going to Bogota for DUO III

Yep, it’s official.
I will co-present with two colleagues at Dialogue Under Occupation III in March.

Dialogue about Occupation:
an ideological analysis of DUO III discourse

In this presentation, we argue that the “discourse of resolution” offered by such a politically-charged conference as DUO should be conceived of as more than just the transmission of information from speakers to audiences. Indeed, as we turn our gaze inwards, we seek to analyze last year’s DUO II conference as not just an incredibly valuable “brainstorming session,” but also as a salient venue for the creation and management (through language use) of a structured, meaningful cultural and political world. To that end, we undertake a discourse analysis of a wealth of fascinating conversations emanating from DUO II, which we categorize as follows: 1) conference metadiscourse (i.e., talk about the language used in various DUO materials, released before, during, and after the conference), 2) purpose-related discourse (i.e., talk about the nature and feasibility of DUO’s goals), and 3) interpersonal discourse (i.e., communication between DUO II’s participants that continues to shape a highly heterogeneous “community”).

Speakers at previous DUO conferences have recognized that language is the premier system for expressing meaning in all human communities. This presentation takes that assertion one step further in arguing that language is also the premier locus of meaning-making. As such, “conferencing” is as much about the creation and management of “culture,” as it is about the transmission of concrete information. The conference-related communication, as well as the texts produced by the presenters themselves, are all instrumental to the acknowledgment, critique, and ideological prioritizing of personal and community-wide values, beliefs, norms, assumptions, and expectations. Believing with James Carey that “our attempts to construct, maintain, repair, and transform reality are publicly observable activities which occur in historical time,” we perform a qualitative discourse analysis of DUO II-related literature to assess the manner in which individuals associated with the conference make use (directly or indirectly) of this cultural function of communication. Finally, we suggest ways in which both past and present participants could take advantage of alternative models of communication.

Blogposts from DUO II at Al Quds University, East Jerusalem, West Bank, Palestine (November 2007)

Blogposts from DUO I at Northeastern Chicago University, Illinois, U.S. (November 2006)

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