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This uniquely interdisciplinary collection of essays derives in part from a two-day international conference held at Heriot-Watt University in November 1999 and conceived as a critical forum for the discussion of the concept of interaction. The collection satisfies a continuing need for interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary research in the humanities and stems from an awareness of the growing currency of interactionist theories in several fields and the need to make a critical contribution to such theories and related concepts such as intersubjectivity and dialogism. Rather than advancing an apologetic view of interaction as something given, the contributors carefully consider and challenge commonly held epistemological and theoretical assumptions relating to the interaction concept. Interaction, if it is to be a meaningful concept, must be seen in terms of its modes (e.g. linguistic, media-based), units (language, logic, communication), objectives (understanding, consensus, stability) and fields of operation (face-to-face interaction, translation, social codification). This collection is intended to offer a provisional response to the question posed by one of its contributors, ‘What does it mean today that communication as the mechanism of social co-ordination has itself become complex?’. It means that erstwhile certainties of meaning transmission, stability, duality or dichotomy, identity and difference can be challenged and theoretically modelled in new contexts. Interdisciplinarity is one means by which to illuminate this complexity from several sides in the pursuit of theoretical blind spots in the field of critical communication studies. The book will be of particular interest to researchers and students in communication theory, linguistics, translation studies, logic, social psychology, discourse studies, European Studies, philosophy and semiotics.
In recent years there has been an increasing realization that language and literature are, so to speak, socioculturally consubstantial. Accordingly literary scholars and linguists now often define their interests in sociohistorical terms, and the 'lang.-lit.' divide is giving way to shared concerns which are interdisciplinary between the three poles: poetics, linguistics, society. To illustrate and consolidate this new interdisciplinarity, the editors of this volume have collected a number of articles specially written by an international team of scholars, including figures of the highest international distinction. Key interdisciplinary terms such as contextualization, addressivity, and convention are subjected to critical scrutiny and applied to particular texts. Some of the most widely canvassed theories of communication and literature, particularly Sperber and Wilson's relevance theory and Bakhtin's sociolinguistic poetics, are carefully assessed and extended to new areas. And there are contextualizing approaches to phenomena such as genre, historical genre modulation, irony, metaphor, Modernist impersonality, unreliable narration, informal style, and literary gossip.
The book's argument is carefully structured. An extensive introduction outlines the general background of ideas and the thirteen articles are grouped into four main sections, linked together by a clear line of questioning and discussion which is made explicit in sectional introductions.
The book is addressed to established scholars, postgraduate students, and advanced undergraduates who are interested in linguistics, literary theory, literary criticism, and sociocultural history and searching for ways of bringing these branches of learning into synergetic relation with each other.
Selected Papers from the Fifth International Bakhtin Conference University of Manchester, July 1991