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When a conversation is not really a conversation

15 March 2008

Old telephone

The humble telephone will be the topic of a public lecture by a world renowned expert on the study of humans through their use of language.

Noted linguistic anthropologist Professor Richard Bauman from Indiana University will be the guest speaker on Thursday 20 March 2008 at the Annual Cardiff Lecture in Language and Society. It has been organised by the Cardiff School of English, Communication, and Philosophy’s Cardiff Centre for Language and Communication Research.

Part of the University’s 125th anniversary celebrations, Professor Bauman will examine three humorous sketches originally distributed on early commercial, phonographic recordings, uncovering how much is made of some people's inability to deal with the 'new' communication technology - the telephone.

Using illuminating sources, one involving an Irish protagonist, another a Jewish immigrant and another a rural New Englander, Bauman will demonstrate how comments about different ways of communication (or assumed inability to communicate) is associated with a particular type of speaker, often underprivileged, marginalised and silenced.

The free public lecture will be held in Room 2.01 in the Humanities Building. For more information contact or telephone 02920 874 243