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Chiara Pollaroli


I completed a PhD in Communication Sciences at Università della Svizzera italiana in 2016. I was granted a Doc.Mobility fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation (January-September 2014) to conduct research related to the topic of my PhD at the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric and the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. During my PhD, I worked as a teaching assistant for courses taught by the Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics at USI. I was a member of the Argupolis II programme for doctoral students founded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Since May 2016 I have worked as Post-Doc researcher, lecturer, and teaching assistant at the Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics at USI.

Before that, I studied Foreign Languages and Literature at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan (BA in 2007, MA in 2009). After my MA I was granted a Working Experience Abroad fellowship to work as Marketing Assistant in Salamanca (Spain). I then took part at the Programa Especial Integrado to attend Spanish literature courses at the University of Salamanca.


My research interests are: multimodality (e.g., printed documents and audiovisuals), visual/multimodal rhetoric, multimodal argumentation, semiotics, rhetoric and tropes.

My PhD thesis dealt with whether and how pictorial or multimodal metaphors are argumentatively relevant in print advertisements. Starting from the assumptions that (1) advertising can be reconstructed as an argumentative activity, (2) tropes, such as metaphors and metonymies, can be manifested pictorially or multimodally in advertising, (3) both pictures and verbal text in print advertising contribute to put forth arguments and standpoints, I concluded that pictorial/multimodal metaphors and metonymies can condense lines of reasoning and are linked to argumentative topoi (e.g. argument from analogy, argument from final/material/instrumental/efficient cause).