reassertion: dialogue not discourse

Amherst, MA

Re-reading this entry, “no mother tongue” (inspired by yesterday’s thrilling conversation with Rhona and Katya, grin) what re-jumps out at me, post-fieldwork, is “how language makes human interrelations visible.
Yes. That is what my dissertation will strive to show. From the basis of choices that Members of the European Parliament make to use or … Read more...

Once and Future Missions


Forty years ago, my dad embarrassed me by stopping on a winding highway in the Colorado Rockies and waving down other drivers asking if they wanted to watch the moon launch. I was six years old. We were on the annual summer camping trip. Dad had had the foresight to load up our black-and-white portable tv with a powercord … Read more...

Y2K was the warm-up


Yep, I’m one of those.

“The future enters into us, in order to prepare itself in us, long before it happens.”
~ Ranier Maria Rilke

It occurs to me, now, that the significance of Y2K wasn’t that so many of us were wrong, but that so many of us learned about emergency preparedness and crisis management. I, for instance, … Read more...

a new attitude?


The first question directed to last night’s speaker at Frank’s International Soiree had to do with survival, the second with definition. Suddenly we were immersed in the midst of a dialogic surge with all the characteristics of the storming stage in group development. I immediately began to wonder if we could turn this to a sustained dialogue? Or would … Read more...

Yes, but can you interpret?

Conference: Aptitude for Interpreting

Imagine my surprise upon entering the lobby at Lessius University and witnessing a conversation in American Sign Language! My brain has been so otherwise-occupied that it never once crossed my mind that

    a) anyone other than European spoken language trainers/researchers would attend or that

    b) I might actually know people!

It was absolutely delightful to …

What meanings are we making?

two talks at Heriot Watt
by Stephanie Jo Kent

In addition to the transmission of information, the larger and deepest purpose of simultaneous interpretation is to generate and maintain common culture among people from different cultures.

As hoped, the opportunity to present on my dissertation fieldwork in-progress forced my brain to synthesize the trends and patterns that I have … Read more...

An Outsider in the Maelstrom

European Parliament
drafted 10 February 2009

Dutch has two words for foreigner. It seems that one is a generic label (buitenlander or “alien”) and the other (vreemdelingen) emphasizes – just slightly? – the strangeness of someone from another land. If I ever develop a respectable degree of fluency, I will begin to listen for the usage … Read more...

everything as prologue

We lingered as long as we possibly could at the last day’s luncheon after sharing brief updates on research projects concerning European Union institutions. Not only did we have the desire “to stick with the event” (de pluckers belaven, if I got the Dutch right) but also with each other. I keep hoping that mingling will enable the … Read more...

Dynamics of dialogue & discourse

Riding the train to attend a workshop on uses and abuses of language in asylum and migration hearings, I read a sequence of scholarly articles critiquing my main research methodology: critical discourse analysis. The dynamics of dialogue among this select group of experts communicating with each other in view of a wider audience was mirrored, in some respects, by the … Read more...

expressing the inexpressible

Trevize is grumpy as hell that he’s chosen Gaia – a superorganism – instead of either the technologically-superior First Foundation or the “mentalic” (psychosocial scientifically advanced) Second Foundation as the future of humankind.

The moment of coincidence took my breath away. I opened Isaac Asimov’s fifth book in The Foundation Series, thinking I would start to read it for a … Read more...