Symposium on metaphor at AILA, Groningen (The Netherlands)

We are pleased to announce a new RaAM-endorsed event – this time with a Call for Papers for a symposium!

From 9-14 August 2020 the AILA-World Congress of Applied Linguistics will be held in Groningen, The Netherlands.

Call for Papers

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to announce our successful symposium bid S115 — Power, Persuasion, and Privilege: Metaphor as Mediator — for the AILA-World Congress of Applied Linguistics. AILA2020 will take place from August 9-14 in 2020 in Groningen, The Netherlands. We believe our symposium reflects your area of expertise and thought you might be interested in submitting a paper for inclusion.

In this RaAM endorsed symposium, the papers will examine how metaphors manifest and mediate power and privilege in political and professional rhetoric as well as how metaphor is used to persuade. Research by scholars on how metaphors expose and exploit power structures in healthcare, education, business, politics, psychology, etc. are welcome to submit to this symposium. The full symposium abstract is included at the end of this message for your reference.

The deadline for submission is September 16 and we will be including no more than 10 papers (standard multimodal presentation) and 10 posters (focused multimodal presentations). We must point out that there is no financial incentive available for any of our presenters including our featured speaker.

If you would like to join our symposium, please visit: and proceed according to the AILA guidelines. We look forward to receiving your abstract (APA Style 6th Edition).

For further information, please do not hesitate to email the symposium co-organisers:

  • Kathleen Ahrens, Ph.D.
      Professor, Department of English
      Director, Research Centre for Professional Communication in English
      The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Allison Creed, Ph.D.
      Curriculum Designer, Arts Teaching Innovation (ATI)
      Faculty of Arts
      The University of Melbourne
  • AILA2020 Symposium Abstract

    Metaphor and mediation are integral to how a community connects to, learns from, and manages to communicate. Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) contribution, Conceptual Metaphor Theory, highlighted the pervasiveness of metaphor and their use in reasoning and understanding. Metaphor as mediator in the process and practice of communication is interactive with the social and cultural environment surrounding the individual, institution, or organisation. In turn, metaphor has been shown to influence interactions, meaning making, and value systems. This symposium explores the theoretical and empirical study of metaphor in discourse across diverging domains of knowledge and practice including healthcare, education, business, politics, psychology, etc. Our focus is the examination of how metaphorical language use can manifest power in political rhetoric, persuasion in professional rhetoric, and privilege in process and practice. The symposium will showcase current research from the perspective of conceptual metaphors, linguistic metaphors, and metaphor themes or scenarios to demonstrate the merits of applied metaphor analysis to real world problems facing academia, industry, and our communities.