Newcastle University Business School

Event Item

"Doing Being Dead": The professional discourse of mediums

Strategy, Organisations and Society & Professions, Work and Organisation seminar.

Date/Time: Wednesday 15 February 2017, 16:00-17:30

Venue: Room 2,14, Newcastle University Business School

Speaker: Professor Robin Wooffitt, University of York

In most contemporary mediumship, the authenticity of spirit contact is demonstrated verbally: what he medium says, and how it is said, is the primary basis on which respondents and audiences judge the authenticity of claims of spirit communication. The discourse of mediumship, in real life demonstrations with individual sitters and larger audiences, is therefore a key component of the institutional or professional identity of the medium. In this talk Professor Wooffitt will use conversation analysis to identify the ‘fingerprint’ of medium-sitter/audience interactions, and show how these recurrent discourse practices facilitate the key task of the medium: to establish the presence of sentient and recognisable spire identities. 

Biography: Robin Wooffitt is Professor of Sociology at the University of York. Robin has long standing interests in the way in which anomalous or exceptional experiences are mediated through language and social interaction. He is the Director of the Anomalous Experiences Research Unit, which specialises in social scientific analysis of the characteristics and contexts of experiences that suggest anomalous psychological processes and agencies, and exceptional states of consciousness. In his current research, he is examining the role of language in parapsychological experiments. He also has interests in the organisation of factual discourse, language and identity and the relationship between conversation analysis and discursive psychology. 


Research group: Strategy, Organisations and Society & Professions, Work and Organisation