My name is Anna Marie Trester and I have a deep commitment to making linguistics accessible and finding practical applications of linguistics research. I am currently pursuing this passion by working as an Associate at the FrameWorks Institute.
Language and Professional Identity
My interest in institutional language began with my dissertation (of an improvisational theater troupe). This continues with an ongoing ethnography exploring the language of leadership in the business school context. My current book project “Stories Behind the Search” investigates the language of the job search. I bring an interactional sociolinguistic approach to understand the texts and interactions which comprise career exploration. My interest in social media infuses this project by particular focus on the Language of LinkedIn.
Some of my favorite aspects of language to think about include:
In Telling and Retelling Prankster Tales I explore how jokes and pranks get narrated to construct and convey institutional values, and in the forthcoming Narrative Leadership: Storying Leaders in the Executive Business School Classroom (to be published in 2015 in Signs and Society) I look at the linguistic choices made in stories told int he executive business school classroom, exploring how how identities and relationships are constructed and negotiated through narrative in the contexts of the story, the classroom, and beyond, including membership and leadership within corporations.
Discourse Markers and Constructed Dialogue
Linguists have particularly valuable insight to offer in understanding identity, given that one of the primary ways that identity emerges in interaction is via language. One way that I have explored this question is to look at the role of discourse marker “oh’ in presenting voices and accomplishing identity in interaction.
I explore the role of silence in communicating dissent and performing peace among a community of Quakers in this chapter in Adam Hodges’ Discourses of War and Peace.
I have long had a research interest in performance, specifically in understanding how identities emerge through language in performance contexts. Intertextuality as an improvisational resource is an exploration of this aspect of language drawn from my ethnography of an improvisational theater troupe in Washington, DC.
Goffman’s Production Format
My most recent publication (co-authored with Margaret Toye) considers the affordances of the performance genre known as improvisational theater, and specifically, why ambiguity of principal makes performers enjoy it so very much!!