Metaphor Festival 2018: CALL FOR PAPERS

The Metaphor Lab Amsterdam is delighted to announce that the next Metaphor Festival will take place in Amsterdam from 30 August 30 through 1 September 2018.

The Metaphor Festival is an annual conference on the use of figurative language and other modes of figurative expression. It offers an opportunity to present and learn about research findings concerning figurative uses in different types of human communication, and their cognitive, cultural, narrative, poetic, rhetorical, political, social, textual or discourse functions and effects. Contributions to the general session of the Festival can address the linguistic and/or literary character and use of tropes – metaphor, metonymy, simile, oxymoron, hyperbole, litotes, punning, and irony – or the character and use of rhyme schemes, various types of parallelism and other formal poetic constructions, as well as the nature of figurative signs and devices in multi-modal or non-verbal communication.


Abstracts should be 300 words maximum and should be written in English (please provide glosses or translations for examples in other languages).

Abstracts reporting on empirical data should have four sections: introduction, methods, findings, and conclusions. Abstracts providing a purely theoretical or philosophical contribution should have three sections: introduction, main argument, and conclusions.

All abstracts should end with a one-sentence take-home-message. Authors need to make sure that their identities cannot be retrieved from the abstract itself, and should include blind reference to their work that is not yet publicly available (i.e., papers in press, under review and. or in preparation).


All abstracts can now be submitted via the submission website. Deadline for submission is 15 March 2018.


Please keep an eye on our website for any updates. You are welcome to contact the organizing committee at in case of any enquiries.

Prof. Kathleen Ahrens joins advisory board Metaphor Lab

The Metaphor Lab Amsterdam is proud to announce that prof. dr. Kathleen Ahrens has joined its International Advisory Board. Prof. Ahrens is a Full Professor in the Department of English at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Fellow and Vice-President of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities, and Board Member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Prof. Ahrens’ research has encompassed two major areas over the past twenty years: (1) Construction of a psycholinguistic theory of sense processing, and (2) construction of a cognitive model to explain conceptual and novel metaphor use and processing. Her current research focuses on corpora-based analyses of conceptual metaphor use in political language in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. Prof. Ahrens is also co-chairing the organizing committee of the upcoming RaAM Conference in Hong Kong in June 2018.
For more information on prof. dr. Ahrens’ research, please visit and the Corpus of Political Speeches

Top 10 of most read articles: The Effects of Metaphorical Framing on Political Persuasion: A Systematic Literature Review

Even though The Effects of Metaphorical Framing on Political Persuasion: A Systematic Literature Review, has only been published less than six months ago, it is now in the top 10 of most read articles in Metaphor and Symbol. The article, written by Amber Boeynaems, Christian Burgers, Elly A. Konijn & Gerard J. Steen, can be found here.

ZonMw grant awarded

Dementia in metaphors: towards shared understanding and decision-making in families of various cultural backgrounds – dr.  Gert Olthuis and dr. Anke Oerlemans, dep. IQ Healthcare

In the elderly with roots outside the Netherlands, dementia is being diagnosed and treated insufficiently. We have limited knowledge about how these families experience the diagnosis of dementia and how the future of the patient is discussed. In our everyday language use, we discuss dementia using powerful metaphors: for instance ‘getting lost in your brain’ (verdwalen in je brein) or ‘dissolving into fog’ (opgaan in de mist). These metaphors shape our thinking: they create imagery that carry meanings. A proper mutual understanding is essential for shared understanding and decision-making on the diagnosis, and a future with dementia. This research project aims to gain insights in the manner in which distinct groups of patients and their closest ones give meaning to this illness in their everyday speaking and thinkingb y metaphors: the metaphor lab Amsterdam contributes one post-doc researcher to identify and analyze the metaphors in the spontaneous speech of patients and their caregivers.

9 okt: Science Café Nijmegen

Hoe de illusie van begrip ons op het verkeerde been zet

In het Science Café op maandag 9 oktober, om 20u zal worden ingegaan op het gevoel van snappen, ook als dit onterecht is. Wie iets denkt te begrijpen, zal niet geneigd zijn dit op juistheid te controleren. Wetenschapsfilosoof Herman de Recht (Tilburg University) zal vertellen over de manier waarop metaforen onze emoties en werkelijkheid vormgeven en leiden tot een illusie van begrip, waarna Gerard Steen zal ingaan op hoe metaforen ons handelen kan beïnvloeden. Als oprichter en directeur van het Metaphor Lab is hij als geen ander op de hoogte van het cognitief-wetenschappelijk onderzoek naar metaforen en hij zal de uitkomsten en consequenties hiervan schetsen. Daar waar De Regt de noodzaak benadrukt van het omzeilen van metaforen als het om waarheidsvinding gaat, ziet Steen hun rol in de wetenschap en samenleving als minder almachtig en deels onontkoombaar. Graag tot ziens op 9 oktober in Irish Pub The Shamrock Nijmegen!

tijd: 20:00 tot 22:00
plaats: Irish Pub The Shamrock Nijmegen, Smetiusstraat 17, 6511 ER Nijmegen

Voor meer informatie, zie het Facebook-evenement

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