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Keynote Speakers

Dr. François Cooren

Speech Topic:
Dialogue and Ventriloquism: Technologies, Agencies, and Ways of Relating

Dr. François Cooren is a professor in the Department of Communication at the Université de Montréal, Canada. He was the chair of this department from 2006 to 2015 and served as the President of the International Communication Association (ICA) from 2010 to 2011 (one-year term). He was also the editor-in-chief of the ICA journal, Communication Theory from 2005 to 2008. Since 2012, he has been the President of International Association for Dialogue Analysis (IADA). He was named an ICA Fellow in 2013 and an NCA Distinguished Scholar of NCA (National Communication Association) in 2017. He is one of the key representatives of the world-renown School of Montreal in organizational communication, a research movement that explores the constitutive properties of communication. His works include Organizational Discourse: Communication and Constitution (Cambridge: Polity, 2017), Language and communication at work: Discourse, narrativity and organizing (eds. with E. Vaara, A. Langley, H. Tsoukas, Oxford University Press, 2014), Organization and Organizing: Materiality, Agency, and Discourse (ed. with D. Robichaud, New York Routledge 2013), (Re)presentations and Dialogue (ed. with A. Létourneau, Amsterdam /Philadelphia John Benjamins 2012), as well as The Organizing Property of Communication (Amsterdam/Philadeplhia: John Benjamins). In his groundbreaking work, Action and agency in dialogue: Passion, incarnation, and ventriloquism (2010), Cooren proposes his theory of ventriloquism to study how interactions function. According to this approach, human beings should not be considered the only ones doing things with words. Other beings (texts, technologies, ideologies, facts, emotions, etc.) indeed participate in our conversations because we make them say things or because they make us say things, creating effects of authority and power. François Cooren has been investigating the mechanism of these ventriloquial effects in various social settings: organizations, tribunals, therapeutic sessions, board meetings, chats, etc.


Dr. Edda Weigand

Speech Topic:
Competence-in-Performance: Basic Issues for Learning Machines

Dr. Edda Weigand is Professor Emerita of Linguistics at the Institute of General Linguistics of the University of Münster, Germany. She is Honorary President and Founding Vice-President of the International Association for Dialogue Analysis and has been elected Assistant Secretary-General in the UNESCO FILLM Committee in 2017. She writes and edits many articles and books on dialogue theory, pragmatics, speech act theory, lexical semantics, rhetoric, culture and other topics, with a strong voice that language is first and foremost human activities, with purposes, functions, and wills to embedded in specific situations to render them meaningful, rather than simply sentence exchanges and usages. This dialogic turn after the shift to pragmatic paradigm is best explained in her 2009 (Amsterdam/Philadeplhia: John Benjamins) book, Language and Dialogue: From Rules to Principles of Probability, in which Weigand proposes a holistic way of understanding human communicative competence which is generative, rather than reductive, from an open system made out of chaos and orders in daily interactions with different systems. From this dialogic vein, she proposes her question to the normative AI studies and urges an interdisciplinary approach to bridge between AI studies and linguistics. Her most recent book is Dialogue: The mixed game (Amsterdam/Philadeplhia: John Benjamins 2010). She is chief-editor of the journal Language and Dialogue (Benjamins) and chief-editor of the series Dialogue Studies (Benjamins).


Dr. K.K. Luke

Speech Topic:
Competence-in-Performance: Basic Issues for Learning Machines

Dr. K.K. Luke is Associate Dean of School of Humanities, and of College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is also the director of Center for Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) of the same university. He is the co-editor of book series Studies of Chinese Language and Discourse (Benjamin) and editor of the Journal Chinese Language and Discourse. Dr. Luke’s researches focus on the interface between language structure and language function, from which his studies on neuro-cognitive processing of syntax and semantics in Chinese and English bilinguals has gained international recognition. Dr. Luke has been able to embed conversational interactions within histories and structures of different languages (mainly, Chinese, Cantonese, and English) and therefore expanding his scope of linguistic studies from identity construction to cognitive neuroscience, where he finds meaning systems are often created from interactions and the materiality of different languages. Dr. Luke’s recent works include Storytelling in Multiple Contexts (2016, in Chinese Language and Discourse), and Telephone Calls: Unity and diversity in conversational structure across languages and structures, (ed. with P. Theodossia-Soula, Amsterdam/Philadeplhia: John Benjamins 2002).