University of Pittsburgh
January 31, 2008

Noted Linguist George Lakoff to Be Featured Speaker at Pitt Law School Seminar Feb. 8

Lakoff is author of "Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think"
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Noted linguist George Lakoff, professor at the University of California, Berkeley, will give the keynote lecture during a University of Pittsburgh School of Law seminar from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Feb. 8 in the Barco Law Building's Teplitz Memorial Courtroom, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Lakoff's presentation will take place from noon to 1:15 p.m. and is titled "The 21st-Century Brain: Why It Matters for the Academic and Political Worlds."

Academically, Lakoff is known for his research in cognitive theory and, in particular, the way the mind works by means of metaphors. His recent work is on "framing"-using practical applications of cognitive linguistics to help social advocates reframe social and political issues.

Lakoff is the author of numerous books, including "Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think," second edition, (University of Chicago Press, 2006); "Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal About the Mind" (University of Chicago Press, 1987); "Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate" (Chelsea Green, 2004); "Whose Freedom?: The Battle Over America's Most Important Idea" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006); and, with Rockridge Institute, "Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006).

In addition to teaching at Berkeley, Lakoff is the cofounder and a senior fellow at Rockridge Institute, whose mission is to deepen and broaden the public's understanding of the political world. He has frequently been interviewed by the media and has appeared on such radio shows as "Talk of the Nation," "Bridges," "To the Best of Our Knowledge," and "Forum."

The law school seminar also will feature two panel discussions. Panelists participating in the morning session, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m., are Barbara Johnstone, professor of rhetoric and linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University; Scott F. Kiesling, chair and associate professor of linguistics in the Department of Linguistics at Pitt; Edward L. Rubin, dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University Law School; and Steven L. Winter, Walter S. Gibbs Professor of Constitutional Law at Wayne State University. The afternoon panel from 2:45 to 4:15 p.m. will include Pascual Masullo, associate professor of linguistics in Pitt's Department of Linguistics; Andreea Deciu Ritivoi, associate professor of English and rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University; George H. Taylor, associate professor of law at Pitt; and Robert L. Tsai, associate professor of law at the University of Oregon.

This symposium has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Board for four (4.0) hours of substantive credit. The cost for credit is $50, payable when registering at the door in cash or by a check made out to the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. For further information regarding CLE, call 412-648-1305. For information concerning the conference, contact George Taylor at 412-648-8134 or