Cognitive Linguistic Methods in Cultural Analysis: Interdisciplinary Perspective

Funded by CEELBAS research project grant (£5000), and resulted in the international research workshop 'The Use of Cognitive Linguistics and Interdisciplinarity in the Area of Russian and East European Studies', organised by Dr. Pleshakova and held at Wolfson College, Oxford, June 2011


The world’s most pressing problems require new solutions that transgress our disciplinary boundaries. The notion of interdisciplinarity appears to be highly challenging for researchers, teachers and students. The workshop discusses cognitive linguistics as a promising theoretical foundation for interdisciplinary cultural research, specifically in the area of Russian and East European Studies (REES). It provides a valuable opportunity for professional development in language-based research skills that will serve both scholars and current postgraduate students at CEELBAS universities interested in the area of interdisciplinary research. The workshop will promote an open dialogue between cognitive linguists, linguists and scholars from other humanities and social sciences fields interested in cultural research. The workshop shows how innovative cognitive linguistic methods can be applied to the exploration of various facets of culture including such notions as national identity and conceptual processes underlying different cultural manifestations. The list of questions for discussion includes:

• To what extent do the research methods used in cognitive linguistics provide a good foundation for interdisciplinary (social sciences and humanities) cultural research?

• How can cognitive linguistic methods help to elucidate the cross-cultural and cultural phenomena in the 'REES' field, including various important aspects of national identity?

• How do the cognitive linguistic methods allow us to map new directions in the exploration of such issues as national identity, post-communist treatment of history, symbolic use of language, and the role of the mass media in the formation of new social identities?

Workshop Programme

9.30-10am Registration, Coffee and Tea

Morning session

Welcome and Introduction  - Dr. Chris Davis, Co-Director of CEELBAS (University of Oxford, UK) and  Dr. Anna Pleshakova (University of Oxford, UK)

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Mark Turner (Case Western Reserve University, USA) will focus on the application of conceptual integration/blending (CI) research methodology to cultural analysis.

Dr. Anna Pleshakova (University of Oxford, UK) will focus on CI analysis in relation to the Russian media discourse.

11.40 – 12.00 Coffee and Tea Break

Professor Paul Chilton (Lancaster University, UK) will talk about the cognitive linguistic approach - Deictic Space Theory - in relation to the political discourse.

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

Afternoon Session

A ‘round table’ session will take place, with all workshop participants contributing to a general discussion on the utility of cognitive linguistic methods for the interdisciplinary cultural research in East European Area studies.

Round Table Speakers:

Dr. Ekaterina Chown (University of Nottingham and University of Sheffield)

Olivia Knapton (King’s College London, UK)

Kristen Perrin (University College London, UK)

Maria Repnikova (St Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, UK)

Joanna Szostek (St Anthony’s College, University of Oxford, UK)

Discussant: Dr. Alexandra Smith (University of Edinburgh, UK)

16.00 – 17.00 Refreshments