Bringing into Being: Multimodality and cognition in interaction CFP

We are pleased to announce a Specialized Seminar scheduled to take place on Monday June 25th 2018 at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, hosted by the School of English. The theme of the seminar is "Bringing into Being: Multimodality and cognition in interaction". A pre-seminar workshop in gesture studies and multimodal analysis will be offered on Sunday June 24th.

Plenary speakers:

  • Prof. Cornelia Müller, Chair for Language Use and Multimodal Communication, Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Associate Prof. Thomas Wiben Jensen, Centre for Human Interactivity, Department of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark

Bringing into Being

What role do multimodal resources – head and hand gestures, facial expressions, eye-gaze patterns and posture shifts – play in the gradual processes of linguistic expression and discourse that characterise our everyday interactions? Which cognitive processes are activated or enabled during such interactive episodes, and how do these processes help people collaborate to achieve communicative and interpersonal goals in social and professional communication? The theme "Bringing into being" provides the opportunity to address this encounter between multimodality and cognition in interaction. This specialized seminar will therefore be a forum for sharing analyses, discussing findings, and building theories relevant to several fields, including but not limited to gesture studies, multimodal interaction, face-to-face spoken/signed discourse, cognitive linguistics and cognitive science.

Call for papers

We invite contributions from researchers working within any theoretical or methodological perspective that attends to the mutlimodal, interactive or conceptual processes involved in language use and embodied interaction. Twenty-minute oral presentations that report original research related to the theme of the seminar may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cognitive approaches to language and gesture
  • Multimodal approaches to grammar
  • Gesture and conceptualisation
  • Metaphor/metaphoricity in interaction
  • Thinking for speaking/gesturing/interacting
  • Multimodality in pragmatics and discourse
  • Experimental studies of gesture and cognition
  • Types, forms and functions of gestures/interactive configurations
  • Gesture/sign language interface

It is hoped that an array of perspectives and contexts can be addressed, such as with data from:

  • Social and workplace settings
  • Contexts of first and second language acquisition
  • Cross-cultural and intercultural perspectives
  • Situated activity and multiactivity settings
  • Multimodal corpora of various sizes and scales
  • Perspectives from cognitive-neuroscience

Submission of Abstracts

Please prepare your abstracts following these guidelines:

  • 300 words maximum
  • At the bottom of the abstract, please include four to six keywords and a list of the references cited in the abstract (keywords and references are not included in the word count; references in APA format).
  • Names and affiliations of the author should not appear in the abstract, but should be clearly indicated in the accompanying email.
  • For formatting, please use Times New Roman 12 point, single space, and save in .doc.
  • Submit abstracts by the deadline by email to
  • Include 'abstract submission' in the subject of the email

Deadline for abstract submission: February 28 2018

Notification sent to applicants: March 2018

Registration for seminar opens: April 2018

If you are outside of China and plan to submit an abstract and/or attend the seminar, please use the above email address to express your interest as soon as possible to the organisers, who will brief you on the necessary VISA application process.

Pre-seminar workshop

A pre-seminar workshop on Gesture Studies and Multimodal Analysis, run by the local organizing committee, is scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday 24th June. Topics to be addressed include recurrency in language and gesture; multimodal aspects of grammar; form, organization and function of gesture in (embodied) interaction; gesture and cognition; methodological issues and tools in gesture studies/multimodal analysis; building multimodal corpora.

Conference Venue

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) was the first Sino-foreign university. It is located in Ningbo, one of China's major ports and economic centers in Zhejiang province. Ningbo is a rapidly growing city, ranked in the top ten of cities for business in China by Forbes, it is a thriving blend of enterprise, culture, education, tradition and entertainment. It is well connected for national and international travel, for example, with Shanghai, Hangzhou and Hong Kong all less than three hours away (by train/plane).

Scientific Committee

  • Dominique Boutet (Université de Rouen-Normandie, Laboratory Dylis)
  • Alan Cienki (Vrije Universiteit Amstedam & Moscow State Linguistic University)
  • Vito Evola (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
  • Jeannette Littlemore (University of Birmingham)
  • Renia Lopez (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
  • Leland McCleary (Universidade de São Paulo)
  • Lorenza Mondada (Univeristy of Basel)
  • Aug Nishizaka (Chiba University)
  • Magdalena Rybarczyk (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
  • Jürgen Streeck (The University of Texas at Austin)
  • Steven Schoonjans (KU Leuven and Universität Innsbruck)
  • Hannah Svensson (Univeristy of Basel)
  • Dawei Wei (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
  • Jordan Zlatev (Lund University)

Local Organising Committee

  • Chair: Simon Harrison
  • Co-chair: Yu-Hua Chen
  • Margaret Gillon Dowens
  • Dan Shi
  • Michael Paul Stevens
  • Candace Veecock
  • Stephanie Zhao

For all enquiries, please email

Event website:

Funding and partners

This knowledge exchange activity is organized in connection with the Corpus of Chinese Academic Written and Spoken English (CAWSE) ( A Conference Hosting Support Scheme grant was awarded by the Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee (University of Nottingham Ningbo China). Our other partners include:

Comment on this blogpost

Great news! thank you
content-manager - 2018-07-10 13:48:13

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