LINGUIST List 31.2852

Mon Sep 21 2020

Calls: Pragmatics/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 18-Sep-2020
From: Alain Bovet <>
Subject: Touching and being touched in the local organization of gestural trajectories in interaction
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Full Title: Touching and being touched in the local organization of gestural trajectories in interaction

Date: 27-Jun-2021 - 02-Jul-2021
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Contact Person: Alain Bovet
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Call Deadline: 25-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

Drawing on a number of recent studies on touch in interaction (Nishizaka, 2007, Goodwin, 2017, Routarinne, Tainio and Burdelski (eds) 2020, Cekaite and Mondada (eds) 2020; Edmonds and Greiffenhagen, 2020), this panel focuses on activities in which the co-participants produce gestural trajectories that involve touching (hapticity) and being touched (tactility). These contacts may constitute either the main involvement (Goffman, 1963), and, as such, be sustained for all or most of the activity, or be an optional or provisory involvement, occasioned by interactional contingencies. An example of the former is the practice of mundane massage, in which two co-participants have managed a spatial arrangement suitable for a massage through which a localized muscular tension is attenuated by repeatedly lifting and squeezing the muscles between fingers and thumb. An example of the latter is when dancers get in bodily contact with one another in the course of an improvised dance trajectory.

By focusing on such situations, we want to address what hapticity and tactility do to interactions, notably in terms of structuration and organization. How are these haptic and tactile moments anticipated, initiated, negotiated, interrupted, resumed, or closed? How are hapticity and tactility articulated to or co-elaborated by other communicative means such as talk or gaze? Is there a specificity of tactile and haptic engagements and how do co-participants accountably orient to it? Once the activity has begun, how do previous haptic and tactile trajectories (Sudnow, 2002) orient and organize a relevant field (Merleau-Ponty, 1945) that can both constrain and be enriched by subsequent moves, pressures, tapping, delineations, etc.?

We suggest apprehending hapticity and tactility through recordings of naturally occurring activities, to remain as sensitive as possible to what happens throughout and around haptic and tactile moments (see Greco et al., 2019).

Call for Papers:

Please submit your proposal directly on the main conference submission page ( by 25 October, 2020.

Page Updated: 21-Sep-2020