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Slavic and Semiotic Studies Professor to Discuss Style as Metaphor

Dr. Michael Shapiro, professor emeritus of Slavic and Semiotic studies at Brown University, will speak on “Style as a Cognitive Category” Tuesday, Nov. 10 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 123, Au Sable Hall.

According to Shapiro, style has long been a topic of interest in literature, linguistics, the arts, philosophy and in the social sciences. Using the conceptual tools of American philosopher Charles Peirce’s theory of signs and symbols, Shapiro argues that style acts as a metaphor or trope, representing the meaning of the work or artifact. 

Shapiro was born in Yokohama, his parents having fled Nazi Germany. He spent World War II in Japan, grew up speaking Russian, Japanese and English. Besides Brown, he has taught at UCLA, Princeton, UC Berkeley and Columbia University. He is the author of several books, including “Asymmetry,” “The Sense of Grammar,” “The Sense of Change,” and co-wrote with his late wife “Figuration in Verbal Art” and “The Sense of Form in Literature and Language.”

The presentation is free and open to the public. 

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