Past ICDC conferences

The Institute of Culture, Discourse and Communication hosts conferences of international interest from time to time to promote the exchange of philosophies in an academic environment.

Hosting conferences provides an ideal opportunity to bring together academics and students from various institutions to share their ideas and research findings.

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The Institute (formerly the Centre for Communication Research) held its first conference in 2003. It was hosted in conjunction with the School of Communication Studies and was titled "Between Empires: Communication, Globalisation and Identity".

The conference attracted a large number of both New Zealand and international delegates including plenary speakers from the America, Scotland and Singapore.

12th Language and Society Conference 2010

22-23 November 2010

The biannual Language and Society Conference was hosted by ICDC on behalf of the Linguistic Society of New Zealand in November 2010.

Abstracts were invited for presentations in all areas of sociolinguistics, and from any region or language of the world. There were 54 presentations and participants were welcomed from a wide range of countries including South Africa, Philippines, Hong Kong, USA, Saudi Arabia, Australia and New Zealand.

As opening keynote speaker, Dr Felicity Cox, Macquarie University, NSW presented "Australian Voices". Dr Cox is regarded as one of the leading experts in the analysis of the Australian English accent. Her work on variation and change provides insights into phonetic aspects of Australian English and the nature of linguistic evolution.

The closing keynote speaker Professor Janet Holmes presented "Social identity construction in New Zealand workplaces". Professor Janet Holmes holds a personal Chair in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington. She teaches sociolinguistics courses, specialising in language in the workplace, New Zealand English, and language and gender issues. She is Director of the Wellington Language in the Workplace project and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Our thanks go to the Faculty of Applied Humanities and the School of Languages, AUT University.Back to top

2nd New Zealand Discourse Conference: Tilts and Shifts — Applying a Discourse Analysis Lens

18-20 November 2009

Building on the success of the inaugural New Zealand Discourse Conference in December 2007, ICDC hosted the second New Zealand Discourse Conference from 18-20 November 2009.

The event was held in the conference centre at AUT University and attracted delegates from around New Zealand and from Europe, America and the Asia-Pacific region.

The conference, entitled "Tilts and Shifts - Applying a Discourse Lens, focused on a discourse analysis approach to understanding the social world".

Using the metaphor of a photographic lens, discourse analysis can be seen as a way to gain new perspectives on the social world and generate new insights into influences and changes in a range of social phenomena. Through an examination of talk, text and associated social practices, issues of identity, agency, structure, representation, power and practice can be addressed.

Great national and international interest in the conference was evident with nearly 120 abstracts received in response to the call for papers.

Authors were invited to use discourse analysis to address theoretical, methodological or empirical research issues in a variety of themes including:

  • leadership
  • organisational discourse
  • new media
  • environmental discourse
  • gender
  • genre and the media
  • Others such as aging and the elderly, policy, migrants, medical practices, health, education, NZ culture, identity...

As a result, 54 presenters from countries ranging from Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland, to Iran, South Africa and New Zealand were selected for the programme.

The three keynote speakers at NZDC were:

  • Professor Rick Iedema, (Centre for Health Communication, University of Technology Sydney) who presented via a video on "Discourse activism? Redesigning and co-producing meanings and feelings"
  • Professor Cynthia Hardy (International Centre for Research on Organisational Discourse, Strategy and Change, University of Melbourne) whose presentation focused on "A discursive perspective on field-configuring events: The case of the Stockholm Convention"
  • Professor David Grant (Professor of Organisational Studies, University of Sydney). His presentation had an organisational focus and was entitled "A discourse-based understanding of organisational change".

Workshops provided an opportunity for a more comprehensive understanding of discourse theory and methods and were conducted by Professor David Grant, Professor Cynthia Hardy, Associate Professor Sigrid Norris (AUT University) and Dr. Meredith Marra (Victoria University).

Our thanks go to Aqua Plus and the ASB for their contributions.Back to top

New Zealand Discourse Conference: The Challenge of Discourse Analysis

6-8 December 2007

New Zealand's first Discourse conference, organised by the Institute of Culture Discourse and Communication, was held from 6-8 December, 2007. The conference featured 50 presenters from the USA, Canada, Finland, UK, Sweden, Iran, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand (AUT University, The University of Auckland, Waikato University, and Victoria University of Wellington).

Professor Rob Allen opened the 3-day conference, which included three plenary sessions. Associate-Professor Alison Lee (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia) discussed 'The Desire for Discourse Analysis,' contending that the rush to method risks pre-empting necessary prior consideration, not only of discourse analysis and of its promise, but also of assumptions being made by the researcher about the nature of the enquiry itself.

Professor Allan Bell (Director, ICDC) spoke on "Interpreting Babel: What Discourse Analysis can learn from Hermeneutics".

Professor Bell asked: "How can we be sure for ourselves, and demonstrate to others, that our interpretation of texts is the most fitting, the most warrantable reading, and not just one that serves our preconceived view of the world?"

This line of inquiry draws on the work of philosopher Paul Ricoeur, who developed a hermeneutics that deals explicitly with questions of the relationship of close textual analysis to wider textual interpretation.

Professor Margaret Wetherell (Director ESRC Identities Programme, Social Sciences, Open University, UK) presented the third plenary: 'Between Foucault and Garfinkel: The Case for an Unseemly Discursive Psychology.' Her talk focused on various 'discourse wars' about the most appropriate modes of doing discourse analysis.

The conference also featured three workshops. "How to decide" was led by Associate-Professor Alison Lee, who followed up the ideas in her keynote address on "limits" and discussed how researchers make decisions about what kind of analytic framework to adopt and why.

Professor Margaret Wetherell focused on the analytic concepts of "Subject Positions, Interpretative Repertoires and Ideological Dilemmas".

Her workshop included an evaluation of the usefulness of these concepts, problems in application, the kinds of research questions they are best fitted to and how they compared with other concepts participants might work with and prefer.

Finally, Associate-Professor Sigrid Norris (Associate Head of the School of Communication Studies, AUT University) gave participants an opportunity to work with video data and transcripts to gain some insight into the workings of multimodal analysis, with Multimodal Interaction Analysis: What can we learn about personal identity construction?'

NZDC would like to thank Social Policy Evaluation and Research (SPEaR) for their financial support.

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The Media Worlds of Children

17 November 2004

This seminar enabled those with an interest in researching children's media culture, as well as those producing well-researched and creative children's media, to gather and share ideas.

It was well timed because it coincided with TVNZ's recent announcement of substantial funding for children's television, TVNZ's recently appointed Children's Programming Commissioner was able to speak at the event and it took place a day before the NZ Film and TV Industry conference in Auckland.

More than 60 people gathered to hear presentations on recent research, and plans for new children's television programming at TVNZ and Maori Television.

After introductions from Allan Bell (AUT) and Suzy Cato (Suzy's World and You and Me) there were a range of presentations, including:

  • Geoff Lealand described research approaches which seek insights into children's media use, using drawings and children's talk
  • Katalin Lustyik provided an overview of the globalizing tendencies of Nickelodeon
  • Gareth Schott (Screen and Media Studies, University of Waikato) made a strong plea for incorporating digital games in all discussions about children's media
  • Ruth Zanker reflected on the difficulties and possibilities of producing local children's media, in a global environment
  • There were short presentations from other researchers, such as Brian Finch (School of Education, Massey University)
  • Di Schnauer (Corporate Marketing Manager, TVNZ) described new educational initiatives being explored by TVNZ
  • Newly-appointed TVNZ Children's Programming Commissioner Annie Murray talked of her plans
  • Nicole Hoey (Cinco Cine Films) and Matai Smith (host of Pukana) described the special joys of making television for Maori children
  • Tawini Rangihau set out the plans of the Maori Television Service to provide for their youngest viewers.

ICDC Postdoctoral Fellow Katalin Lustyik organised the seminar along with Geoff Lealand (Screen and Media Studies, University of Waikato) and Ruth Zanker (New Zealand Broadcasting School, CPIT).Back to top

Between Empires: Communication, Globalisation and Identity

13-15 February 2003

The historical and cultural situation of New Zealand provides a microcosm through which to explore the new geometry of power and domination.

New Zealand, initially was bound culturally by to the British Empire, sought to be part of the decentred system of global rule that has been identified as the new form of empire.

As a pan-Pacific centre, structurally permeated by the free play of the global market, New Zealand is also deeply implicated in the politics of place and community as symbolised by its founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi.

Yet today as the once compact reassurances of mono-culturalism face the challenge of hitherto submerged ethnicities for recognition, the issues of nationhood and identity have become a major theme in the media and, relatedly, the sphere of popular culture and public debate.

The confrontation of the global and the local within the bounds of a small geopolitical space provides an opportunity to explore the fate of the Other under the multicultural logics of Empire.

Plenary speakers at this conference included:

  • Sean Cubitt ( University of Waikato ) Globalisation: universal commodity or digital democracy?
  • Chua Siew Keng (Nanyang Technological University) Asian Media Studies: Audiences and Cultural Politics
  • Michael Peters ( University of Glasgow ) Rethinking identity and Citizenship in the Context of Globalisation
  • Janet Wasko ( University of Oregon ) Disney and the World.

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