ICA 2020 Highlights: LSI

This weekend I was able to virtually attend the International Communication Association’s 2020 conference. I also presented two papers for the LSI division, which I will share more about in my next post. For now I want to cover some highlights from other presentations I watched.

ICA logo courtesy of icahdq.org

ICA has over 30 divisions that represent different sub-areas of communication research. I primarily follow these three: Organizational Communication, Language and Social Interaction (what is this? – read my post here), and Intercultural Communication. For the sake of space, in this post I am just going to cover four of my favorite presentations from the LSI division.

Mapping the National Web: Frames and Traces of Diasporic Mobilization in OnlineSpaces by Olga Boichak and Priya Kumar

  • Purpose: maps the spatial and linguistic boundaries of the Ukrainian-Canadian web sphere.
  • Data: came from online groups of Ukrainian people living in Canada, including over 5,000 hyperlinks shared on group pages.
  • Takeaways: Transglocalization varies in each community based on geographies, type of content and language. Language is often a boundary marker within diasporic groups.

“We Don’t Say That Word Out Loud”: Testing the Boundaries of ‘Difficult Data’ in Discourse-Centered Pedagogy by Michaela R. Winchatz, Leah Sprain, Saila Poutiainen, and Evelyn Ho

  • Purpose: How should difficult data (controversial topics, language, or potentially sensitive material) be handled in classrooms?
  • Data: Teaching surveys, class discussions, and fieldnotes of “difficult” topics covered in undergraduate communication classes.
  • Takeaways: Meta-talk (talk about talk) can be both a solution and a problem to difficult conversations. “The Pedagogy of Discomfort” (Boler, 1999; Zembylas, 2015) and “Brave Spaces” (Arao & Clemens, 2013) are both potential solutions to make discomfort valuable if it is managed well.

Decolonizing Critical Discourse Studies by Olga Baysha

  • Purpose: Critical discourse analysts often claim to be promoting “democratization”, without considering the Western meanings of democracy and their potential colonial roots.
  • Data: analyzed the Joint Declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit from 2013, which is credited with marking the start of Ukraine’s Maidan revolution and subsequent neoliberalization.
  • Takeaways: We must assess how our critiques are based on a colonial worldview in order to stop perpetuating neocolonial injustice.

The Spectrum of ‘Ghosting’ and the Sequential Organization of Post-Match Tinder Chat Conversations by Christian Licoppe

  • Purpose: Looking at discourse in tinder chat conversations to better understand the sequencing of talk.
  • Data: 40 Tinder users in France; interviews, screen shots, and chat archives
  • Takeaways: Participants create patterns of interaction to warrant responses and try to structure the conversation moving forward. However, “Tinder conversations appear haunted from the inside by the possibility of their own dissolution.” (What a quote right?!)

I hope this gives you a sense of how broad LSI research can be and some of the fascinating topics being studied in current research. Want to know more about any of these presentations? Let me know in the comments!

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