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LINGUIST List 19.2357

Mon Jul 28 2008

Confs: Discourse Analysis, Neuroling, Pragmatics, Semantics/Belgium

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        1.    Kurt Feyaerts, The Agile Mind: Creativity in Discourse and Art


Message 1: The Agile Mind: Creativity in Discourse and Art
Date: 03-Jul-2008
From: Kurt Feyaerts <agilemindkvab.be>
Subject: The Agile Mind: Creativity in Discourse and Art
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The Agile Mind: Creativity in Discourse and Art
Short Title: The Agile Mind

Date: 11-Sep-2008 - 12-Sep-2008
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Contact: Celine Van Lierde
Contact Email: agilemindkvab.be
Meeting URL: http://

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis; Neurolinguistics; Pragmatics; Semantics

Meeting Description:

The Agile Mind: Creativity in Discourse and Art

True creativity is the mark of genius. But on a more modest level, creative
thinking is expected of everybody, and par excellence of artists. While
creativity has long been considered something that eludes systematic study,
there is an increasing scholarly interest in the concept, which builds on the
idea that it should be possible to say something useful at least about the
conditions and variables that are conducive to creativity. It is thus a central
tenet of this symposium that creativity is, paradoxically, to a certain extent
rule-governed. Excellent persuasive discourse, humor, art, and scholarship are
all creative in their own way, and for different purposes (say, convincing,
entertaining, moving, illuminating people). If it correct that principles of
creativity exist, we should be able to focus on specific varieties of
creativity, and infer generalizable patterns from these

Contact Forum

The Agile Mind: Creativity in Discourse and Art
Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (VLAC)
Brussels,11-12 September 2008

Organization: Kurt Feyaerts, Charles Forceville & Tony Veale (VLAC) in
cooperation with Walter Daelemans (University Antwerp), Paul Sambre (Lessius),
Kathleen Coessens (VU Brussels & Orpheus Institute)
Supported by Vlaams Academisch Centrum (VLAC), Lessius Antwerp, KU Leuven
research project ZKB7092/OT/07/030
Place: Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium, Hertogstraat 1, Brussels.

Description:

The contact forum ''The Agile Mind'' aims to bring together scholars with a
theoretical and practical interest in creativity that is (i) addressed to
audiences consisting of more than one individual; (ii) meant to entertain or
persuade (or both); (iii) made accessible in ''discourses'' consisting of verbal
information, visual information, and/or aural information.

Starting from the claim that ''creativity is a cognitive process that integrates
duality or plurality of form and function in both artifacts and in mental
representations'' (Veale, Feyaerts, and Forceville, in prep.), we see as
promising avenues for creativity research the following themes and issues - but
this is by no means an exhaustive list.

Metaphor: ''Metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in
terms of another kind of thing'' (Lakoff and Johnson 1980: 5?) and thus spurs
the process of discovering (or establishing) new connections between phenomena.

Blends: Fauconnier & Turner's (2002) blending theory. F&T understand many useful
concepts (''blended spaces'') as consisting of blends of two or more ''input
spaces'' that each contribute partially shared and partially unique information
to the blended space. A question could be: ''given one input space, and given a
general idea of what the resulting blended space should be, what should be
supplied in the second input space?'' (see Veale et al.)

Bisociation: Optimal Innovation. In his seminal work, Koestler (1964) achieved
an impressive synthesis by recognizing that acts of creativity in different
domains (humour, art and science) bear the fingerprints of a common mechanism,
called 'bisociation of mental matrices'. For instance, the humour of jokes and
the insight of metaphor both establish and resolve a semantic tension or
incongruity. Likewise, the form of many jokes is that of a compressed 'thought
experiment' where a widely held view or widely practiced activity is shown to be
inherently inconsistent, perhaps ridiculously so. In each case, an exceptional
object is constructed which, despite initial reservations, is eventually
accepted as a valid member of an apparently incongruous category. Jokes,
metaphors and thought experiments are all knowledge-creating mechanisms then,
since each promotes enhanced category awareness through the re-examination
and/or extension of category boundaries. The innovativeness of creativity thus
arises from the placement of an object in an apparently ill-suited category
(e.g. a credit card as a lock-pick, a urinal as a sculpture, or a dog-collar as
a necklace), while the usefulness of creativity arises from our ability to
reconcile this exceptional object to its new category surroundings. Rachel Giora
(2003) refers to these complementary requirements on the creative act in terms
of her Optimal Innovation hypothesis. This hypothesis counts as a psychological
model of successful creativity, according to which 'pleasurable' utterances
require a balanced combination of conventional and innovative structures.

Creative solutions can best be appreciated as such by audiences who are aware of
what the problems or norms were which the creative agent attempted, consciously
or subconsciously, to overcome or subvert. Crucial background information to
assess solutions involves an understanding of the discourse genre, including its
goals, conventions, and constraints.

Discourses are increasingly multimodal - they consist of combinations of two or
more of the following: language, visuals, music, sound, gesture (and by
extension: tactile, olfactory, and gustatory perception). What are the
opportunities and constraints offered by each of these modalities for creativity?

Speakers: Rachel Giora (University Tel Aviv), Kurt Feyaerts (VLAC & KU Leuven),
Charles Forceville (VLAC & Universiteit van Amsterdam), Irene Mittelberg & Alan
Cienki (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Elisabeth Zima (KU Leuven), Brigitte
Nerlich (University of Nottingham), Paul Sambre (Lessius Antwerp), Andreas
Langlotz (University of Basel), Seana Coulson (University of California at San
Diego), Geert Brône (KU Leuven), Patrick Hanks (Masaryk University Brno),
Frederik De Bleser, Tom de Smedt & Walter Daelemans (Sint-Lucas Antwerp,
University of Antwerp), Tony Veale (VLAC & University College Dublin), Tim De
Mey (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam), Kathleen Coessens (Vrije Universiteit
Brussel & Orpheus Institute), Hendrik Vanden Abeele & Juan Parra (Orpheus
Institute), Gert Meesters (Université de Liège).

Programme: to be announced shortly.

Practical information

Location: Royal Flemish Academy (VLAC), Hertogstraat 1, Brussels, Belgium.

Transport: Brussels Airport is a 15 minute train trip from Brussels Central
Station, from where it is a ten minutes' walk to the Academy or two metro stops
to Troon/Throne, which is located next to the Academy (Beaux Arts/Royal Palace
district).

Time: Thursday 11 and Friday 12 September 2008, 9.00 - 17.00 hrs.

Conference Fee: 50 Euros (reduced fee: 30 Euros).

Accomodation: All speakers will be accommodated in the Cascade hotel,
Bronstraat/Rue de la Source 14 (metro: Munthof/La Monnaie), a twenty minutes
walk, or three metro stops, away from VLAC. Other participants have to make
their own reservations. September is a conference month, so you are advised to
book early. Conveniently located hotels are:

Cascade Hotel: http://www.cascadehotel.be/index.php?page=en_Home
Hotel Chambord: http://www.hotel-chambord.be/
Beverly Hills Hotel: http://www.hotelbeverlyhills.be
Hotel Argus: http://www.hotel-argus.be/
Hotel Leopold: http://www.hotel-leopold.be/

Two small hotels are:
Hotel Les Bluets: http://www.belge.net/bluets
Hotel Rembrandt: http://www.hotel-rembrandt.be/

For more information, please contact Celine Van Lierde at agilemindkvab.be

REGISTRATION FORM FOR PARTICIPANTS

SYMPOSIUM - THE AGILE MIND: CREATIVITY IN DISCOURSE AND ART
ROYAL FLEMISH ACADEMY OF BELGIUM FOR SCIENCE AND THE ARTS (VLAC)
BRUSSELS, 11-12 SEPTEMBER 2008

THE COST OF REGISTRATION IS 50€ FOR REGULAR PARTICIPANTS, AND 30€ FOR STUDENTS,
PENSIONERS AND THE UNEMPLOYED. INVITED SPEAKERS AND MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY
/ VLAC ARE EXEMPT FROM FEES. THE REGISTRATION FEE COVERS ACCESS TO THE
PRESENTATIONS, COFFEE, TEA, SANDWICH LUNCH ON THURSDAY, AND THE CLOSING
RECEPTION ON FRIDAY.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE REGISTRATION FORM AND RETURN IT BY FAX (32-(0)2-550-2325 OR
AS AN E-MAIL ATTACHMENT TO AGILEMINDKVAB.BE, NO LATER THAN 15 AUGUST 2008.
PLEASE MARK THE SUBJECT OF YOUR MESSAGE 'REGISTRATION FOR THE AGILE MIND.' YOUR
PARTICIPATION WILL BE EFFECTIVE ONCE YOUR PAYMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING REGISTRATION, PLEASE CONTACT CELINE VAN
LIERDE AT AGILEMINDKVAB.BE
PERSONAL INFORMATION
(PLEASE TYPE OR PRINT CLEARLY IN CAPITAL LETTERS)
SURNAME(S).....................................................................
FIRST NAME(S)..................................................................
TITLE..........................................................................
AFFILIATION....................................................................
NAME/AFFILIATION AS IT SHOULD APPEAR ON THE BADGE (IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE)
...........................................................
ADDRESS...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
E-MAIL ADRESS..................................................................

CONFERENCE INFORMATION
TO HELP WITH THE CONFERENCE ORGANISATION, PLEASE COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING (DELETE
ITEMS AS NECESSARY)
_ I WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONFERENCE DINNER ON THURSDAY 11 SEPTEMBER
(40 EUROS).
_ I WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE LUNCH ON FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER (30 EUROS).

PLEASE INDICATE IF YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL DIETARY WISHES.

PAYMENT INFORMATION

_ I HAVE PAID €50€ (REGULAR PARTICIPANT) €
_ I HAVE PAID €30€ (AS A STUDENT/UNEMPLOYED DELEGATE) €
_ I HAVE PAID €40€ FOR THE CONFERENCE DINNER ON THURSDAY 11 SEPTEMBER (OPTIONAL)
_ I HAVE PAID €30€ FOR THE LUNCH ON FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER (OPTIONAL) €
_ I HAVE NOT PAID A CONFERENCE FEE BECAUSE I AM A MEMBER OF THE ACADEMY / VLAC

SUMTOTAL ______________________________€

METHODS OF PAYMENT

BANK CHARGES ARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PAYER AND SHOULD BE PAID AT SOURCE.
PAYMENTS WILL BE CHARGED IN EUROS. PAYMENT BY CREDIT CARD IS NOT POSSIBLE.

PLEASE TRANSFER THE TOTAL AMOUNT TO ''AGILE MIND, VLAC'' AT:

BANK: POSTCHEQUE
IBAN NUMBER: BE33 0000 0352 5746
BIC: BPOTBEB1
Account owned by: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie, Hertogstraat 1, 1000 Brussel
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