Albert Katz visits Metaphor Lab

On July 7, 2016, Prof. Dr. Albert Katz (Western University, Canada) visited the Metaphor Lab for a small-scale symposium in his honor, hosted by Dr. Christian Burgers.

Dr. Katz delivered the opening talk entitled “Structural and social aspects of metaphor (with side trips to irony and puns)”, in which he made a distinction between cognitive (‘structural’) and social-psychological (‘social’) studies into figurative language conducted in his lab. Dr. Katz mentioned both some of his classic studies, as well as new (and unpublished) studies.

Other presentations were delivered by members of the Metaphor Lab and staff of the Department of Communication Science at Vrije Universiteit. Amber Boeynaems and Britta Brugman discussed two systematic reviews they recently conducted on metaphorical framing on political communication. Marianna Bolognesi presented the results from her Marie-Curie funded project CogVIM and showed how linguistic and visual metaphor differ in the kind of similarities they evoke. Camiel Beukeboom gave his perspective on the role of figurative language in stereotyping, and presented new empirical results on the Irony Bias in relation to stereotype formation. Kiki Renardel de Lavalette presented a comparison of using two corpus-analytic methods to test Lakoff’s Theory of Moral Reasoning. The symposium was closed by Christian Burgers who talked about the quantitative results of his corpus analysis on figurative framing in news discourse (conducted as part of his NWO VENI project).



First announcement Winter School

First announcement 

Metaphor Lab Amsterdam
Winter School 2017 

Metaphor identification and analysis

Sunday 22 Jan – Friday 27 Jan 2017

After four previous successful events since 2012, the Metaphor Lab Amsterdam is delighted to announce a new edition of our summer/winter schools, this time in the fourth week of January 2017—the school is piggybacked on to the LOT Dutch Research School in Linguistics Winter School in the preceding two weeks. Metaphor Lab Schools are meant for PhD students and young post doc researchers who are engaged in metaphor research in language, cognition, communication, and discourse. Our goal is to offer advanced training in metaphor identification and analysis according to internationally recognized standards. 30-40 participants per school come from all over the world and receive an intense academic experience.

The format of this school will differ from previous editions. We will hold four special interest groups, each under the guidance of one specialized tutor, who will do work together including reading, discussion and research in a specific theme. Each group will work on its own and do a final presentation on the Friday. Apart from this, we are looking into the possibility of organizing a number of general plenary lectures during the week, and we will often go out together in the Amsterdam evenings.

The themes and tutors are the following:

  1. MIPVU – Tina Krennmayr/Susan Nacey: focus on linguistic metaphor identification in discourse
  2. VisMet corpus – Marianna Bolognesi: focus on visual metaphor identification, analysis, and crowd sourced tags
  3. The five step method – Gerard Steen: focus on linguistic, conceptual and communicative metaphor identification in uttterances
  4. Metaphor and argumentation – Jean Wagemans: focus on metaphors as implicit arguments and argumentation via metaphor

Each group will allow for a maximum of 10 students. Detailed goals, contents, methods, and end products will be announced later.

There will be a modest registration fee (200 euros per participant), and travel, accommodation, and food will be at your own expense. We are looking into possibilities for financial aid for applicants with limited resources, upon request.

At this moment we would like you to save the dates, more information will be posted at the end of August.

HIP: a new Hyperbole Identification Procedure

Christian Burgers, Britta Brugman, Kiki Renardel de Lavalette and Gerard Steen just published their article ‘HIP: A method for linguistic hyperbole identification in discourse’ in Metaphor and Symbol:

This article introduces the Hyperbole Identification Procedure (HIP), a first systematic method for identifying linguistic hyperbole in discourse. We start by comparing existing definitions of linguistic hyperbole. Based on the commonalities shared by these definitions, we provide our operational definition of hyperbole as “an expression that is more extreme than justified given its ontological referent.” The next section argues why it is useful to identify hyperbole, as with metaphor in Metaphor Identification Procedure Vrije Universiteit (MIPVU), at the level of lexical units, and subsequently introduces the steps of HIP. We follow up with two sample analyses of HIP in practice. First, we show how to unitize and analyze one complete sample sentence. Second, we present sample analyses of a number of selected cases. Then we present data showing that HIP can be reliably applied to a sample corpus of Dutch news texts. We end with discussing applications and implications of using HIP in corpus research.

The preliminary program Metaphor Festival 2016 is online!

The preliminary program for the Metaphor Festival 2016 is online.

You can still join the festival as a participant from Wednesday 31 August – Saturday 3 September by filling in the registration form!

Looking for an accommodation in Amsterdam? Check out our accommodation suggestions.

Look Both Ways – Narrative and Metaphor in Education: Conference 2017

To be held 30 March to 1 April 2017

Over the last 30 years, educationists have drawn increasingly on insights from philosophy, psychology, anthropology, cognitive science and linguistics to examine the roles played by narrative and metaphor in every domain of educational theory and practice. The narrative and metaphor perspectives have, however, mostly been used separately and opportunities for researchers and educators to meet and share their ideas are rare. This conference takes up the challenge of bringing educationists who have employed the narrative lens into conversation with those who have employed the metaphor lens. It highlights the work of those few researchers who have demonstrated ‘binocular vision’ (that is, employed the two perspectives in combination) in their study of education. The implications of research for teaching and policy practice will be particularly emphasized. The result should be a fuller account than has previously been attempted of the intricate relations which operate at the nexus between narrative and metaphor in and of education.

There will be 6 keynote presentations, by scholars who have undertaken outstanding work on narrative and metaphor in educational theory or practice.:
Jean Clandinin, Vera Caine & Sean Lessard – University of Alberta, Canada
Martin Cortazzi – University of Warwick & Lixian Jin – De Montfort University, UK
Kieran Egan – Simon Fraser University, Canada
Michael Hanne – University of Auckland, New Zealand
Martijn Meeter – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Niklas Pramling – University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Questions to be explored at the conference include:

*   What specific forms do metaphor and narrative take in the educational context (ranging from learning and teaching to policy making)? How are metaphor and narrative related? Are there subject areas in which metaphor is a more effective tool for thinking and others where narrative is more useful? How may the two devices best be used in combination?
*   How do educational practitioners use metaphor and narrative as strategies in teaching or learning? In what special ways may narrative and metaphor be employed in, e.g. teacher training, counselling, and the education of learners with special needs?
*   There has been much research on how shifts in metaphor may change our thinking. How can learners and other educational practitioners become aware of the advantages and disadvantages of using metaphor? Do we need to be equally aware of the importance of shifts in narrative?
*   How are questions of e.g. agency and power both highlighted and occluded by the narratives and metaphors most commonly used in contemporary educational discourse?
*   What particular narrative and metaphor issues arise around educational theory and practice in different cultures, including developing countries?
*   Has the introduction of digital technology influenced the way in which teachers and learners employ narrative and metaphor?
*   There has been much concern about how metaphors of ‘accounting’ and ‘the market’ have come to dominate contemporary policy discourse in education. How might fresh metaphor perspectives cause us to view the challenges in education differently, and how might fresh narrative perspectives assist us to envisage fresh solutions?
*   How are narrative and metaphor employed as research tools within the educational context?

Proposals for interactive paper sessions, posters and 75-minute workshops (with an applied focus) are invited from scholars and practitioners in every field of education. Presentations employing innovative or creative formats are particularly welcome and submissions by practising teachers are invited. Submission deadline: 14 October 2016. 

For further details, see the conference website at:

The conference will be organized from the Vrije Universiteit (VU) teacher training institute in Amsterdam by a team of education, narrative and metaphor specialists. Its research institute, LEARN!, carries out both basic and applied research on learning and education. The conference is organized in collaboration with Metaphor Lab Amsterdam. It is the fourth in a series on the role of narrative and metaphor in different disciplines. The first, relating to medicine, was held at UC Berkeley in 2010. The second, relating to politics, was held at Claremont Graduate University in 2012. The third, relating to law, was held at Stanford Law School in early 2016.

Perception Metaphor Workshop

12 and 13 October 2016 the Perception Metaphor Workshop will take place in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. This workshop will explore the myriad ways perceptual language serves as the basis of, or target for, metaphorical extension.

Confirmed speakers include:
Wendy Anderson (University of Glasgow)
Rosario Caballero (University of Castilla-La Mancha)
Iraide Ibarretxe-Antuñano (Universidad de Zaragoza)
Zoltán Kövecses (Eötvös Loránd University)
Martine Vanhove (Langage, Langues et Cultures d’Afrique Noire)
Bodo Winter (University of Birmingham)
Ulrike Zeshan (University of Central Lancashire)

For more information, read the call.

Metaphor Festival registration now open!

It is now possible to register for Metaphor Festival 2016!

Read the festival information and register online.

Deadline registration and payment: 15 June 2016

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