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Centre for Human Interactivity

Past events and seminars


  • September 14-15 2016 - CHIAS IV - Social Agency and Interactivity
  • February 4-5 2016 - Orders of Language
  • September 17-18 2015 - CHIAS III - Interactivity, Cognition and the Embrained Body
  • March 19-20 2015 - CHIAS II - Simplexity: Implications for Language
  • September 26-27 2013 - CHIAS I - Values and Systems in Interactivity, Langauge and Cognition



  • September 22 2015 - The Distributed, Dialogical and Ecological Approach(es) to Human Interaction
  • September 25 2013 - Introductory Workshops
  • February 28 2013 - Usage-Based and Interactivity-Based Approaches to Second Language Development


Researcher visits and workshops

  • November 11 2016 Visit From Per Linell (University of Gothenburg) on: “Some Recent Trends in Dialogism”

  • October 27 2016 Visit From Kåre Poulsgaard (Oxford University) on: “Scripting Cultures: Models, Mathematics and Materials in Digital Architecture”

  • August 26 2016 Visit From Fred Cummins & Chloé Mondeme (SDU) on: “Giving voice in human eco-fields”

  • May 4 2016  Visit From Jaime F. Cárdenas-García  (Escuela Politécnica Nacional Quito, ECUADOR) on: “The Fundamental Problem of the Science of Information”

  • February 19 2015 Visit From Stephen Cowley (SDU) on: “The end of the humanities? Bringing Ubuntu to science”

  • May 26 2015 Visit From Richard Heersmink (Macquarie University) on: “Cognition and technology: Extended, transactive, or scaffolded?”

  • November 27 2014 Visit From Nigel Love (University of Cape Town) on: Langauge and Mind 2: "What can we know?"

  • November 27 2014 Visit From Saeed Karimi-Aghdam (University of Jyväskylä, Finland) on: “Time, Emergence, and Causality in L2 Development: A Dialectical-Relational Perspective”

  • August 25 2014 Visit From Mark H. Bickhard (Lehigh University, USA) on: “Interactivism, Enactivism and the Emergence of Sociality: Implications of a Process View”

  • February 26 2014 Visit From Tony Jefferson (York University) on: “Public order and the London riots: implications for policy and reseach”

  • November 2013 Visit From Nigel Love (University of Cape Town) on: Langauge and Mind 1: "What do we know?"

  • June 2013 Visit from Professor Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau (Kingston University, UK)
  • February 2013 Visit from Elena Clare Cuffari (the University of the Basque Country)
  •  February 2013 Seminar on Usage-Based and Interactivity-Based Approaches to Second Language Development 


19-21 June 2013

Visit from Professor Frédéric Vallée-Tourangeau (Kingston University, UK)

Fred Vallée-Tourangeau visited the CHI and gave a presentation of his work on Interactivity in Problem Solving Psychology. Fred is member of the board of ISSILC, and co-edits a recent volume from Springer Verlag: Cognition Beyond the Brain (2013) with Stephen J. Cowley.



February 2013

Visit from Elena Clare Cuffari (the University of the Basque Country)

Centre for Human Interactivity hosted a visiting scholar, Elena Clare Cuffari, from the University of the Basque Country. Elena collaborates with Thomas Wiben Jensen on a project on Interactivity and Metaphoricity. She gave a presentation: "The Sense of Sense-Making" on February 14, 2013 from 12-14pm in room O 77.


In this talk, I consider some difficulties that non-representational, coordinative approaches to languaging face when it comes to conceptualizing meaning. 
Languaging is understood as interactive sense-making activity according to paradigms such as enactive cognition (Maturana 1978; Stewart 2010; Bottineau 2010; Kravchenko 2004, 2006, 2007) and the distributed language movement (Cowley 2011; Steffensen 2012). How should we understand the sense that is made in sense-making? How can we understand this sense as sense – that is, as felt, and yet also as shared, as suggested by related work on intersubjectivity and interaction? 
Considering two foundational thinkers of ‘enactive’ approaches to language, Maurice Merleau-Ponty (2002, 1964) and Humberto Maturana (1978, 1995), I show that both rest on an associational approach to word meaning rooted in individual perceptual relation with the world. Actual interactive encounter in languaging, where my words are not (only) sense-data for you to cope with but interventions that matter to you directly, seems to have slipped out of reach. 
I then turn to more recent efforts at explaining sense-making in interaction: the enactive theory of social coordination known as participatory sense-making (De Jaegher and Di Paolo 2007) and work done under the rubric of distributed language/ecological/interactivity (namely Steffensen 2011, 2012). Both paradigms go beyond subjective association to include the dynamics of interaction itself. Yet this move leads to ambivalence regarding the role of experience, as participatory sense making points to a paradoxical struggle between competing autonomies, and the distributed approach attributes value-realization to systems rather than agents (Steffensen 2012, 528). 
As part of offering an alternative way of thinking the relation of languaging and experience, I suggest that both participatory sense making and the distributed language/interactivity approach aim at something the American pragmatist notion of transaction captures well (Mead 1925, 1934; Dewey and Bentley 1949/1991). These approaches share common ground as well as common problems and would benefit from affecting each other more directly as they develop.



28 February 2013

Usage-Based and Interactivity-Based Approaches to Second Language Development

A symposium organized by Second Language Research Center (SELC) and Centre for Human Interactivity (CHI)

The area of Second Language Development (SLD) – i.e. how children and adults learn, acquire, develop, and use foreign languages in different contexts and settings – has always been a site for intense theoretical discussion. On the one hand, the intricacies of SLD pose an exciting empirical challenge to both theoretical and applied linguistics. On the other societal changes such as globalisation and mass-migration have forced SLD practitioners to reconsider the theoretical underpinning of the discipline.

This symposium opens up inter-theoretical discussion between usage-based and interactivity-based approaches to SLD. Both emerging paradigms have achieved growing academic attention in recent years. While a usage-based approach, combining cognitive linguistics with studies of language usage, promotes an empirically-based view of second language learning as usage-driven and usage-formed, an interactivity-based approach combines ecological and dialogical methods with distributed and systemic approaches from cognitive science.

At the symposium, leading proponents of both approaches meet in an engaged, investigative discussion of similarities and differences. Focusing on second language development, they will discuss theoretical assumptions, methodological procedures, and practical implications of their views.


  • Teresa Cadierno, Søren W. Eskildsen and Johannes Wagner (SELC, SDU): Changing perspectives on L2 construction learning
  • Stephen Cowley and Sune Vork Steffensen (CHI, SDU): Between interactivity and the deep, dynamic sea: skills in second language development
  • Steven Thorne (Portland State University, USA): Mutable patterns and formulaicity as fractal cultural development: Dynamic and/or obedient?
  • Round table discussion moderated by Hannele Dufva (Jyväskylä University, Finland)

Last Updated 05.04.2018