Through Narrative Theory, the book offers an engaging panorama of the construction of specialised discourses and practices within academia and diverse professional communities. Its chapters investigate genres from various fields, such as aircraft accident reports, clinical cases and other scientific observations, academic conferences, academic blogs, climate-change reports, university decision-making in public meetings, patients’ oral and written accounts of illness, corporate annual reports, journalistic obituaries, university websites, narratives of facts in legal cases, narrative processes in arbitration hearings, briefs, and witness examination accounts. In addition to exploring narration in this wide range of contexts, the volume uses narrative as a powerful tool to gain a methodological insight into professional and academic accounts, and thus it contributes to research into theoretical issues. Under the lens of Narratology, Discourse and Genre Analysis, fresh research windows are opened on the study of academic and professional interactions.
ANNA MAURANEN “But then when I started to think…”: Narrative Elements in Conference Presentations - 45
ANNA MAURANEN “But then when I started to think…”: Narrative Elements in Conference Presentations With all the communicative resources of the digital world available to us, academics go to conferences more than ever. We travel huge dis- tances to present our recent and ongoing research to our colleagues, to hear about their work, and to socialize with them. Somewhere along the line come publications of those same results, and although it is publications that make our careers, we are still keen to present at con- ferences, some of which are considered such major events that they have substantial rejection rates of presentation proposals. Yet conference presentations are not a popular research topic. Fields that otherwise specialize in academic discourses, such as Eng- lish for Academic Purposes, do not seem to pay much attention to them at all. I quickly checked the two leading international journals in the field, ESPJ and JEAP for their 2010 and 2011 volumes, and nei- ther had a single paper on conference presentations. In 2009, one pa- per in ESPJ delved into conference discussion sections (Wulff et al. 2009). Some earlier research exists on conference presentations, al- though not much; papers such as Dubois (1980, 1987), Luukka (1992), Rowley-Jolivet (2002a) and Rowley-Jolivet / Carter-Thomas (2005) remain sporadic expressions of interest. Swales (1990) dis- cusses conference papers briefly under ‘other research genres’, em- phasizing their status as a preparatory stage for the research article. A landmark volume in conference language research is the collection edited some ten...
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