Welcome to the RaAM 2019 Specialized Seminar in Liège, Belgium !

Dear participants

The RaAM 2019 Specialized Seminar is fast approaching. 

It is a great pleasure for us to host this event ! 

You can now check out the final version of the academic program online (see tab "Final detailed program").
We are very honoured to have great keynote speakers and workshop coordinators joining us
for this year's seminar ! We would also like to thank all the participants who submitted
abstracts, which layed the groundwork for an amazing academic program. 


We also prepared a rich social program,
including a Beer, Wine & Cheese
 Welcoming Reception,
a PhD Event, a guided city tour as well as the traditional
 conference dinner.
To make sure to provide you with an unforgettable memory of your stay here,
the social program was created with one goal and one goal only: it's all about Liège !

We are looking forward to welcoming all of you to Liège and its university. 
See you all next week ! 


The local organizing committee 
Julien Perrez
Pauline Heyvaert
François Randour

RaAM 2019 Specialized Seminar: Metaphors at the intersection of multiple disciplines

Metaphor is a central component of human cognition and communication. While metaphors can be studied for their own sake from a linguistic perspective as a process of meaning extension at various levels (be it morphological, lexical or syntactical) or as a rhetorical device used in argumentation, metaphor studies have broadened their scope and touched upon many other scientific domains among the cognitive and social sciences. As a result, metaphors have become a central topic in many disciplines, including linguistics, philosophy, psychology, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, communication studies, political science, education science or translation studies.

This diversity in research themes and disciplines is reflected in a variety of materials and methods that are used to study metaphor. Some of these tools have been used to identify specific metaphorical (or other types of figurative) expressions in spoken and written corpora (MIP(VU), DMIP, HIP) or to see how these metaphors connect to broader patterns of meaning in discourse (Discourse Dynamics Approach to metaphor, Metaphor-led discourse analysis, metaphor scenarios, Critical Metaphor Analysis). Experimental methods have been used to explain how (different types of) metaphors are processed (reaction times, reading times, eye movements) or what their effect can be on representations and behaviours (perception experiments).

Beyond these simple, non-exhaustive yet fascinating observations, the aim of this seminar is to highlight the intrinsic interdisciplinary nature of metaphor studies, by questioning its cross-fertilization potential: what kinds of theoretical and methodological insights can metaphor studies bring to other scientific disciplines? Does the contribution of metaphor go beyond the conceptual and linguistic structuring of abstract concepts that are central in these disciplines? Moreover, what can metaphor studies gain from these privileged contact with different disciplines, theoretically as well as methodologically? And above all: do metaphors really matter in our understanding of social interactions?

The seminar will be structured around plenary talks, methodological workshops, themed sessions and general sessions.

Keynote speakers

Dr. Christian Burgers (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Metaphor Lab Amsterdam) CANCELLED.

Dr. Seana Coulson (University of California San Diego)

Dr. Cristina Soriano (University of Geneva, Interfaculty Centre for Affective Sciences)



Methodological workshops

WORKSHOP 1Fantastic visual metaphors and where to find them – Dr. Marianna Bolognesi (Oxford University, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages)

In this workshop we will first briefly address the definitions and terminology used to describe metaphorical images, their variability across genres, their combination with other figures (typically: metonymy), and the various dimensions of meaning at which their metaphorical structures can be formalized into A-IS-B statements. We will pay particular attention to those cases that are notdiscussed in the literature on visual metaphors, because they are particularly challenging for current theories of visual metaphor. Interesting examples will be displayed and discussed with the participants (everyone’s opinion is welcome, you do not need to be an expert in this field). 

We will then work together and in groups on the application of the VisMip procedure (Steen 2018), to identify visual metaphors in the wild. We will base our analyses on the images included in the corpus VisMet 1.0 (http://www.vismet.org/VisMet/). Finally, we will play a game through which we will test to what extent our individual interpretations of visual metaphors overlap with one another.

Steen, G. (Ed.) (2018). Visual Metaphor: Structure and Process. Amsterdam: Benjamins.


WORKSHOP 2: Measuring the effect of metaphors: the use of experimental surveys – Dr. Julien Perrez (Department of Linguistics, University of Liège) & Dr. François Randour (Department of Political Science, University of Louvain)

The workshop will be divided in three main units. 

  1. The first part will discuss experiments as a method: what is an experiment? What are the differences with other methods? What are the main steps in conducting a (good) experiment? (Do & Don’t)
  2. The second part focuses on experiments and metaphor studies
  3. The last part of the workshop will present concrete examples of studies as well as a group discussion on a specific case, aiming at fostering discussions among participants.
 If possible, we would like to invite the participants to this workshop to have a look at the three following articles (email francois.randour@uclouvain.be if you want access to the articles ).   
- Steen, Reijnierse, Burgers (2014) ; Boeynaems, Burgers, Konijn, Steen (2017); Perrez & Reuchamps (2015) (articles used for the third part of the workshop). 

WORKSHOP 3: The Defaultness Hypothesis: Metaphor, Sarcasm & Metaphorical Sarcasm – Dr. Rachel Giora (Department of Linguistics, Tel Aviv University)

First part: On the Creativity of Negation: Experimental Studies

In this talk, prof. Giora will present experiments dealing with default negative metaphors and their processing and default negative sarcasm and its processing.

Readings (download from Rachel Giora's homepage): 

  1. Giora, Rachel, Livnat, Elad, Fein, Ofer, Barnea, Anat, Zeiman,Rakefet & Berger, Iddo. (2013). Negation generates nonliteral interpretations by default. Metaphor and Symbol,28, 89–115.
  2. Giora, Rachel, Shir Givoni & Ofer Fein (2015). Defaultness reigns: The case of sarcasm. Metaphor and Symbol30/4, 290-313.

Second part: On the Creativity of Negation: Corpus-based Studies

In this talk, prof. Giora will present studies dealing with default metaphors and sarcasm how they affect text production.

 Readings (download the first from Rachel Giora's homepage):

  1. Giora, Rachel, Fein, Ofer, Metuki, Nili, & Stern, Pnina (2010). Negation as a metaphor-inducing operator. In: L. Horn ed., The Expression of Negation, 225-256. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  2. Becker, Israela & Giora, Rachel (2018). The Defaultness Hypothesis: A quantitative corpus-based study of non/default sarcasm and literalness production. Journal of pragmatics,138, 149-164 (article available on: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378216618302194)

Important dates

September 20, 2018

 Paper and panel proposals open

November 15, 2018

Paper and panel proposals deadline

January 25, 2019

 Notification of acceptance 

February 15, 2019

 Academic programme published on the conference website

May 16–17, 2019


RaAM 2019 Seminar held in Liège


Abstract submission - CLOSED

The seminar is open to all interested metaphor scholars from various disciplines and study backgrounds. Researchers are invited to propose papers and panels (abstract of maximum 350 words, excluding references) between September 20 and November 15, 2018.

You can submit your abstracts via the conference website (raam2019.sciencesconf.org). Additional information regarding the conference is also available on this website. Should you encounter problems during submission, please contact one of the seminar organizers (raam2019 @sciencesconf.org).

What can you apply for?

Different kinds of sessions are proposed during the seminar. More specifically, in addition to the plenary talks, researchers can submit papers for general sessions or propose panels for themed sessions.

  1. Individual papers (general sessions): These papers will be grouped according to their subject and scope and included in the regular programme.
  2. Themed session proposals: Researchers can propose to organize a themed session. Themed sessions must be structured around the study of metaphor in a given (sub) discipline and/or will deal with a specific method of metaphor analysis. Themed session proposals must include at least 3 papers.


Practical information

The seminar will take place in Liège, at the University of Liège, on May 16th and 17th 2019 
University of Liège | City Centre Campus, Place du 20 Août, 7, 4000 Liège

The city of Liège is located 100 km from Brussels National Airport and 90 km from Brussels South Charleroi Airport, and is also close to the Netherlands (30 km from Maastricht) and the south of Germany.

Registration fee


Senior researchers

PhD students

 RaAM members



Important: To register for the RaAM 2019 Specialized Seminar, RaAM-membership is required.
If you are not a member (or if you need to renew your membership), please go to www.raam.org.uk to become a member before registrating for the Seminar.


The seminar is organized by an interdisciplinary research team composed of linguists and political scientists. Any questions? Do not hesitate to send an email to one of the organizers.

Dr. Julien Perrez, ULiège — Department of Modern Languages — Julien.Perrez@uliege.be 

Dr. François Randour, UCLouvain — Institut de Sciences Politiques Louvain Europe — francois.randour@uclouvain.be

Pauline Heyvaert, PhD candidate, ULiège & UCLouvain, Department of modern languages and Institute of language and communication (IL&C) – pheyvaert@uliege.be

Prof. dr. Min Reuchamps, UCLouvain — Institut de Sciences Politiques Louvain Europe — Min.Reuchamps@uclouvain.be






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