ForumVol. 18, No. 1 (2018)

Narrating the Visual: Accounting for and Projecting Actions in Webinar Q&As

Di Yu1,

Nadja Tadic1

1 Teachers College, Columbia University

Abstract

Visual conduct, including the use of gaze to attend to bodily-visual cues and other semiotic resources in interaction, has long been a topic of interest in ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EMCA). Past EMCA work has examined visual conduct in face-to-face interaction, shedding light on the use of gaze to secure recipiency, facilitate smooth turn-taking, and create and sustain the local interactional ecology (Goodwin, 2000; Nishizaka, 2000). In technology-mediated interaction, however, participants’ lack of access to each other’s visual conduct can create fractured ecologies and hinder communication (Heath & Luff, 1993; Luff, Heath, Kuzuoka, Hindmarsh, Yamazaki, & Oyama, 2003). In this paper, we explore how participants’ asymmetrical visual access shapes one form of technology-mediated interaction: webinar talk. In particular, we examine how webinar moderators use what is visible on their computer screens to manage question-and-answer components during webinar events.