Conceptualising Rapport symposium

Languages and Linguistics

17-20 July 2016

Building rapport between researcher and research subjects is incredibly important, but its relationship to language use is not well understood. This symposium brings together linguistic anthropologists from around the world to explore this issue during four days of intense discussions.


While there has been a steady stream of anthropologists working on the concept of rapport, recent ethnographies and textbooks continue to present an over-simplistic view of the relationship between language and rapport. Part of the issue seems to be lack of uptake of linguistic anthropological understandings of language and how it relates to the emergence of identity over time. Another part of the issue is that although linguistic anthropologists have long had the tools to investigate and conceptualise rapport and its inter-relationship with language, the conceptualisation of rapport remains within the domain of relationships between groups of informants rather than between these groups and the researcher.

This workshop aims to extend theoretical discussion about researcher-informant relationships by exploring how rapport, language and identity can be conceptualised as an emergent phenomenon. The papers discussed in this workshop will consider a number of dimensions of rapport, while also considering the relationship of these dimensions with the changing values of local languages in Indonesia, as well as how these dimensions relate to wider socio-economic conditions occurring at various scales. The outcome of these discussions will be an edited book that presents a systematic and collective treatment of these dimensions and their inter-relationships with language.



Confirmed presenters

  • Ben Arps (Leiden University, Leiden, South Holland, The Netherlands)
  • Deborah Cole (University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley, TX, USA)
  • Novi Djenar (University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia)
  • Aurora Donzelli (Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, USA)
  • Michael Ewing (University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia)
  • Zane Goebel (La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia)
  • Rafadi Hakim (University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA)
  • Adam Harr (St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, USA)
  • Joel Kuipers (Washington University, Washington, DC, USA)
  • Asrun Lio (Halu Oleo University, Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia)
  • Howard Manns (Monash University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia)
  • Izak Morin (La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia).
  • Mikihiro Moriyama (Nanzan University, Showa-Ku, Nagoya, Japan)
  • Lauren Zentz (Houston University, Houston, TX, USA)


The Learning Commons (TLC), Level 2, Room 213
La Trobe University, Melbourne Campus, Bundoora


17 - 20 July 2016

Contact details

Sally Bowman