Book ReviewsVol. 18, No. 1 (2018)

Enabling Human Conduct: Studies of Talk-in-interaction in Honor of Emanuel A. Schegloff

Allie Hope King

Teachers College, Columbia University


This book presents a collection of academic papers in honor of Emanuel ‘Manny’ Schegloff, one of the three founders of the field of conversation analysis (CA). On one level, the curation of papers serves nicely to both embody and extend this esteemed scholar’s work by building on and debating the main tenets of his extensive research and contributions to relevant fields. On another level, the volume gives the reader a glimpse of Schegloff the man through an interview and personal anecdotes offered by some of the authors. The book is organized as follows: The first chapter relays some background on Schegloff and the field of CA, and previews the content; then, a two-part interview with Schegloff provides a firsthand account of his work endeavors, interests, and professional experience; next, a set of multilingual empirical studies examines concepts originating in Schegloff’s own research such as sequence-initiation, repair, person reference, practices found in telephone openings and closings, and embodied conduct; finally, two reflective papers by authors from surrounding disciplines assess Schegloff’s contributions to the understanding of human interaction, after which a response to one of the reflections by Schegloff himself gives the honoree the last word.