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University of Iowa News Release

Release: April 18, 2003

UI Visitor To Speak On Racism In Speech April 22

Gerry Philipsen, a professor of speech communication at the University of Washington, will address, "Speaking the Discourse of Difference: Four Cases," on Tuesday, April 22 at 4 p.m. in Room 101, Becker Communication Studies Building at the University of Iowa.

The lecture will address the conflicts that arise when one person charges that another person's speech act or way of speaking is racist, Philipsen said. "When that happens there ensues an agonizing series of charges, defenses, countercharges, and expressions of consternation, through which nothing seems to get settled, but bad feelings are created. These are situations of deep consternation between and among people, and I try to show how a fair-minded person might listen to such talk so as to judge it intelligently," he said.

Philipsen's research interests are the ethnography of communication (descriptive, comparative study of culturally distinctive ways of speaking), small group discussion and decision making, and orality. He is best known for bringing a cultural approach to social interaction to the field of communication studies. His ethnographic studies in Teamsterville, a working class neighborhood in Chicago, are considered a seminal move in the discipline toward naturalistic studies of class and gender as those are constructed and negotiated in everyday talk.

This lecture is sponsored by the communication studies department in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, Program: Kristine Fitch, communication studies, 319-353-2264