QUEST Webinar: Metaphor and Method



Organised by:

University of Southampton


Professor Melanie Nind (Chair), Dr  Mihaela Iorga, Dr Nicole Brown and Dr Andy Coverdale


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Penny White
NCRM Centre Manager

video conference logo

Venue: Online


Metaphor and Method

Thursday 23 November 13.30-15.30

The next event in the QUEST/NCRM/SCDTP seminar series focuses on metaphor as method in qualitative social research. It will take place online on Microsoft Teams

Metaphors of immigration in the Romanian versus the British context (2006 - 2018), Mihaela Iorga

Dr Mihaela Iorga is a recent PhD graduate from the University of Portsmouth and ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. Her thesis is entitled ‘A longitudinal comparison of the representation of migration in a corpus of British and Romanian newspaper articles published between 2006 and 2018’. Her academic interests include media discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, foreign languages, and politics, particularly surrounding the Brexit phenomenon in Europe. Currently, Mihaela works as a teaching fellow in Educational Leadership and Management at the University of Portsmouth.

Mihaela will look at the main patterns identified in the conceptualisation of migrants in Romanian and British newspaper articles published between 2006 and 2018. She will focus on how asylum seekers, refugees, Muslims, Roma and non-Roma Romanians were portrayed by these publications, through conceptual metaphors. 

Objects as metaphors to account for embodiment, Nicole Brown

Dr Nicole Brown is Director of Social Research & Practice and Education Ltd and Associate Professor at University College London working on the cusp of research/practice/teaching. Nicole’s creative and research work relate to representations of experiences, the generation of knowledge, and research methods and approaches to explore the same. Her publications include Making the Most of Your Research JournalEmbodied Inquiry: Research Methods and Lived Experiences of Ableism in Academia: Strategies for Inclusion in Higher EducationHer upcoming books are Photovoice Reimagined and Creativity in Education: International Perspectives. She tweets as @ncjbrown and @AbleismAcademia

In several research projects using Embodied Inquiry, Nicole has explored the lived experience of disabled, chronically ill and/or neurodivergent staff and students in higher education. She will outline how using objects as metaphorical expressions of experiences helps account for embodiment at the stages of data generation and analysis. Participants curated their own mini-exhibitions of objects, creating installations, some of which are intended for public sharing, some merely a stepping stone towards theorisations. Nicole will briefly critique the strengths, opportunities, and challenges of object-work.

Using visual metaphors in online workshops, Andy Coverdale

Dr Andy Coverdale is a Research Fellow in Southampton Education School and in the Centre for Research in Inclusion (CRI). His research interests include working with people with learning disabilities and he is currently working with Dr Sarah Lewthwaite on her project, ‘Teaching Accessibility in the Digital Skill Set'. Andy's presentation corresponds with a new book chapter co-authored with Melanie Nind and Robert Meckin in the Handbook of Teaching and Learning Social Research Methods. He tweets as @andycoverdale

Andy looks at the use of visual metaphor in a series of online workshops conducted as part of the NCRM project, 'Changing Research Practices' (2020-2022) with Melanie Nind and Robert Meckin. Participating researchers created river-based images to share their experiences of how they adapted their research methods in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on examples from the workshops, Andy will describe how the metaphor and river image/narratives prompted discussion on the challenges of navigating academic life in a time of crisis and helped facilitate effective knowledge sharing in a supportive workshop environment.


Free of charge - registration required

Website and registration:




Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis, Metaphor analysis, Visual Data Analysis, Embodied enquiry

Related publications and presentations:

Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis
Metaphor analysis
Visual Data Analysis

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