New MA in metaphor at the VU, Amsterdam

G.J. Steen gj.steen at
Fri Feb 29 12:18:59 UTC 2008

New MA in Metaphor Studies
at the Vrije Universiteit (VU), Amsterdam, Netherlands

Starting in September 2008, the VU will offer a track 
within the Master of Arts degree programme in English 
Language and Culture that is centred on the study of 

This special programme will consist of four taught courses 
(each worth 10 ects) plus a Master’s thesis (20 ects). 
Three of the courses are focused on metaphor, and are 
compulsory. The fourth course can be chosen from the wide 
range of topics offered in the Department of Language and 
Communication and other departments in the Faculty of 
Arts. Each student will then complete a Master’s thesis of 
approximately 30,000 words. The one-year programme is 
designed as follows:

Semester 1
– Metaphor in discourse
Instructor: Prof. Gerard Steen
Addresses conventional uses of metaphor in language and 
questions about how it can be defined and identified, when 
and how it is used, and how it can be analysed in 

– Metaphor, metonymy and creativity
Instructor: Dr Irene Mittelberg
Attention is given to the cline between conventional and 
novel metaphor and the link to metonymy, examining various 
forms of expression in the media, politics, arts and 

– Elective course

Semester 2
– Metaphor, Embodied Experience and Thought
Instructor: Dr Alan Cienki
Considers how our language about the physical world is 
connected to how we think about and express abstract 
ideas; engages questions from linguistics, psychology and 

– MA thesis

This MA degree may serve as solid preparation for PhD work 
on metaphor and other language phenomena in various fields 
of linguistics, and the humanities more broadly. It may 
also prepare the student for professional activities in 
teaching, document design, editing, communication advice 
and other fields in which text analysis plays an important 

For general information about the MA programme in English, 
please see . For 
specific questions, please contact the programme 
coordinator, Dr Alan Cienki, e-mail a.cienki AT 

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