Unfortunately, our seminar which was due to take place next Wednesday (27th of October) has had to be postponed. It will now be happening on the 2nd of February 2022. We’ll share details again nearer the time.

The speaker will be Professor Jeanette Littlemore from the University of Birmingham. She is one of the leading experts in the study of metaphor, metonymy and figurative language. Professor Littlemore’s research has consistently focused on the relevance of understanding figurative language to other fields, including learning and teaching.

The abstract for Professor Littlemore’s talk is below.

We also have a series of English Language and Linguistics research seminars running from the 3rd of November. We’ll post information on those here here soon.

Abstract for Professor Littlemore’s talk:

In this talk I explore the relationship between creative metaphor, emotion and evaluation. I begin by considering what is meant by creative metaphor, and discuss why emotional experiences are likely to drive the production of creative metaphor. I then draw on findings from a number of studies that I have conducted alone and with others, which have explored the different ways in which creative metaphor, emotion and evaluation interact. More specifically, I ask: To what extent and in what ways does the need to express emotion and/or evaluation drive the production of creative metaphor? Our studies have investigated the ways in which people make use of creative metaphor when making emotionally-charged positive and negative evaluations of stressful situations, and when offering positive and negative evaluations of films. We have also explored the ways in which emotion, empathy and creativity come together in synaesthetes’ and non-synaesthetes’ evaluations sensory experiences. Through my discussion of these studies, I will explore the relationship between metaphor, creativity emotion and evaluation, and consider the respective roles played by the polarity and intensity of emotion in shaping the ways in which people make creative use of metaphor. I will also discuss the difference between ‘creative metaphor’ per se and the creative use of metaphor. I will then turn my attention to the reception of creative metaphor and present findings from a study that investigated people’s responses to different kinds of creative metaphor. I will close with a brief discussion of why these findings matter from both a theoretical and an applied perspective.

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