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10:00-11:00 Session 10: Roundtable III: Narrative Comprehension & Emotions in Television Serial Fiction

Serialized TV is a popular form of contemporary fiction, conveying continuing and complex plots that unfold episode by episode. These narrative forms have been of interest to the field of cognitive narratology with researchers identifying critical components of serializedplot. However, relatively little work specifically in discourse psychology has examined the effects of this fictional form on cognitive and affective processes. This roundtable discussion, which includes researchers in cognitive narratology and discourse psychology, will highlight interesting aspects of serialized TV worthy of interdisciplinary study. The goal is to build a foundation for productive research collaborations that enhance theoretical accounts of experiences with serialized narratives.

11:15-12:15 Session 11: Enhanced Session IV: Exploring Identity & Culture through Discourse
Reading Minds, Reading Stories: Social-Cognitive Abilities are Related to Linguistic Processing of Narrative Viewpoint

ABSTRACT. Despite evidence that story reading engages social-cognitive abilities, it is unclear exactly which aspects of narratives are responsible for this. Using eye tracking, we investigated how the linguistic processing of lexical markers of perceptual, cognitive, and emotional viewpoint in narratives is related to readers’ social-cognitive abilities. We found that, compared to non-viewpointed words, cognitive and emotional viewpoint markers were processed relatively slow, and perceptual viewpoint markers relatively fast. More importantly, visual perspective-taking abilities and trait empathy were found to facilitate viewpoint processing, suggesting that the linguistic expression of viewpoint plays an important role in engaging social-cognitive abilities during story reading.

What Can Automated Analysis of Large-Scale Textual Data Teach Us about the Cultural Resources that Students Bring to Learning?

ABSTRACT. In this paper, we explore what the application of data science techniques to student-produced texts will reveal about the cultural resources that historically-othered learners bring to formal learning environments. We analyze 17,936 essays written by high school students in Brazil, present preliminary findings, and consider the ways this type of analysis might support teachers’ design work in ways that are sensitive to variation in students’ experiences.

Small Stories and the Narrative Construction of a Student’s Identities of Contention

ABSTRACT. This study focuses on small stories (Georgakopolou, 2006) to analyze how Kara, a black high school student constructed identities of contention through her small stories. Small stories are under-represented tellings such as sharing of ongoing events, future events, as well as deferrals of tellings. Small stories are indicative of fleeting moments that provide insight into students’ orientation to the world and to their selves-in the-making. Small stories were analyzed using critical discourse analysis (CDA). The three small stories analysed provided glimpses of Kara as someone who confronts her daily realities and defies mega-narratives that work against who she is.

Does Writing in Gender-Fair Language Increase Cognitive Load?

ABSTRACT. Gender-fair language makes women and other genders more visible. Yet, it is commonly argued that it breaks with previous habits and would be too difficult for the intended goal. The present study tested the assumption that writing in gender-fair language increases cognitive load. In an experiment with N = 104 students, participants read a text and summarized it. Half of the participants were additionally instructed to write in gender-fair language. Subsequently, cognitive load during writing was assessed. Results showed no differences between the groups regarding cognitive load during writing (d = 0.06). The common claim is therefore not supported.

The Reading Gap in College: Proficiency, inferencing, and self-identified race

ABSTRACT. Educators have long been interested in understanding and closing the “reading gap” that exists between White and marginalized students. This study explored whether differences in inference processes existed at the college level and the extent to which various factors ameliorated this difference. Three hundred college participants who self-identified as White, Black, and Hispanic completed a think-aloud task along with measures of reading motivation, proficiency, and comprehension. Results from hierarchical regression models indicated that group differences in bridging and reading comprehension disappeared once reading proficiency was accounted for. Differences in elaborative inferences, however, did not. Results and implications are discussed.

12:30-13:45 Session 12: ST&D 2021 Keynote Address
Please Join Me/Us/Them on My/Our/Their Journey to Justice in STEM

ABSTRACT. Despite decades of effort to ‘broaden participation’ in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), many fields remain frustratingly demographically skewed. Marginalized and minoritized people and communities are still ‘underrepresented’ in and ‘underserved’ by the sciences. Recent events, however, have inspired an expanded interest in these problems along with new and renewed commitments to change. This momentum needs to be nurtured, sustained, and held accountable.

In this talk, Dr. Roscoe will discuss his personal journey, and will celebrate the work of diverse scholars, to reflect on the overarching question: ‘How do we improve representation in STEM?’ These reflections will touch upon threats such as imposter syndrome, the myth of meritocracy, and student debt, along with inclusive themes of decentering, political clarity, systems mapping, mentorship, and coalitions. Importantly, ‘underrepresentation’ is not a mysterious happenstance but rather a predictable outcome of systemic inequity and systematic exclusion. By attending to the mechanisms of oppression, we can enact changes and interventions that address root causes instead of symptoms. Systemic problems require systemic solutions.

Scholar-activists have an important role to play in these endeavors—there are multiple ways that our research, teaching, and practice can change ‘the system.’ First, people can make inclusion and equity the focus of their work, such as conducting research that specifically studies inequities or tests interventions. Second, people can embrace inclusion and equity principles as a lens for deepening research questions, (re)interpreting findings, and conceptualizing impact. Finally, everyone can and should adopt methodologies (e.g., sampling and analysis) and practices (e.g., collaboration, reviewing, hiring, and conferences) that are inclusive and equitable.

This talk will be introduced by Joseph P. Magliano.

14:00-15:00 Session 13: ST&D 2021 Special Topics Discussion: Equity & Representation in the Society

Discussion Moderators

  • Akua Nkansah-Amankra (they/them)
  • Aireale Rodgers (she/her)
  • Josh Schuschke (he/him)



There will be three concurrent breakout rooms in Zoom, one for each moderator. Zoom breakout sessions will not be recorded, but a notetaker in each session will take general notes on the discussion and record points made. Discussion contributions of participants will remain anonymous.


Reflection Questions for Discussion

  • What did you learn from last year’s discussion?
  • What is the value of increasing compositional diversity in our field and in our Society? 
  • What are the ways that the Society's current practices shape (e.g., hinder or facilitate) the level of compositional diversity (e.g.,aka hinder or facilitate)? How can we change them?
  • What are the ways that the Society can increase its compositional diversity?


Important Considerations

During this discussion session, it will be important to recognize the following aspects:

  • The moderators will be assisting in moving the conversation forward - they will not be there to provide judgment or validation.
  • Members should trust the moderators to lead the conversation in ways that ensure that people are comfortable sharing their thoughts, but there will also be space allowed for other members to have reactions.
  • These discussions can be uncomfortable/emotional to work through, and that is a normal part of this process.
  • All members will have different experiences, understanding, and actions as part of this process.
  • Using “I” statements will be an important and helpful behavior for the discussions. 


Important Definitions

Racism is defined as a system of dominance, power and privilege based on racial group designations: rooted in the historical oppression of a group defined or perceived by dominant-group members as inferior, deviant, or undesirable; and occurring in circumstances where dominant group members create or accept societal privilege by maintaining structures, ideologies, values, and behavior that have the intent or effect of leaving nondominant group members relatively excluded from power, esteem, status, and/or equal access to societal resources (p.43).

Harrell, S. P. (2000). A multidimensional conceptualization of racism‐related stress: Implications for the well‐being of people of color. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 70(1), 42-57.


Research demonstrates that there is neither a singular way to define nor operationalize a commitment to diversity. While we recognize that there are multiple dimensions of people’s social identities that can confer privilege or marginalization (e.g., sexual orientation, gender identity, dis/ability), our Society’s focus is on increasing structural, or compositional, diversity, which is defined as “the numerical representation of various racial/ethnic groups,” which have historically and persistently been underrepresented in academia (p. 279).

Hurtado, S., Clayton-Pedersen, A. R., Allen, W. R., & Milem, J. F. (1998). Enhancing campus climates for racial/ethnic diversity: Educational policy and practice. The Review of Higher Education, 21(3), 279-302.