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Call for Papers

RaAM 11: Metaphor in the Arts, in Media and Communication

We are pleased to announce the 11th conference of RaAM – the Association for Researching and Applying Metaphor which will be held at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, 1– 4 July, 2016.

RaAM is committed to the study of metaphor, metonymy and other forms of figurative expression in all domains of life and with a particular focus on the application of metaphor research to real-life issues. With the 2016 theme “Metaphor in the Arts, in Media and Communication”, the conference RaAM 11 will embrace this central thought by putting the spotlight on ways of metaphorical communication – often beyond the scope of solely language-based discourse – in some of the most prominent areas of metaphor usage.

RaAM 11 wants to provide a platform for research from various fields that regard metaphor as a fundamental principle of communication in the realm of the arts as well as in different forms of media and every-day communication. The conference aims to explore metaphor and metaphor usage in contexts that operate on a broad range of sensory data and different levels of imagery. This includes film and other audio-visual media, literature, poetry, architecture, theatre, painting, music and dance as well as production design, social media and face-to-face communication. We especially invite contributions that explore and discuss the link between these realms: a particular experiential, embodied, sensory dimension of metaphor that grounds understanding and the emergence of meaning.

The conference will feature plenary lectures by:


We invite researchers from different disciplines, theoretical and methodological backgrounds to submit abstracts of papers, themed panels or poster presentations addressing topics within the broad range of the conference theme. These may include (but are not restricted to):

    • Metaphor and aesthetics
    • Metaphor and performance
    • Metaphor and affect
    • Metaphor and embodiment
    • Perceiving and understanding metaphor
    • Metaphoric meaning making
    • Narrativity, figuration and metaphor
    • Metaphor and expression
    • Metaphor and representation
    • Metaphor and temporality
    • Motifs, representations and metaphor
    • Rhetorics and metaphor (sketching out a family picture of metaphor: metaphor, metonymy, oxymoron, synecdoche, simile etc.)
    • Actions, applications and metaphor (e.g. art therapy, media pedagogy)
    • Metaphor and creativity
    • Multimodal metaphor (advertisement, comics, music, face-to-face communication including gesture with speech, film, television, video games etc.)
    • Conceptual metaphor in media and the arts

Submission of Abstracts

Abstracts for 20-minute papers and posters should be no longer than 400 words (excluding references). Proposals for themed panels (2-4 papers of 20 minutes) should add a panel description of no more than 300 words. All abstracts have to be submitted via ConfTool (https://www.conftool.com/raam2016).

Extended deadline for abstract submission: January 3, 2016
Notification of abstract acceptance: March 15, 2016
Registration for conference participation: March 15 – May 4, 2016

RaAM Membership

Please note that you will have to be a member of the RaAM association in order to attend the conference. (For further information visit: www.raam.org.uk/join-raam.) You do not have to be a RaAM-member to submit an abstract but will need to be registered as an association member in order to complete the conference registration process in spring 2016. 

PhD Conference Presentation Prize

A prize will be awarded for the best presentation by a PhD student. Presentations will be preselected in the application process and will compete in a special panel during the conference. Therefore, papers that are handed in as part of a themed panel cannot compete for the prize.

Pre-Conference PhD Workshop “How meaning becomes graspable”

Prior to the conference, on June 29 – 30, 2016, a PhD workshop is offered that will be focussing on methods for analysing metaphor usage in face-to-face discourse and in audio-visual images. It is aimed at – but not restricted to – junior researchers and young academics dealing with metaphor research, analysis of face-to-face communication and of audio-visual media, who are interested in analytical methods with regard to their object of research.

Together we want to sift, analyse, and discuss data – among others with regard to the respective research questions of the participants – on a small scale and in a concentrated and collaborative manner. For this purpose, the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) provides an appropriate and supportive setting. Being situated directly at the heart of Europe, at the German- Polish border and close to Berlin, it allows for working in a longstanding academic and scenic environment. We will take this bridge-building location of the Viadrina literally by joint activities on the two sides of the Oder River.

In order to apply for participating in the workshop a letter of motivation as well as an academic CV (assembled as one PDF file) are to be submitted via ConfTool (https://www.conftool.com/raam2016) where you also have to register in case of acceptance.

Extended deadline for letter of motivation submission: January 3, 2016
Notification of acceptance: March 15, 2016
Registration for workshop participation: March 15 – May 4, 2016

Further information and details about the application process will follow on the conference website. In case of any uncertainties or queries concerning the workshop, please contact the organizers at the email address raam-workshop@europa-uni.de.

Financial Support

A limited number of travel bursaries/stipends organised by the RaAM Executive Committee and the Local Organising Committee of the conference will be available for PhD students and postdocs in financial need. Details about the application process will be provided on the conference website.

Further Information and Contact 

If you have any further questions regarding the conference, please visit the conference website www.fu-berlin.de/raam2016 or send an email to raam2016@cinepoetics.fu-berlin.de. Regarding the workshop, please send an email to raam-workshop@europa-uni.de.

For further information regarding RaAM – the Association for Researching and Applying Metaphor, please visit the association’s website: www.raam.org.uk

We are very much looking forward to your submissions and hope to see you in Berlin next year.

The Local Organizing Committee:

Hermann Kappelhoff – Freie Universität Berlin
Cornelia Müller – European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder) 

Christina Schmitt, Regina Brückner, Thomas Scherer, Sarah Greifenstein, Jan-Hendrik Bakels
Freie Universität Berlin

Lena Hotze, Dorothea Horst, Franziska Boll
European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)