Lecture hall BIO, Forumhuset
Click on the speaker name to view and read the abstract
Tamara Rakić: Say it with an Accent – The Role of Language and Accents in Social Perception
Weds 13 Nov 11.15 - 12.00
Say it with an Accent: The Role of Language and Accents in Social PerceptionKeynote Speaker: Tamara Rackic, Lancaster University, UK
Tamara Rakić is a Lecturer in Social Psychology at Lancaster University, UK (since 2013). She studied psychology at the University of Padova, Italy, and did her doctorate at the International Graduate College at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany (2009). Between 2009-2013 she was a Research Associate at the Person Perception Research Unit at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. In 2011/12 she was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. Her research interests include the influence of accents on person perception, categorization, and accommodation; and different language and cross-cultural aspects of social psychology.
Language and language varieties are present in our everyday interactions. We use it to communicate different things but, beyond the mere content of the message through our language, we communicate much more. In this talk I will mostly concentrate on the effect accents (i.e., manner of pronouncing words) have on our perception of others. Firstly, I will show how accents are used to categorize others based on their ethnicity even when the visual information is not consistent with an accent. Secondly, I will present some evidence of the consequences for a (mis)match between appearance and accent when it comes to evaluating others; additionally, I will present findings showing the fine-tuned influence of accents on the evaluation of speakers (e.g., in a job interview context). Finally, I will show how accents can be used to get some sense of how we perceive intersectionality of categories and how it interacts with other pieces of information such as labels and gender. Taken together, these findings show that accents are very subtle and yet extremely powerful social cues.
Cheryl Glenn: The Language of Feminism, Anchored in Hope
Weds 13 Nov 13.15 - 14.oo
The Language of Feminism, Anchored in HopeKeynote Speaker: Cheryl Glenn, Pennsylvania State University, USA
Cheryl Glenn is Distinguished Professor of English and Women's Studies, Director of the Program in Wriing and Rhetoric, and co-founder of Penn State's Center for Democratic Deliberation. She has earned numerous research, scholarship, teaching, and mentoring awards and has delivered lectures and workshops across North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. In 2015, she received an honorary doctorate from Orebro University in Sweden for her rhetorical scholarship and influence. In 2019, she received the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Exemplar Award.
“The Language of Feminism, Anchored in Hope” honors contemporary expansions of rhetoric in terms of theory, practitioners, and practices. I’ve forged a new pathway that begins at the nexus of rhetoric, feminism, and hope, a juncture where the rhetorical practices and power of so-called Others have remained mostly disregarded—perhaps because they purposefully resist traditional rhetorical practices and displays. Nonetheless, many of these Others are formidable rhetors whose feminist praxes are admirably potent. In my presentation, I codify these resistant practices as constituent features of a theory I call “rhetorical feminism.” My hope is that the best parts of these rhetorical feminist praxes will meld with the best parts of rhetoric writ large.
Jane Sunderland: Language, Gender and Prejudice
Thurs 14 Nov . 09.30 - 10.15
Jane Sunderland was the Director of Studies of the PhD in Applied Linguistics by Thesis and Coursework programme 2000-2012. Her main research interest is discourse, language and gender. From 1988 until 1991 Jane was a tutor in the Institute for English Language Education, Lancaster University.
Prejudice, opinion not based on reason, may be cognitive or attitudinal, conscious or unconscious, but it is also frequently articulated in spoken (and written) language. Whereas ‘Language, gender and prejudice’ may suggest that the way women speak (for example, their accent) is subject to greater prejudice than that of men, in this talk I am looking at prejudice in what is said (and written) about women and girls (and men and boys).
A speaker may claim, and even believe, that what they say is not prejudiced, but a hearer may experience their words as such, and be offended or hurt. Women and girls experience all sorts of prejudice – for example that they are unsuited to certain professions or sports. And whereas men do too – for example that they are less suited to certain domestic, familial or even professional roles than are women – they are, I contend, less likely to be subject to prejudice on the grounds of appearance (e.g. to a woman: ‘You don’t look like a scientist’).
Gender prejudice may be evidenced in use of particular, reiterated linguistic items: consider the ‘markedness’ of male nurse, female engineer. But it is also evidenced more broadly in the articulation of particular discourses, of which such linguistic items may be a part, as ‘traces’ of those discourses. Such discourses include socially familiar ways of seeing – and talking about - women, for example ‘women as naturally caring’, a discourse which may go against women when applying for a job outside the caring professions.
It is, however, a mistake to assume that people simply ‘are’ or ‘are not’ prejudiced. As a speaker, someone can construct themself (perform) being one or the other – depending on context, their goal in that context, and who the interlocutors are. As an example, I look at the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent and much-commented-on use in Parliament of the phrase big girl’s blouse, to refer derogatorily to Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Opposition, and how this phrase suggests prejudice towards women.