left of any page on the site) to view all profiles posted to the site. If you are a Communication researcher and would like to be profiled on the site, send information to intercult.dialogue@gmail.com

Saskia Witteborn

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Saskia Witteborn (PhD, University of Washington, 2005) is Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Chinese University of Hong Kong where she also directs the M.A. program in Global Communication. She is Associate Editor of the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, past Chair of the Communication as Social Construction Division at NCA, and Research Associate of the University of Washington Center for Local Strategies Research (in affiliation with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament and Peace in Geneva).

Her research focuses on communicative practice and migration and how migrants create, adapt to, and enact ways of communicating and grouping in new sociocultural and political contexts (face-to-face and mediated). Moreover, her research explores how communication practices are constitutive of and constituted by transnational political, economic, and cultural processes and strategic interests. Saskia works mostly from an ethnographic and language and social interaction perspective and tries to understand how transnational migrants themselves perceive and create their sociopolitical and cultural realities. She has published on collective identity enactment by people with a migration background from Arab countries in the U.S., on social spaces, communication, and forced migration in Europe, on political advocacy by migrants from China in the U.S. and Germany as well as on Global Citizenship and Intercultural Dialogue in such journals as the Journal of Communication, Research on Language and Social Interaction, the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, and Language and Intercultural Communication. A chapter on political advocacy and gender is published in Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures (Ed., R. Hegde, NYU Press) and a chapter on forced migrants and new media practices is forthcoming in the Handbook of Global Media Research (Ed., I. Volkmer, Routledge).

Go to her website for further information and contact details.

NOTE:
One of the goals of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue is to help researchers connect with one another across international boundaries. This is one of a series of posts describing a particular researcher, focusing on research interests. Click on the Category term “Researcher profile” (bottom left of any page on the site) to view all profiles posted to the site. If you are a Communication researcher and would like to be profiled on the site, send information to intercult.dialogue@gmail.com