January 27, 2001 – Figure and Trope: A Discussion

Saturday, January 27 | Oakes Mural Room | 10:00 AM


In the first of what we hope will be an ongoing activity, the Center is sponsoring an informal faculty discussion on an issue of concern. This event is coordinated by Professor Hayden White, who writes:

I have noticed that many people use the terms “figure” and “trope” as synonyms. Usage supports this practice, although the history of both rhetoric and poetics shows that the terms have different technical meanings. Figure is of course derived from the Latin figura while trope derives from Greek tropos. But the Latin figura is not a proper translation of Greek tropos.  Figura translates Greek schema, while tropostranslates (late) Latin modus. So the synonymy confuses “image” (as in “the image of the hero” or “the image of the abject”) with “mode” (as in “the heroic mode” or “the mode of abjection”). Does the difference matter? And if so, why?

The discussion will begin with a few brief presentations, totaling 30 minutes or so, followed by general discussion. Cultural Studies will provide lunch for all participants who RSVP.

To reserve a lunch contact Katy Elliott at cult@hum.ucsc.edu
Those interested in making a presentation should contact Hayden White at HWhite2736@aol.com