Invited Lecture @ Università di Torino

 

On Tuesday, November 19th at the University of Turin (Palazzo Nuovo) from 2 pm to 4 pm Metaphor Geeks’ coordinator Marianna Bolognesi will be delivering a special lecture on the topic: “Visual and Verbal metaphors. Two modalities of expression of the same conceptual metaphors?”

The lecture will provide an overview of the current literature on metaphor studies, with regard to multimodality. In particular, verbal and visual modalities of expression of metaphor will be compared and analyzed through examples.

The lecture is open especially to MA students and PhD candidates in philosophy and semiotics.

We are extremely grateful to prof. Carla Marello for hosting and organizing the event.

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Posted November 10, 2013

Metaphors and Architecture: kick-off of a new project

 

The rich input provided by the Intercultural Horizons conference led to the formulation of new research objectives to be achieved in an interdisciplinary study that aims at linking metaphors and architecture.

The researchers involved are dr. Agnese Regablio and dr. Elena Giunta from the University Politecnico, School of Design, Milan, and dr. Marianna Bolognesi from Metaphor Geeks. The study aims at understanding the function of metaphors in fostering the creative process that leads young architects and students of design to project and design pieces of architecture.

Here, a researchers’ meeting on the porch of the conference venue.

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Posted October 8, 2013

Intercultural Horizons 2013 ongoing

 

The annual conference Intercultural Horizons started this morning. Roughly 160 delegates from all the inhabited continents gathered today in Siena. Metaphor Geeks was there, presented within the first plenary session, as the newest initiative embedded at the International Center for Intercultural Exchange, conference host and organizer.

Metaphor Geeks presented a cross-cultural study conducted by Marianna Bolognesi and Susan Ghaffaryan about the conceptualization of POWER in Iran and in the United States, and the metaphors related to this concepts that emerge from verbal productions and from mental simulations.

Here, the Metaphor session, chaired by Marianna Bolognesi, and the conference billboard.

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Posted October 7, 2013

Understanding Global Cultures through metaphors

 

Next week the graduate course in Intercultural Pragmatics will begin. Among the course materials, we’ll use the manual “Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys Through 31 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity”, co-authored by Martin Gannon and Rajnandini Pillai. In this book the authors provide metaphors (actually they provide metonymies) for describing the cultural mindsets of nations and clusters of nations. Drawing from social activities and institutions in which the members of a given culture identify themselves, the authors propose insightful interpretations of global cultures, acknowledging the fact that such figures cannot fully capture the whole culture. It is an aim of the course Intercultural Pragmatics (taught by dr. Marianna Bolognesi) to discuss the interpretation provided in this manual for the Italian culture, and complement it with additional metaphors or metonymies, in order to capture other aspects of this culture.

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Posted September 22, 2013

Intercultural Horizons conference approaching (7-9 October)

 

The annual conference Intercultural Horizons is approaching!

Intercultural Horizons is co-sponsored by Sietar Italia, The State University of New York at Geneseo, Siena College, the International Partnership for Service-Learning & Leadership, Siena Italian Studies and the Associazione Culturale Ulisse.

The conference venue alternates between Italy and the United States. This year (from October 7th to October 9th) the IH conference will be in Siena, Italy, hosted as usual by the International Center for Intercultural Exchange.

The theme for 2013 is “Intercultural Competence: Key to the New Multicultural Societies of the Globalized World”. A special panel on Metaphor and Cognitive Processes in Intercultural Studies will be chaired and coordinated by Marianna Bolognesi. This panel will see four different delegates, or teams of delegates, presenting their studies:

Svetlana Alpatova (State University of Management, Russia): The Metaphorical Background of Some Idioms Used Across Cultures

Marianna Bolognesi and Susan Ghaffaryan (International Center for Intercultural Exchange, Italy and Allameh Tabatabai University, Iran): The Concept of Power: A Cross-Linguistic and Cross-Cultural Study

Irina Chironova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia): How You Call a Ship So It Will Float: Metaphors in Educational Discourse in Russia

Monika Zasowska and Andrzej Lyda (University of Silesia, Poland): Synesthesia through a Cultural Filter.

 

The abstracts and the full conference programme can be found at this link.

The Metaphor Geeks Lab is looking forward to seeing you at the conference here in Siena!

 

 

Posted August 27, 2013

Metaphor Geeks at the Metaphor Festival 2013 in Stockholm

 

A study on the different grounding of visual and verbal metaphors’ across bodily experiences, mental simulations, and language, will be presented by Marianna Bolognesi at the annual International metaphor festival, hosted and organized by the Department of English of Stockholm University (Sweden).

 

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Here, prof Steen’s presentation on the differences between visual and verbal metaphors, approached from a triple perspective: pragmatic, conceptual, and semiotic.

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the conference kit, sponsored by Stockholm University and John Benjamins Publishing Company.

 

Posted August 17, 2013

Launching the new research involvement opportunity – Fall semester 2013

 

Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at the International Center for this Fall semester are invited to take part to the activities and projects hosted by Metaphor Geeks. Also, we invite students to propose their own research projects at the Metaphor Geeks lab, and to seek supervision and collaboration from the lab coordinator and the other lab members.

On SEPTEMBER 5th meet the lab coordinator at Siena Italian Studies, via Fontebranda 69, Siena, Italy.

Posted August 7, 2013

Metaphors, subconscious thought, and dreams

 

Today Metaphor Geeks hosted dr. Roberto Bichisecchi, for a meeting on the project regarding metaphors and subconscious thought.

Dr. Roberto Bichisecchi is psychologist, psychoterapist, and psychoanalyst, author of several books. Among them, “Sogno, pensiero e sentimento”  (1999) investigates the connections between dream, thought, and emotion, from a psychoanalytic view.

Dr. Roberto Bichisecchi is also the director of the Association for Psychoanalysis in Pisa, connected to the Italian Federation for Psychoanalysis (FIP). Within this association dr. Roberto Bichisecchi frequently organizes seminars and lectures, hosting eminent scholars. In April he invited prof. Remo Bodei (University of California at Los Angeles) to give a talk about the concept of time, entitled “Paradossi del tempo. Come smontare i pregiudizi”.

Today’s meeting with dr. Bichisecchi was centered on the preparation of a scientific and interdisciplinary contribution that aims at providing theoretical insights and empirical data onto the function of metaphors for expressing personal contents, and the function of metaphors in dreams. As a matter of fact, from the point of view of communication theory, dreams constitute a unique opportunity to investigate metaphors, because in these acts the previous experience and the emotional background of the dreamer and that of the addressee overlaps. Thus, inferring the communicative intent, and interpreting the meaning of the metaphors in dreams is a process that differs from the interpretation of other metaphors. Metaphors that emerge in dreams are directed towards oneself, and the communicative intention has to be negotiated between the dreamer and himself.

Another meeting with dr. Bichisecchi is scheduled for this coming thursday, and it will be hosted by the Association for Psychoanalysis in Pisa.

 

Dr. Bichisecchi and dr. Bolognesi after the meeting.

Posted July 29, 2013

Conference Presentation at CRAL 2013 (Spain)

 

A preliminary study on visual vs verbal metaphors analysis has been succesfully presented at the third International CRAL conference on Meaning Construction and Meaning Interpretation: applications and implications. The title of the presentation was: “The behavior of source and target domains in corpora of texts and images: where the mappings come from”.  The presentation took place on friday 19th, within a special session, dedicated to the 4 best post-doc proposals selected by the advisory committee.

In this study, a small sample of visual metaphors used in advertising (9 metaphors), and a small group of verbal metaphors and conceptual metaphors that have been inferred by looking just at linguistic expressions (11 metaphors) have been taken into account, analysed and modeled. The source and the target domains of each metaphor have been identified (18+22 concepts) and the resulting 40 concepts have been analysed automatically with distributional analyses conducted across texts and across annotated images. As a result, it was possible to compare each source/target pair of  concepts in the 2 environments, and quantify the relatedness between these concepts in each environment (language and annotated images).

Assuming that the shared contextual features between source and target domains of a metaphor define the relatedness between the two concepts, and that the metaphor is arguably realised on those shared features, the following hp was tested: the relatedness between source and target domains of a visual metaphor emerges mainly from the corpus of annotated images (which conveys those elements on which we construct meaning and we make sense of our experiences starting from perceptual stimuli), while the relatedness between source and target domains of a verbal metaphor emerges mainly from the corpus of language.

This does not imply that language and perceptual experiences are two independent modules, but rather that the 2 modalities of communication (visual and verbal) convey meaning in different ways, and given a stimulus expressed in the visual or in the verbal modality, we might activate in our minds different sets of conceptual knowledge, deriving from our encounters with the give concept that have been stored in memory via the verbal or via the perceptual modality.

 

Here a picture of the four finalists taken a the Bodegas Franco-Españolas, where we had the conference dinner. Great wine, great company!

(thank you Kasia for the picture!)

 

Posted July 24, 2013