This book explores how academics at conferences co-construct their own
and each other’s professional identities. It is based on the detailed sequential
analysis of audio recordings of conference discussions in the field of the
humanities, the working languages being French and English.
The analyses show that the delegates who actively participate in these
interactions, whether as presenters, chairpersons or as members of the
audience, carry out a considerable amount of identity work, attributing self
and other to various categories of professional identity. The discussion
participants co-construct themselves and each other discursively as
academics, professionals, experts, junior or senior members of the scientific
community; they also orient to this identity work as an important task to be
achieved at conferences.
This study provides detailed insights into the fine-grained mechanics of
spoken academic discourse. From the perspective of applied research it
serves the double purpose of raising experienced researchers’ awareness of
their own routines and introducing novices to the discourse practices of