Born in 2012, and embedded in the International Center for Intercultural Exchange, the Metaphor Geeks Lab constitutes a highly interdisciplinary environment where we discuss, develop, and conduct analyses related to the study of metaphors and their relation with human cognitive processing and mental imagery, with a special attention to the interplay between metaphor and multimodality, as well as between metaphor and cross-cultural variation.

Today metaphors are widely acknowledged to be a matter of thought (e.g. Lakoff, Johnson 1980; Gibbs 2005) that can be expressed in different modalities, such as words, images, gestures, and music. Widely used for their persuasive and evocative power, metaphors appear in everyday language, literary writing, scientific texts, political speeches and cartoons, advertising, and visual arts, among other genres.

Our vision is to develop interdisciplinary projects and collaborations aimed to achieve a better understanding on the mechanisms and roles played by metaphor in our experience, and how do metaphorical expressions in different modalities (words, images, etc) relate to the modality-specific semantic representations in our conceptual system.

Our mission is to apply behavioral and corpus-based methods for developing qualitative and quantitative analyses on metaphor use across languages, media, and cultures, metaphor processing and comprehension, as well as computational modeling.

Get Involved

Are you willing to share your ideas, come to Siena (Italy) to collaborate with us on a project, collaborate from the distance while working/studying at your home institution, or simply exchange ideas on possible shared projects? Contact the Lab PI, dr. Marianna Bolognesi: marianna.bolognesi(guesswhat)gmail.com

We welcome undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the International Center for Intercultural Exchange Siena, as well as motivated and creative students from all around the world. PhD fellows and postdoc researchers are particularly welcome to collaborate.

Metaphor Geeks collaborates with the Metaphor Lab Amsterdam, coordinated by prof. dr. Gerard Steen. In particular, dr. Bolognesi leads the Metaphor and Multimodality theme within the Metaphor Lab Amsterdam.