3 May – Roosmaryn Pilgram

Testing Resistance to Metaphor

In her column for The Guardian, Kate Ganger, who suffers from terminal cancer, wrote:

‘She lost her brave fight.’ If anyone mutters those words after my death, wherever I am, I will curse them. I would like to be remembered for the positive impact I have made on the world, for fun times and for my relationships with others, not as a loser. When I do die, I will have defied the prognosis for my type of cancer and achieved a great deal with my life. I do not want to feel a failure about something beyond my control. I refuse to believe my death will be because I didn’t battle hard enough.” (The Guardian, 25 April 2014)

Granger opposes to the use of the metaphor fighting cancer by pointing at its undesirable consequences (the suggestion that those who die of cancer are losers and did not battle hard enough). Consequently, Granger can be said to resist the use of this war-metaphor; she argues against it by means of extending it.

In this talk, I will introduce a postdoc research project on testing what triggers resistance to metaphor. This project is in a preliminary phase; the actual experiments will be conducted in the next two years. The purpose of this talk is therefore not to present results on resistance to metaphor, but to provide an overview of research set-up and the background against which it is set.

Potgieterszaal, University Library
Singel 421-427
1012 WP Amsterdam