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What can metaphors tell us about the experience of depression? The case of Sylvia Plath

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Time: 4.15pm - 6.00pm
Venue: JG3003, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE
Price: free
Speaker(s): Dr Zsófia Demjén from the Open University

What can metaphors tell us about the experience of depression? The case of Sylvia Plath

Metaphor involves talking and potentially thinking about one thing in terms of another: when we say that someone is 'at a crossroad in their life', we talk about life as if it was a journey. Metaphors are generally used to describe subjective, abstract, complex and/or sensitive topics in terms of physical, more concrete, simpler and less sensitive topics. This means that any context that involves verbalising something that is subjective, abstract, complex or sensitive, such as one's inner states, will also involve metaphor. It compactly, efficiently and vividly conveys a large amount of information that would be inexpressible literally (Ortony, 1975), making it a useful tool for analysis.

Zsófia Demjén says: "After an overview of the metaphor identification procedure (MIP) (Pragglejaz, 2007) and other tools for making sense of metaphor patterns in language, I will focus on two significant groups of metaphors, linked to mental states, in The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. Specifically, I will focus on metaphors of motion and split self, discussing what the implications, entailments and associations of these can tell us about Plath's experience of depression."

Zsófia Demjén is a lecturer in English language and applied linguistics at the Open University. Her research interests include non-literary stylistics, discourse analysis, metaphor, medical humani-ties and health communication. Before moving to the Open University, Zsófia was a senior research associate at Lancaster University on the ESRC-funded Metaphor in End of Life Care project. Zsófia has published in Metaphor and the Social World and the Journal of Literary Semantics, among others.

For further information about this event:

Contact: Korina Giaxoglou
Tel: 020 8417 2325
Email: Korina.Giaxoglou@kingston.ac.uk

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Directions to JG3003, Penrhyn Road campus, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2EE:

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