15 October 2017

Reflections and pictures from Multimodality Day

The third Multimodality Day, October 6th was a very good day. We had the privilege of having both Chuck and Candy Goodwin with us, and more than 70 people from countries across Europe attended; next year we will have to find a larger room!

We heard many very interesting presentations. For example: Finding the taste of whisky presented by Kristian Mortensen & Johannes Wagner, practices for video recordings by Mathias Broth, Nature tours by Pirkko Liisa Raudaskoski, Moving with horses: Haptic communication in animal-assisted psychotherapeutic interaction by Kimmo Svinhufvud and Chloé Mondémé.

There seemed to be a theme across many presentations focusing on touch, which most clearly was expressed in the presentations: Social touch and ‘carnal subjectivity’: Lamination of affection and control in embodied social interaction by Asta Cekaite; Touch during instructions in elderly care by Ann Katrine Marstrand and Jan Svennevig and Touching as part of interaction in an old people’s home by Kaarina Mononem.

This year, we also experimented with much shorter presentations. Although presenters had some trouble keeping it within the 7 minutes, the format seemed to work well, and we will probably be doing the same kind of short presentations next year. Rasmus Gahrn-Andersen did a presentation on Transcending the machine: Tacit multimodal negotiation of accountability in human-drone interaction, Tuire Oittinen on Closings in technology-mediated business meetings, Bo Christensen and Sille Abildgaard on Crossing the line: Personal space in collaborative design. Malene Kjær presented the talk: ‘No, you are doing it right.’ An investigation into how student nurses learn to use objects in a clinical health care setting. Maria Rydell on Constructing meaning and limits to negoti¬ation of meaning: Investigating embodied word searches in L2 speaking tests’. Ali Reza Majlesi and Ann-Charlotte Rohman-Roth on Embodied instruction in the management of a children’s choir, and Sarah Bro Trasmundi and Johanne S. Philipsen on Gestural meaning-making in psychotherapy: enacting non-local pat¬terns in local interaction.

Of course, we were all looking forward to the keynote from Chuck Goodwin. And Chuck did a keynote about the reasons for working with multimodality under the heading: Why Multimodality? Why Co-Operative Action? Showing examples from his work going all the way back to the paper "The Interactive Construction of a Sentence in Natural Conversation" (1979) and spanning the decades up to the recent work on co-operative action and the forthcoming book (https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/cooperative-action/409E1455713D43131F04C3F6B6815FF7). The impact of Chuck's work was not only evident in his own presentation, but throughout every presentation during the day. Not a single presentation was without a reference to one or more of Chuck's papers and descriptions of human action.

The whole idea of having a Multimodality Day with focus on all the different semiotic resources used by people in interaction was originally largely inspired by the work of Chuck. It was therefore a great honor to have Chuck among us in Copenhagen.

The 4th Multimodality Day will be October 5th, 2018. Keynote is Christian Heath. Call for abstracts will be out in December 2017.

"Chuck Goodwins keynote at Multimodality Day 2017"