A video of The Janet Duffin lecture given by Susan Staats from the University of Minnesota at the BSRLM Spring conference in March 2019 is now available via the Open University website.
Susan Staats won the Janet Duffin Award for 2017 for her paper ‘The poetics of argumentation: the relevance of conversational repetition for two theories of emergent mathematical reasoning’, which appeared in RME Volume 19, Issue 3. The winners of the award are traditionally invited to deliver a lecture to BSRLM members based on their paper.
The title and abstract for Susan’s talk was:
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.