Course Description.

Students understand how metaphor structures language, audiovisual discourse, and cognition – both systematically and creatively: (1) they know, and can apply, key concepts pertaining to (multimodal) metaphor; (2) they are familiar with research by experts in the field; and (3) they are aware of central debates, controversies, and cutting-edge research questions in metaphor studies, and can engage with these.
Cognitivists in the humanities chart, and generalize about, how human thinking is reflected in discourse. Such discourse is less and less purely verbal in nature. Cognitivist assumptions include that thinking (1) is strongly rooted in the particularities of the human body (“embodiment,” with links to sociobiological and evolutionary approaches) but also reflects cultural knowledge; (2) comprises both emotional and rational processing; (3) can initially be studied without taking recourse to ideologically charged explanatory models. Contemporary metaphor theory, rooted in cognitive linguistics, has contributed substantially to the development of the cognitivist paradigm, since metaphor is nowadays considered a phenomenon of thought rather than language. But even today only few scholars examine non verbal metaphors – although their number is growing (cf. Forceville & Urios-Aparisi, eds, Multimodal Metaphor, Mouton de Gruyter 2009). Seminal studies of linguistic and conceptual metaphor will be discussed, in order to show how metaphor can be theorized in non-verbal (mainly visual, but also musical and sonic) and partly-verbal/ multimodal discourse. Focusing on multimodal metaphor helps theorize (1) “multimodality” – a rapidly developing area of interdisciplinary research; (2) narration & argumentation involving visuals; (3) non-verbal “figures of depiction.” Texts discussed during the seminar comprise Biblical/Q’uoran excerpts, advertising, feature film, comics & manga, and cartoons.
Format: Seminar

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