Visual and Multimodal Research Forum – 1st Dec

The Visual and Multimodal Research Forum is a student run platform for academic discussion on multimodality and open to all postgraduate research students and other researchers at UCL Institute of Education and elsewhere. Participation is free. Please contact Sophia Diamantopoulou, Forum Coordinator, at for any queries.

Date: Monday 1st of December, 5:00-6:30 pm

Venue: London Knowledge Lab, 23-29 Emerald Street, WC1N 3QS

Multimodal approach to interaction analysis: Examples from the operating theatre

Terhi Korkiakangas, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, UCL Institute of Education

 In this talk, I will offer an analytical framework for the study of social interactions from video-recorded data. I draw on multimodal body of work within Conversation Analysis (CA) that seeks to extend the consideration of gaze, gesture, movement and the like as part of interactions (e.g., Mondada, 2008; Sidnell and Stivers, 2005) – moving beyond speech. This multimodal approach provides us with a framework for conducting interaction analysis when practical action, rather than talk, is at the forefront of social interactions. The operating theatre is a specific work environment in which the activities (e.g., surgical work, teamwork) require mostly bodily actions, rather than speech: for example, visual attention to a laparoscopic screen during “keyhole” surgery, passing of surgical instruments from a nurse to a surgeon, retrieving supplies from a storeroom, operating and fixing surgical equipment. In this talk, I will explore such examples from the operating theatre and consider how clinicians organise their work sometimes by speaking, sometimes without speech. I will examine gaze, movement and gesture in the realms of interaction and technology and ask how these are organised: Can body movements be “about” something else than the apparent movement itself? When is talk needed in the operating theatre? What are the conditions for silent and seamless collaboration during surgical operations? The data are drawn from a large corpus of video recorded surgical operations in a London teaching hospital between 2012-2013.