INTPART Summer School 2017 in Johannesburg
Last week, the INTPART 2017 Linguistics Summer School was held at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.The topic for the course was "Multilingualism, multimodality and embodiment: Sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic perspectives."
The PhD candidates, who have both sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic backgrounds, presented their own research and worked together on various exercises. One aim for the course was for the students to get acquainted with tools for analyzing semiotic resources and the interplay of image and text, such as Critical Multimodal Analysis, as presented in Carmen Caldas-Coulthard's talk at the course (external link). These tools were then used to analyze how for instance gaze, props, camera angles, and settings are selected and used to encode ideology and power, in order to present a certain perspective or ideology, which may again lead to discrimination. One of the examples was how female criminals were sometimes portrayed as very different from men, in that they are represented as not only breaking laws but also social norms.
Another topic of the course was gestures, as presented in Ramona Kunene Nicolas' talk (external link). Language is embodied, and elements such as hand gestures, head gestures, and facial expressions are used to inform about our intentions, feelings, interests, and ideas during communication. This was also the topic of one of the other exercises, where the PhD candidates analyzed co-speech gestures.
MultiLing wishes to thank our hosts and fellow participants for a very inspiring week, and we look forward to our continuing collaborations through the INTPART project.