Session Title

Metaphor: Medieval and Modern

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger

Organizer Affiliation

Gordon College

Presider Name

Curtis Gruenler

Presider Affiliation

Hope College

Paper Title 1

"Hū sēo þrāg gewāt, / genāp under niht-helm . . .!": Paradoxes of Personification and Metonymy in Medieval English Poems on Transience

Presenter 1 Name

Evelyn Reynolds

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Indiana Univ.-Bloomington

Paper Title 2

Rhetoric and Seeing Metaphor in Chaucer's Franklin's Tale

Presenter 2 Name

Joseph Turner

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Louisville

Paper Title 3

Captive Metaphors: The Boethian Prison

Presenter 3 Name

Corey Sparks

Presenter 3 Affiliation

California State Univ.-Chico

Start Date

15-5-2016 10:30 AM

Session Location

Fetzer 1010

Description

Modern theories of metaphor abound, having made rich use of the many theoretical developments in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to consider the significance of figurative language. One of the most prominent twentieth-century theorists of metaphor, Paul Ricouer, in fact brought together in his massive ouevre ancient and medieval conceptions of figurative language with new philosophical and psychological investigations. Psychoanalytical thought from Lacan on has taken seriously the psychic work of metaphor, while in linguistics recent developments (such as the category of "conceptual metaphor") has investigated with great rigor the fundamental cognitive work of metaphor (pioneered by George Lakoff). Structural linguists, such as Roman Jakobson, and rhetoricians, such as Kenneth Burke, have also investigated the significance of metaphor to language more generally. Many of these contemporary theories have proven useful to medievalists, helping us to explore the significance of key metaphors, or of metaphor more generally in medieval texts. The concern of anachronism often haunts such work, however. While thinking about metaphor was not as central to the exegesis and systematic philosophies of the Middle Ages as, say, allegory and typology, many medieval theologians and philosophers did consider metaphor (in Latin, metaphora or similitudinis), or built on the work of classical rhetoricians who discussed metaphor. These papers compare aspects of medieval and modern theories of metaphor, looking for both similarities and differences how metaphor's operations and significance are understood, and exploring where and how it might be appropriate for medievalists to rely on contemporary theories to understand medieval texts.

Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger

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May 15th, 10:30 AM

Metaphor: Medieval and Modern

Fetzer 1010

Modern theories of metaphor abound, having made rich use of the many theoretical developments in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to consider the significance of figurative language. One of the most prominent twentieth-century theorists of metaphor, Paul Ricouer, in fact brought together in his massive ouevre ancient and medieval conceptions of figurative language with new philosophical and psychological investigations. Psychoanalytical thought from Lacan on has taken seriously the psychic work of metaphor, while in linguistics recent developments (such as the category of "conceptual metaphor") has investigated with great rigor the fundamental cognitive work of metaphor (pioneered by George Lakoff). Structural linguists, such as Roman Jakobson, and rhetoricians, such as Kenneth Burke, have also investigated the significance of metaphor to language more generally. Many of these contemporary theories have proven useful to medievalists, helping us to explore the significance of key metaphors, or of metaphor more generally in medieval texts. The concern of anachronism often haunts such work, however. While thinking about metaphor was not as central to the exegesis and systematic philosophies of the Middle Ages as, say, allegory and typology, many medieval theologians and philosophers did consider metaphor (in Latin, metaphora or similitudinis), or built on the work of classical rhetoricians who discussed metaphor. These papers compare aspects of medieval and modern theories of metaphor, looking for both similarities and differences how metaphor's operations and significance are understood, and exploring where and how it might be appropriate for medievalists to rely on contemporary theories to understand medieval texts.

Kerilyn Harkaway-Krieger