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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Fall 2004

ANT 393 • Microethnographic Talk/Tech/Interaction

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
28640 T
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
CMA A3.128

Course Description

In recent years we have witnessed the emergence of a new, interdisciplinary view of human communication and cognition as social practices that are mediated by historically evolved symbol-systems, tools, and technologies. Characteristic of the new paradigm is the dismantling of old dualisms and dichotomies, e.g. between body and mind, person and environment, competence and performance, and the appearance of holistic concepts such as “embodied mind”, “mediated action”, “distributed cognition”, and “community of practice”. The new paradigm, which also constitutes a new model of communicative competence, is in part driven by the evolution of new communicative and cognitive technologies. Motivated by such a practice-based view of human copmmunication, this class provides an intensive, “hands-on” laboratory for naturalistic research on human interaction and serves as a core methodology course for students interested in the study of language, culture, and embodied action. We study how people orchestrate speech, body motion, practical action, and uses of technology, and what resources they use to make sense together from moment to moment. Participants will learn the practicalities of producing audiovisual data and a methodology for analyzing them. The focus of the class in on situations in which people not only talk, but also conduct practical, collaborative activites, and where the material world and technologies becomes engaged in the exchange.


A. Duranti, Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997; reading packet


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