Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cultural Scripts...

I presented a paper at a conference on Sunday ( a postgraduate conference).. But it was still relatively good fun and I was very pleased at the feedback , direct and indirect that has resulted in standing up and saying a few things about what I have been thinking about. It is interesting in someways that you can interact with a group of people everyday and yet never really talk about what you are really doing/feeling/thinking. So much interaction seems routinised- but i would never have really noticed this if I hadn't given that paper and had some people come and talk to me about how interesting it was and ask me questions and offer suggestions and realising that they are the same people working all around me all the time!

The woman chairing the session was a PhD student in History, she is an Aboriginal woman from near Bourke ( western NSW) and is ( I think) recording oral histories from some of the people on outstations in that region ( though she is living and working in Armidale now), anyway we spent all of lunch talking about our work and the difficulty of marrying academia and community responsibilities and, maybe more so for her but also for me, family obligations that develop within the community.
We got to talking because my paper titled 'Aspects of co-operative discourse in Ngukurr', had a few attempts at writing 'cultural scripts' which are influencing speech acts in natural conversational interaction ( that is to say, things that people might think that might influence how they might talk).... there are quite a few of these published for 'Anglo' i.e. whitefellas and Japanese people etc. anyway I wrote a script for 'humbug' or not really even humbug just people asking you for stuff all the time and this woman immediately understood what I was referring to and we spent a long time talking about it. Also other people in the department who weren't really sure what I was researching came and talked to me about stuff and pointed out some good things to read etc. it was very fruitful.. and I felt rewarded for all the anxiety that accompanies putting something out there that you really think ( especially in a formal conference setting). So I now recommend it to everyone who is thinking anything however unformed it maybe, good ideas really grow out of interaction and discussion with other people.


Blogger Wamut said...

go mami!

weya this peipa? yu gibit mi. ai garra ridim.

5:01 pm  
Anonymous bulanjdjan said...

Nice one Soph!

Have to agree - it can be such a relief to give a paper and realise that you've actually said something that others find meaningful. Would love to read your script for 'humbug', and your whole paper, if you're happy to disseminate.

Beware the post-presentation slump though!

9:56 am  
Blogger Catalin said...

I think you are going to love being part of grad seminars when you go to the US.

I would like to read your paper too. Are you ready to share it with us up here?

12:06 am  

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