English 640: S/Metaphor and Stylistics

M 4:00-7:40 Mitchell Hall 118
Office: Humanities Bldg. #349 Office phone: 277-8944
Office Hours: Tuesday 8:00-10:00
and by appointment

Dept. phone: 277-6347

Course Texts:

  • Corbett, Edward P.J., ed. The Rhetoric and Poetics of Aristotle (New York: Modern Library, 1984)
  • Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980)
  • Ortony, Andrew, ed. Metaphor and Thought, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1993)
  • Readings Packet: ‘English 640.001: Metaphor and more metaphor' (at SUB)
    • E-Lectures on sound processes, theme/rheme and given/new, speech and thought presentation, metaphor, speech acts,
    • I.A. Richards and Max Black on metaphor,
    • Fodor's "If psychological processes are computational, how can psychological laws be intentional?"
    • Jakobson's "The metaphoric and metonymic poles,"
    • Nietzsche's "On truth and lies in a nonmoral sense."
  • Richards, I.A. The Philosophy of Rhetoric (New York: Oxford, 1936).
  • Weber, Jean Jacques, ed. The Stylistics Reader: From Roman Jakobson to the Present (New York: Arnold, 1996).
  • Additional texts that you recommend, study, and prepare for presentations to the class.

On Reserve:

  • Aristotle, Poetics (PN 1040 A7 B8 1951)
  • Aristotle, Rhetoric (PN 173 A7 R6 1984)
  • Black, Max, "Metaphor," Proceedings of the Aristotle Society (1954):25-47.
  • Derrida, Jacques, "White mythology: Metaphor in the text of philosophy," New Literary History 6 (Autumn 1974):5-74.
  • Fernandez, James, ed. Beyond metaphor (GN 452.5 B48 1991)
  • Fodor, Jerry A., The Elm and the Expert
  • Halliday, M. A. K., An Introduction to Functional Grammar.
  • Hawkes, Terrance, Metaphor (PN 228 M4 H3)
  • Jakobson, Roman, "The metaphoric and metonymic poles," Fundamental in Language, rev. ed.
  • Johnson, Mark, The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason (B 105 M4 J64 1992)
  • Labov, William, Language in the Inner City: Studies in Black English vernacular.
  • Lakoff, George, Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal about the Mind. (P37 L344 1987)
  • Lakoff, George and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By (P 106 L235)
  • Lakoff, George and Mark Turner, More than cool reason: A field guide to poetic metaphor. (PN 228 M4 L27 1989)
  • Levin, Samuel, Semantic of metaphor (P 325 L44)
  • Miall, David S., ed. Metaphors: Problems and perspectives. (PN 228 M4 M484 1982)
  • Nietzsche, Frederich "On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense," The Rhetorical Tradition, eds. Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg (New York: St. Martin's, 1990), 885-96.
  • Ortony, Andrew, ed. Metaphor and Thought. (BF 455 M47)
  • Plato, Cratylus
  • Ricour, Paul, The rule of metaphor (PN 228 M4 R513)
  • Sacks, Sheldon, ed. On metaphor (PN 228 M4 O5)
  • Sebock, Thomas, ed. Style in language (808 C7602s)
  • Short and Leech, Geoffrey, ed. Style in Fiction
  • Turbayne, Colin, The myth of metaphor (808 T841m)
  • Turner, Mark, Death is the mother of beauty: Mind, metaphor, & criticism (PN228M4T871987)
  • Turner, Mark, Reading minds: The study of English in the age of cognitive science (PE68 5T87 1991)

On the WWW:

Overview: Or, It Always Helps to Know Where She's Coming From.. . .

Participation: In my thinking about education, I believe seminars differ from other graduates courses in three basic ways:

  1. A seminar centers on the close study of particular elements--here, stylistics, metaphor, and their relationships to one another and to written discourse--rather than on a broad survey of a historical period, type of discourse, etc. Hence there are no lectures, review sessions, or examinations in seminars.
  2. Those enrolling in a seminar are advanced students in a discipline; that is, they are different from ‘average' students and should expect a study different from ‘typical' classes in the discipline. As advanced students, participants know about the seminar's field, have expertise in researching and evaluating publications concerning the field, and can comfortably relate any new material encountered in the seminar with theoretical and/or primary texts from the field. Students' familiarity with the seminar topic will vary but not greatly. For example, while it would be unusual for a 20th century American literature specialist to enroll in a Medieval lyric poetry seminar, it would not be as unlikely as it would be for a chemical engineering doctoral student to attempt that seminar. Moreover, seminar participants should expect a closer examination of texts than they may have experienced in other courses. The participants should expect to disagree, to argue positions not only with one another but with the authors of the readings, to test arguments through application, to tear into the material.
  3. While the instructor selects the topic and many of the readings for a seminar, seminar students control the presentation of that material.

Therefore, at each seminar meeting, one or two participants should expect to hold the class discussion. During these discussions, the presenter(s) should help the participants explain, analyze, compare, and debate the theories of a theorist's position. The participants should consider what texts--literary or non-literary--that will serve as analytic tools. In other words, the following syllabus outlines the general sequence for the class; participants need to determine which evening(s) to present.

Written Assignments and Oral Presentations

Ideally, a seminar should provide a participant the opportunity to examine an idea in depth and in writing. A seminar essay, if ultimately successful, should be the rough draft of a publishable article, one that needs minimal revision before submission OR should serve as a chapter or substantial section of a longer document, a doctoral thesis or book-length examination of discipline-related subject. Moreover, I believe strongly that writing (potentially) publishable documents requires the keen evaluations of colleagues. Thus participants will benefit from determining a topic of interest early on in the seminar period, preparing a preliminary overview of thoughts and approaches to that topic, and bringing that information to the seminar for discussion.

To get participants thinking about possible topics, consider the following suggestions:

  • Review of the literature surrounding one specific question (e.g., What is linguistic style? What constitutes a grammatical metaphor? An ideational metaphor? Are these functional ways of examining cognition, style, r metaphoric language?)
  • Evaluate one theorist's position on a topic by critiquing the theorist's logic, argument, and evidence.
  • Apply the position taken by one theorist or by one school of style or metaphor analysis to a specific text or genre (e.g., nonfiction prose, haiku, contemporary drama, prose poems).
  • Devise a theory of study or a theory of metaphor that explains an area you see as sadly neglected by previous theorists.
  • Investigate how an approach from one discipline or ideology can enlighten the understanding of style or of metaphor in another (e.g., cognitive linguistics applied to film).
  • Consider the place metaphor has/deserves to have in stylistics.
  • Evaluate the rhetorical impact of a theory of style or metaphor on some area of the discipline called English language and literature.

When a student has a substantive draft of the essay, the participant should bring that draft, with a developed outline/overview, to the seminar in order to present the topic to the group for additional evaluation and recommendations. Tentatively, I've set aside the last five weeks of the term for these longer presentations. If this time frame is inadequate, we can revise it.