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The Stockholm Metaphor Festival is an annual event at the Department of English, Stockholm University, taking place at the beginning of the autumn semester, in late August or September. It started as internal departmental seminars on the character and use of metaphors, but has grown into an international conference on the occurrence and significance of figurative usage in general.

The interest in figurative language – in particular metaphor and more recently also metonymy – has increased considerably over the last few decades. This is in many ways a result of the development of cognitive science, an interdisciplinary field which includes studies into natural language semantics and the connection between cognition, language, and culture. It also connects to the renewed interest in rhetoric and to subject fields such as text and discourse analysis, translation theory and practice, multimodality, cultural studies, literary criticism and literary theory, including narratology, philosophical paradigms such as phenomenology, art and film studies, and neurolinguistics and neuroscience. In short, the inquiry into the nature and importance of figurative uses for human experience, cognition, social structures, culture, production of artefacts and artistic pursuits, including both literature and other art forms, makes this a broad and varied interdisciplinary field. In particular the connection between linguistic and literary research as regards the exploration into figurative language has been stimulating for colleagues in our department and elsewhere.

We thus welcome research contributions from a broad range of approaches into the character and use of figurative language and figurative semiotics at our Metaphor Festivals. We include both tropes and schemes in the notion of figures of speech, and are also interested in non-verbal figurative expressions. We invite presentations on metaphor, simile, metonymy, synecdoche, oxymoron, antithesis, hyperbole, understatement, punning, irony, and on rhyme schemes and other formal rhetorical devices, as well as on figurative signs in other communicative modes and art forms.