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Friday, May 24, 2013

Discourse 


I'm really enjoying the Fifth International Roundtable on Discourse Analysis with its focus on Digital Practices. Presenters have brought a wide variety of perspectives to a wide range of topics. There have been different takes on discourse itself and work that's focused on mobile technologies, machinima, MOOCs, Flickr, 'netspeak', virtual worlds, self-quantifiers and the comment genre - to mention just a few. Today is the final day and there's the unknown dimension of what themes will arise and what new questions will emerge. I always find that an interesting process. At the moment all that I've heard re-inforces the view that thinking about the online/offline binary is unhelpful. In some way's David Barton's notion of 'writing spaces' works a little better for me. The whole debate also confirms my belief that studying practices without a close look at people and things leaves out the complex and messy nature of the work that gets done. So materiality, embodiment and affect seem to me to be important emergent themes. But, as ever, what I think may well be modified by what others say; if it isn't, perhaps that's not discourse.

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