Pre-Conference Workshops 2008

Workshop Registration and Locations

Registration for the workshops is now closed. Both workshops are held at the Leavey Program Room in The Leavey Center (new window) on campus. All workshop participants should check-in at the registration desk before going to the workshops. The registration desk on Thursday will be in the ICC building, on the 4th floor (next to the elevators) from 8:30 – 12:30. Participants can collect their conference materials at the registration desk.

Thursday, March 13th 
First-person Narratives in Classroom, Media and Interview Discourse:
Why are they powerful? And how can we analyze their power?

Stanton Wortham, University of Pennsylvania

First-person narratives have powerful implications for self-construction and for their capacity to represent and evoke emotional responses. This workshop explores one source of first-person narratives’ power: narrators double their roles because they become both characters in narrated events and actors in narrating events. An outcome of this duality – and another source of power – is that narrators often communicate about their dual roles in different realms simultaneously with audience members.

This workshop provides the following:

  • training in both conceptual and discourse analytic tools for exploring how first-person narratives communicate about (a) events that happened to the narrator, and (b) events that the narrator and audience members are enacting together through (or alongside) the storytelling
  • provision of concrete methodological guidelines for analyzing first-person narrative discourse
  • exploration of how relations across the narrated and narrating events enrich rhetorical and personal resources
  • develops an appreciation of narrators’ flexible deployment of resources to accomplish reference and action across interactional time
  • creates opportunities to use the discourse analytic tools provided, and follow the guidelines, on actual data from classroom, media and interview discourse.

Thursday, March 13th
Teaching Narrative: a Portable Pursuit
How and why do we engage students in the study of narrative?
Michael Bamberg, Clark University
Patricia O’Connor, Georgetown University
Deborah Tannen, Georgetown University

This will be an interactive workshop on the methods, goals, and theoretical underpinnings of teaching narrative in a variety of disciplines. The three coaches will describe ways that they have used the analysis of narrative in their classes; the motivation for these practices; some of the results they have experienced; and how their classes fit into the pedagogy of their respective disciplinary departments: Linguistics, English, and Psychology.

After introductory remarks from Deborah Tannen (Linguistics), Patricia O’Connor (English), and Michael Bamberg (Psychology) on their methods, participants will be invited to practice some of the investigation techniques by working in small groups to examine video materials in order to move from a broad analysis to more fine-grained approaches to nuances of narratives. Video material will assist us to recognize the importance of contexts and genres, features of involvement, issues of identity formation, etc., that are revealed in the narrative performances. We will consider how this can lead to further applications of the study of narrative.

Video materials include (10 minutes each):

  • On the Roof (O’Connor) — Videotape of Pat telling a “Most Amusing Moment” story of adolescence one summer when he and his male friends visit the home of some sisters whose parents are at work during the day.
  • Betty Tells Her Story (Bamberg) — A documentary by Liane Brendan (1972) in which Betty tells the same story twice of how she bought “the perfect dress.”