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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

‘I am the page of words’: How cognitive poetics reveals metaphor's transformative power
by Dusenbery, Kathleen E., Ph.D., Illinois State University, 2011, 236; 3500073
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation argues that cognitive poetics reveals metaphor's transformative power in the analysis of literature, in the teaching of writing, and in the creative writing of the author. The dissertation frames this argument in cognitive poetics' analytical terms by employing three major strategies from the field: genre as prototype, cognitive grammar, and the influence of metaphor and metonymy. These three approaches are applied to specific examples of literature, in terms of course design and pedagogy, and in the author's own creative writing to exhibit how the analysis of metaphor changes the human mind.

The dissertation incorporates recent research on introspection, which in the last twenty years has seen much growth in the field due to the increase in the use of brain scans to provide evidence to cognitive psychologists and cognitive linguists. The act of introspection is key to the field of cognitive poetics, which stems from ancient philosophy, nineteenth century European philology, and twentieth century psychology and linguistics. Chapter One traces this history and the development of significant themes in the field. Chapter Two shows how cognitive poetics analyzes literature, by way of three frameworks: identifying genres as prototypes, cognitive grammar, and the influence of metaphor and metonymy on whole texts. Chapter Three applies these analytical paradigms to specific pieces of literature by Stephen Crane, Charles Baudelaire, and Emily Dickinson. Chapter Four discusses the significance and success of cognitive poetics in the composition and creative writing classroom in terms of how it transforms student self-perception, and includes examples of students' own writing on the subject. Chapter Five is the culmination of the project, wherein the author combines the analytical paradigms from cognitive poetics with her own creative work, ultimately showing how the field has altered her work as a writer and as a human forever.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Getsi, Lucia Cordell
School: Illinois State University
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, American literature, Language, Rhetoric
Keywords: Creative writing, Metaphor, Metonymy, Naturalism, Philology, Symbolism
Publication Number: 3500073
ISBN: 978-1-267-21369-3
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