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Personal profile

Biography

Kamila Walker joined Macquarie University as a full-time staff member in 2016, as the convenor of Polish Studies in the Department of International Studies: Languages and Cultures. Prior to that, she was a tutor for ENG120, Approaches to English Literature, in the Department of English during 2014. At Macquarie she obtained her Bachelor of Arts and BA Honours I (English), followed by a PhD that focused on the cross-cultural and cross-linguistic analysis of narrated emotions, entitled “Conceptual Metaphors of Emotions and Narrative Realism in Middlemarch and Anna Karenina”. With an Advanced Diploma of Education, she currently teaches Polish language and culture, and explores the ways and effects of metaphor use in literary discourse across English, Russian, and Polish literary texts.

Research interests

Key Areas of Research:

  • English and Slavonic literature
  • Metaphor Theory
  • Narrative Realism
  • Translation Theory
  • Cross-linguistic and cross-cultural explorations of metaphors of emotion in prose fiction and poetry
  • Cognitive linguistic analyses of literary texts 

My research applies ideas and methodologies from Cognitive Linguistics and Cognitive Science to the study of English and Slavic literary texts. I examine the conceptual structures and mental schemas that underpin the creation and reception of literary texts as they interact with narrated social, cultural, psychological and emotional realities.

My principal focus of study centres around cognitive-linguistic analyses of emotions in nineteenth-Century English and Slavic literary texts, an approach which permits a new way of thinking aboutthe special capacity of fictional narratives to trigger in the reader complex cognitive processes involving metaphoric thinking, analogical reasoning, conceptual blending and memory. Specifically, I trace conceptual metaphors of emotions in realist prose narratives and, extrapolating from these sample texts, argue for the importance of their role in the creation of narrative realism more broadly. Most generally, I argue that the figurative language of the novel is both embodied (i.e., arises in direct analogy with the bodily experience) and culturally embedded. My chief aim is to show that our fruitful engagement with literature hinges upon the particular kind of perception processes that we activate in response to the cognitive linguistic layer of a literary text and always in conjunction with our knowledge of the literary frames and conventions of the genre (both in terms of the mode of representation and the language use). 

My other interest is related to translation methodologies, where I combine theory and practice with reference to contemporary Polish prose narratives. Specifically, I focus on the problems encountered in the act of translating literary discourse from Polish to English, whilst also probing into the translator’s conscious choices and strategies surrounding lexical, syntactic, textual and rhetorical structures geared towards producing a dynamic equivalence, that is an optimal linguistic and cultural reinterpretation of the source text.

Current research project

My work in preparation, 'Metaphors of Shame in George Eliot’s Middlemarch' explores the conceptual metaphors of shame as they arise from the interaction between body and culture. This study aims to show that the figurative language of this emotion is built out of many kinds of experiences that come from inside and outside the text world. Beyond the provision of memorable shame scenes that reflect the cultural imperative to abide by the socially accepted norms of conduct and to perform a heavy moral lifting involved in cleaning up the acts of one’s own transgressive self, Middlemarch articulates the presence in English culture of shared ideas or ‘folk understandings’ about shame (Kövecses, 2000: 114), expressed as conventional and idiosyncratic conceptual metaphors that are artistically accomplished, but nevertheless too ‘inevitably conceptual, linguistic, neural-bodily, and social-cultural – all at the same time’ (Kövecses, 2005: 293, emphases in original). It is argued that the psychological realism of the kind Middlemarch enacts, by virtue of valorizing entrenched metaphoric constructions of shame, can provide legitimate insight into the habituated ways of conceptualizing shame both at the personal and cultural levels, and shed light on the emotional and ethical dynamic of the novel, which the reader needs to comprehend either consciously or subconsciously to grasp the subtle psychological conundrums that support the complex structure of the plot and the dense texture of the characterization.

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 3 Similar Profiles
Conceptual Metaphor Arts & Humanities
Middlemarch Arts & Humanities
Emotion Arts & Humanities
Realism Arts & Humanities
Pride Arts & Humanities
Anger Arts & Humanities
Shame Arts & Humanities
Reader Arts & Humanities

Research Output 2017 2018

Casaubon: a case of shameful false pride in George Eliot's Middlemarch

Walker, K., 2018, In : Explicator. 76, 2, p. 88-95 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Contemporary Polish short stories in English

Walker, K., Dec 2018, In : The AALITRA Review. 13, p. 85-101 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Networks of conceptual blends in Wisława Szymborka's 'Under a Certain Little Star'

Walker, K., 20 Aug 2018, (Submitted) In : Canadian Slavonic Papers.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Conceptual metaphors of anger and embodied realism in Middlemarch

Walker, K., 2017, In : Sydney studies in English. 43, p. 31-54 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
Anger
Realism
Middlemarch
Conceptual Metaphor
Reader

Conceptual Metaphors of Pride in Middlemarch

Walker, K., 2017, In : George Eliot - George Henry Lewes Studies. 69, 2, p. 145-159 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Pride
Middlemarch
Conceptual Metaphor
Emotion
Fiction

Press / Media

2018 Prize Giving Ceremony at Macquarie University

Kamila Walker

4/06/18

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

2017 Summer School at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Kamila Walker

7/08/17

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Prize Giving Night at Macquarie University

Kamila Walker

5/06/17

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Macquarie University thanks The Polish Consulate

Kamila Walker

10/04/17

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Summer School at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków

Kamila Walker

8/08/16

1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities