Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Talk: "Why are they so weird? Schmoozing and Miscommunication across Cultures"

Thu, February 20, 2020 | Benedict Hall (BEN) 2.104

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This talk, by Dr. Diana Boxer, University of Florida, is based on how interaction across linguistic and cultural boundaries can lead to vast misperceptions and miscommunication. It derives from Boxer's 2011 book, The Lost Art of the Good Schmooze: Building Rapport and Defusing Conflict in Everyday and Public Talk

Boxer begins with how the concept of schmoozing has been derogated in translation from Yiddish to current English usage, losing its original meaning of simply passing the time chatting. Now it typically means "networking" or "sucking up." Knowing the norms of a different community is at the heart of success in schmoozing, leading to possible friendships and, for language learners, increased opportunities for practicing oral communication. The presentation disambiguates interlanguage pragmatics from cross-cultural pragmatics, which is increasingly common but fraught with potential misunderstandings in a globalized and transnational world.

Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dale Koike.

Sponsored by the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese, COERLL, French and Italian, and MALS.

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712