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  • 14.10.2022

Pre-conference of Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction Section

The Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction Section invites you to the  Rethinking Relationships pre-conference, taking place October 14 via Zoom. This  pre-conference provides the opportunity to hear two outstanding keynote speakers:  Professor Jimmie Manning from the University of Kansas: "Communication as Constitutive of Relationships: Rethinking Relational Interactions" and Associate Professor Sara Greco from the Università della Svizzera  Italiana: “Building spaces for argumentative dialogue to resolve conflict in interpersonal  communication”.  

The pre-conference will also include a panel discussion “Rethinking Relationships: The  Future of Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction Research in Europe” which  gathers European panelists from north, south, east, and west. It also provides an  opportunity to all of us share our wishes, goals, ideas and challenges considering ICSI  research.   

This virtual pre-conference is open for all communication researchers and communication  students and participation is free of charge. We can welcome up to 300 participants, on a first come, first served basis.   

Check out the program and register here 

If you wish, you can participate in the day's program according to your own schedule. 

Don't miss the opportunity to come and listen to the keynote speakers' fascinating topics! 

Rethinking Relationships pre-conference  

9.00 (UTC+2) Welcome (& technical issues)   

9.05-10.05 Jimmie Manning: "Communication as Constitutive of Relationships: Rethinking Relational Interactions" 

10.05-10.15 Short break   

10.15-11.15 Sara Greco: “Building spaces for argumentative dialogue to resolve conflict in  interpersonal communication”.   

11.15-12.00 Lunch break  

12.00-13.00 Panel discussion:“Rethinking Relationships: The Future of Interpersonal  Communication and Social Interaction Research in Europe” 

13.00-13.15 Short break and getting into breakout rooms    

13.15-15.00 Young scholars' workshop (only to those who have sent their proposals)  

Our keynotes:

Jimmie Manning: Communication as Constitutive of Relationships: Rethinking Relational Interactions

Interpersonal communication—ranging from fleeting social exchanges to highly-personal relational interactions—is implicitly or explicitly tied to just about every other communication situation or context. It becomes important, then, to consider how these interpersonal forms of interaction tie into communication inquiry at all levels and across contexts. To consider such communication, I explore the theoretical underpinnings of communication as constitutive of relationships (CCR). This perspective shifts relational interpersonal communication focus to consider how communication itself is what creates or constitutes the idea of relationships. Specifically, it positions scholars to consider the relationships present in communication as opposed to looking at the communication in a relationship. I then review two research situations to examine how this re-thinking of relational communication has profound implications for cognitive, relational, and cultural aspects of communication studies, especially those where identity and/or cultural expectations are salient. 


Jimmie Manning is professor and chair of communication studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. A reformed people-pleaser, he has published or produced over 120 essays, books, documentary films, or other publications in outlets including Communication Monographs, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. He is also a skilled teacher who is committed both to engaged and service-learning opportunities. Dr. Manning’s commitments to scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and service are palpable, as is evidenced by the Central States Communication Association recently naming the top paper award for their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Caucus to be the Jimmie Manning Award. 

Dr. Manning’s research focuses on meaning-making in relationships. This work spans multiple contexts to understand how individuals, couples, families, organizations and other cultural institutions attempt to define, support, control, limit, encourage, or otherwise negotiate relationships. He explores these ideas through three contexts: relational discourses, especially those about sexuality, gender, love and identity; connections between relationships and efficacy in health and organizational contexts; and digitally mediated communication. Current research projects include exploring trans identities in families; examining how information and disinformation is propagated both online and in rural communities; understanding how safety is maintained in concert festival settings; and considering how discourses of biology and heritage impact personal and family identities. 

When not doing his academic work, Dr. Manning spends his time going to concerts, working with community advocacy groups, and occasionally doing stand-up comedy shows – and when not doing that, he spends time at home with his husband, dog, and two cats.

Sara Greco: Building spaces for argumentative dialogue to resolve conflict in interpersonal communication 

In the presentation professor Greco proposes a model of communication design based on the concept of (formal and or informal) dispute mediators as architects of dialogue spaces. She claims that, using communication, mediators construct dialogue spaces to help conflicting parties’ fruitful discussion in view of the resolution of their conflict. Such dialogue spaces are means for disagreement management based on collaborative argumentation, i.e. on a critical and dialogic exchange of viewpoints and arguments, which includes the participants’ personal and emotional perspectives and which is intended for them to reach a common objective through joint reasoning. 

The first part of this contribution proposes a model of argumentative dialogue as a means for a communicative management of disagreement, which constitutes an alternative to conflict escalation. Professor Greco discusses the value of the model in contexts of interpersonal communication. Then, by way of example, she analyzes one of the communicative means that dispute mediators can use to build dialogue spaces, namely the discursive reframing of the parties’ perspectives to achieve frame convergence and foster conflict resolution using collaborative argumentation. 


(PhD 2009, Communication) is associate professor at USI and vice-director of the Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics. Her main research area concerns collaborative argumentation in interpersonal conflict resolution processes. In this area, she has directed the research project RefraMe (“The inferential dynamics of reframing within dispute mediators’ argumentation”, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, 2017-2021) and has published extensively, adopting a discursive analytical perspective and developing argumentative instruments to analyze dispute mediators’ discourse (see for example the monograph Argumentation in dispute mediation: A reasonable way to handle conflict, John Benjamins, 2011). More recently, Greco has opened a research stream to study how digital activists engage in argumentation to contribute to public controversies surrounding sustainability and change existing practices (see for example “Argumentative misalignments in the controversy surrounding fashion sustainability” with B. De Cock, 2021, Her publications can be found in outlets including Journal of Pragmatics, Discourse Studies, and Discourse &  Society. 



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