Contagious Metaphor (Paperback)
  • Contagious Metaphor (Paperback)
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Contagious Metaphor (Paperback)

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£24.99
Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 27/03/2014
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The metaphor of contagion pervades critical discourse across the humanities, the medical sciences, and the social sciences. It appears in such terms as 'social contagion' in psychology, 'financial contagion' in economics, 'viral marketing' in business, and even 'cultural contagion' in anthropology. In the twenty-first century, contagion, or 'thought contagion' has become a byword for creativity and a fundamental process by which knowledge and ideas are communicated and taken up, and resonates with Andre Siegfried's observation that 'there is a striking parallel between the spreading of germs and the spreading of ideas'. In Contagious Metaphor, Peta Mitchell offers an innovative, interdisciplinary study of the metaphor of contagion and its relationship to the workings of language. Examining both metaphors of contagion and metaphor as contagion, Contagious Metaphor suggests a framework through which the emergence and often epidemic-like reproduction of metaphor can be better understood.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781472521620
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 304 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 11 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book is a treasure-trove for references to 'social contagion' metaphors past and present and has interesting historical commentaries. * Modern Language Review *
Peta Mitchell's highly readable ContagiousMetaphor explores medical and popular beliefs and practices aboutcontagion-and the metaphors that shape them. Reaching back through thenineteenth century and then ranging widely through more recent decades, sheshows how ambivalence about figurative language and misunderstanding ofmetaphor itself has shaped our responses to epidemics both imaginedand experienced. From miasma to Dionysian frenzy to memes on theinternet, Mitchell challenges our assumptions about both language andcontagion, providing engaging and provocative analyses of examples from film,philosophy, linguistics and literature. -- Pamela K. Gilbert, Department of English, University of Florida, USA
'The history of medicine and metaphor come together inContagious Metaphor; Peta Mitchell perceptively chronicles the circulation ofthe metaphor of contagion and the contagion of metaphor in the current momentto show how ideas travel through language to shape lived experience. ContagiousMetaphor anatomizes the transmission of thought itself as it brings together astudy of the social phenomenon of a veritable obsession with the concept ofcontagion and a profound understanding of the role of language in creating notjust individual, but a broadly cultural consciousness. This study will enrichcontemporary understanding of the longstanding appeal of contagion as a conceptand of the power of metaphor as they circulate through, and register awidespread attempt to make sense of, the networks of contemporary social life.' -- Priscilla Wald, Department of English, Duke University, USA
Thisis a captivating book: interdisciplinary scholarship at its best. Moving deftlybetween meme theory and modern literature, nineteenth-century French socialscience and fifth-century theological debates, Peta Mitchell's genealogy ofcontagion metaphor reveals the intimacy, and indeed interdependency, of thesetwo concepts. The subtlety, sophistication and scholarly rigour of ContagiousMetaphor all but guarantee the spread of its ideas. -- Angela Woods, Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University, UK

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