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CALL. 01.03.02019: Researching Metaphor in the Ancient Near East: Perspectives from Texts and Images


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FECHA LÍMITE/DEADLINE/SCADENZA: 01/03/2019

FECHA CONGRESO/CONGRESS DATE/DATA CONGRESSO: 08-09-10-11-12/07/2019

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Collège de France - Louvre (Paris, France)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Ludovico Portuese; Marta Pallavidini.

INFO: ludovicoportuese@gmail.com - marta.pallavidini@googlemail.com

CALL:

We call for papers for the organization of a workshop that investigates the metaphor in the Ancient Near East. The workshop proposal together with the selected abstracts will be submitted to the Organizing Committee of the 65th Recontre Assyriologique Internationale “Gods, Kings and Capitals in the Ancient Near East”, which will take place in Paris, 8-12 July 2019. Researching Metaphor in the Ancient Near East: Perspectives from Texts and Images Since Antiquity, metaphor has been an object of study for philosophers, rhetoricians and scholars in general. The study of metaphor proper begins with Aristotle, according to whom metaphor consists “in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else; the transference being either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from species to species, on the grounds of analogy” (Poetics, 1457b, 6-7). This model, together with Cicero’s identification of the functions of metaphor in making the speech more fashionable and more persuasive (Rhetorica ad Herennium, IV.34; De Oratore III, 158-162), led to consider metaphor as primarily stylistic, poetic, or ornamental, with the consequence that metaphor has been considered a trope, namely a change that occurs when attributes ordinarily designating one entity are transferred to another entity. This perspective became the dominant theory for understanding the way metaphors work for the next two millennia. However, metaphor has been the focus of the work of several scholars and other theorists have made significant contributions to this discussion (Richards, The Philosophy of Rhetoric 1936; Black, Models and Metaphors: Studies in Language and Philosophy 1962; Ricoeur, The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-disciplinary Studies of the Creation of Meaning in Language 1977, to name but a few). The perspective changed when George Lakoff and Mark Johnson in their book Metaphor We Live By argued that metaphor is not solely a language-structure, it is also a way of thinking and acting. In other words, metaphors are “pervasive in everyday life, not just in language but in thought and action” (Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By 1980, 3). As a consequence, metaphors are always present, and our conceptual system is fundamentally metaphorical in nature. This implies that ancient cultures, consciously or unconsciously, also made large use of metaphors and these can be investigated especially in textual and visual sources. In this perspective, the workshop proposes to tackle this issue through the different and complementary perspectives of texts and images. It aims to bring into focus the metaphor in its several functions and aspects: decorative, rhetoric, conceptual, ideological, propagandistic. By considering different methodological approaches and by looking at different textual (literary and non-literary texts) and visual sources (e.g. bas-reliefs, sculptures, wall paintings), we aim to gain new insight into the presence and dissemination of the metaphor in the Ancient Near East, an investigation that is still at its very beginning. Additionally, this workshop fosters analyses on the image-text interaction, that is the role of texts in identifying visual metaphor. In fact, although the image may stand out as a separate unit, the verbal element often helps to determine the metaphoricity of the image. We are welcoming abstracts from scholars of the Ancient Near Eastern Studies and adjacent fields. An abstract of 200-400 words should be sent to the organizers of the workshop before the March 1 deadline. The abstract should outline both topic and methodology. The papers should last no more than 20 minutes, but a further 10 minutes will be devoted for discussion.

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