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The Poetics of Argumentation: The Relevance of Conversational Repetition for Two Theories of Emergent Mathematical Reasoning

The BSRLMSpring Conference

This event took place on 9th March 2019 at 10:30am (10:30 GMT)
Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University, Walton Hall Campus, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

The BSRLMSpring Conference will be held on Saturday 9th March 9th at the Open University in Milton Keynes. We are delighted that Susan Staats of the University of Minnesota will be coming to the BSRLM Spring conference to deliver a lecture based on her paper:
‘The poetics of argumentation: the relevance of conversational repetition for two theories of emergent mathematical reasoning’, which appeared in Research in Mathematics Education Volume 19, Issue 3.

Susan comes from a background of both cultural anthropology and maths. Her interests include the  linguistics of collaborative problem solving and theoretically she uses an anthroplogical approach, the ethnography of speaking, to analyse mathematical dialogue.

The title and abstract for Susan’s talk at the conference will be

Two Claudes and a Clyde: Stories at the confluence of poetics and mathematics discourse

Speakers sometimes use the orderliness of rhetorical structure to express the orderliness that they sense in a mathematical task. Commonplace examples are poetic structures, linguistic resources in which speakers create a sense of discursive cohesion by repeating some of the grammatical structure and words of a previous comment. In this presentation, I provide an overview of work so far on poetic analysis of mathematics discourse. Speakers use poetic structures to accomplish a variety of mathematical needs, such as warranting assertions, generalizing, adjusting the form of variables, and transitioning from spoken to written forms of a variable. I share commentary on the surprising academic history that links mathematics and poetics with just a touch of scandal, and which points to a highly interdisciplinary future for this area of study.

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