Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Penetrating the Body Politic

Studies in Pre-Modern Political Metaphorology

Date: June 9 - 11, 2011

Convenor: Hiram Kümper (Bielefeld)

The workshop investigated the role of anthropomorphic metaphors in the political rhetorics of the pre-modern period, the pictorial reservoir of these rhetorics, and the ways in which such metaphors reciprocally depict and inscribe social structure. While not assenting to any specific theory of metaphorical speech, the papers emphasised the interaction between object and metaphor, engaging with the underlying thesis: if metaphors in general serve to construct social reality then gendered metaphors in political rhetorics do not only tell us something about politics but indeed are actual gender politics inasmuch as it carries forward, oppresses, adjusts, or simply conceals elements of collectively shared assumptions. Gendering the body politic then becomes an act of body politics. As a first observation of the workshop, gendered metaphors of the pre-modern body politic seem to have been utilized most frequently in states of transition.


Franz-Josef Arlinghaus (Bielefeld), Beat Bächi (Bielefeld), Jutta Breittruck (Bielefeld), Anne Diekjobst (Bielefeld), Britta Dostert (Bielefeld), Kirsten Frieling (Bielefeld), Malte Griesse (Bielefeld), Rainer Guldin (Lugano), Ursula Hennigfeld (Freiburg i.Br.), Michael Hohlstein (Bielefeld), Sabine Kalff (Berlin), Sergius Kodera (Wien), Annina Ligniez (Bielefeld), Beatrice Michaelis (Gießen), Andreas Musolff (Norwich), Silke Schwandt (Frankfurt am Main), Birte Schiewek (Bielefeld), Angela Stock (Bielefeld), Jasmin vom Brocke (Bochum)

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