“The Political Impact of Metaphors”, University of Liège, 15-16 May 2014

International interdisciplinary conference on “The Political Impact of Metaphors”, University of Liège (ULg), 15-16 May 2014.
Arranged by the Departments of Modern Languages of the University of Liege (ULg) and of Political Science form the University of Louvain (UCL).

Scope and issues

In the wake of Lakoff and Johnson’s seminal work, much attention has been devoted to the study of metaphors not as rhetoric figures but as conceptual tools to express a complex reality in more familiar terms. While conceptual metaphors occur in every area of life, the political domain remains one prominent area where to find metaphors.

Though a large body of research has been devoted to the study of (conceptual) metaphors in the political domain, it is striking to notice that the question of the political impact of metaphors has hardly been addressed. While metaphors are described as devices structuring our perception of political realities and representations, and as devices frequently used by political elite to frame particular debates, their actual political impact has mostly been taken for granted. We therefore suggest that the next turn in the study of political metaphors is to grasp their political impact. This issue raises several questions: they tap on the “production” side and on the “reception” side of the metaphor chain, as well as on the intermediary process itself both at the individual level and at the collective level:

– Who, why and how do we use metaphors in political discourse?

– What’s the short-term, mid-term and long-term political impact of metaphor use?

– How do metaphors circulate from one discourse type to another?

– Do they travel across issues, languages and countries?

– What does political impact more precisely mean?

– What are the political consequences of metaphors in terms of attitudes and behaviours?

– Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, the aim of this conference is to offer not only conceptual insights but also real world oriented research to explain how discourses, through metaphors, actively shape the political reality.
The conference will include talks by Gerard Steen, Ray Gibbs, Tina Krenmayr, Didier Caluwaerts, Emilie L’Hôte, Camille Debras, Brigitte Nerlich, Dimitrios Karmis and Christ’l De Landstheer.


Practical information

Please visit https://sites.google.com/site/metaimpactulg/ for further information about the conference, including full programme and registration.

About benecla

Belgian Netherlands Cognitive Linguistics Association
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