The seminar is based on Conceptual Metaphor Theory (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) with its recent developments focusing on sociolinguistic and variational issues. The theory suggests that metaphors are not necessarily used consciously, but that they instead influence our behaviour, our interaction with others and our perception of the world, often unnoticed by the speakers and listeners themselves. Furthermore, conceptual metaphors are not only expressed verbally, but are observable in a range of other modes such as gestures, facial expressions, image composition or sound (therefore: multimodal).

The course is practically oriented and divided in four blocks:

  • Block I (theory) spans the first three sessions during which students will get input on Conceptual Metaphor Theory and various important theoretical aspects.
  • Block II (exchange) spans two sessions in which students present the interim design of their self-organised session and get feedback by the others.
  • Block III (application) consists of the actual thematic sessions and spans eight sessions.
  • Block IV (summary) concludes the seminar with a round-up discussion and the results of the students’ evaluation of the seminar.