Alena L. Vasilyeva, Minsk State Linguistic University, Belarus

  • What one piece of writing was most inspirational to you as an LSI researcher?

It’s quite a challenge to single out only one inspirational piece of writing out of many outstanding ones. At different moments of my career as an LSI researcher, the ideas of Bakhtin, Sacks, Goffman, Jacobs and Jackson, just to name a few scholars, contributed to my intellectual growth and shaped the directions of my research. That’s why I decided to revisit my past and to remember the beginnings. I have a background in linguistics, so my journey into the world of LSI started with pragmatics and work of philosophers of language. Especially I was intrigued by the work of Grice (1975), one of the foundations of pragmatics. His theory of a cooperative principle and maxims of discourse made me interested in how people use language and motivated me to pursue my studies in the field of communication.

  • What question you are currently trying to explore? How?

My general research interests are argumentation, deliberation, conflict management, social identity, and the coordination of actions in personal and public contexts. My most recent work, that is, my dissertation, explored how deliberative activity is constructed within ongoing social conflict. The study examined mediator actions for keeping the disputants on task – that is, on negotiating plans about caring for their children. This focus enabled an empirical investigation of three interrelated theoretical interests: (1) how an institutionally preferred form of interactivity is constructed in the ongoing course of interaction, (2) the role of the mediator as an ostensible designer of communication activity, and (3) the relationship between interaction and reasoning. Currently, I continue this line of research by exploring the construction of disagreement space and disagreement management in multiparty deliberation.