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6icom – International Conference on Multimodality (London)

We’ve attended the 6icom multimodal conference here in London, hosted by the Institute of Education, and on Thursday we presented our work in progress. We talked about the role of body in communication and how the body positioning and orientation of a scrub nurse, in relation to the surgeon, might have an impact on the communication during operations. Sharon and I were very pleased that the audience appeared to be interested in our work (you can read the presentation abstract on the Presentations and Publications page). The conference on multimodality was interesting however conversation analysis was slightly underrepresented; it was great to have Professor Lorenza Mondada as one of the keynote speakers and she gave a great talk about interacting bodies, multimodality and conversation analysis. In particular, she addressed mutual co-ordination in social interaction and how participants orient to and accomplish sequential closings – such as through the manipulation of objects, or dropping their hands and walking away. She highlighted the issue of participant orientation to these actions and how parties can align or disalign themselves to what is being projected. So I’ll be on the lookout for these orientations in our teamwork data too! I was so pleased that Lorenza came to hear our talk, and I had a great conversation with her later on.

We are hoping to put our presentation up on the website in the near future. I’d like to thank Carey Jewitt, Gunther Kress, and Jeff Bezemer for hosting a great event.

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