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Visual Rhetoric
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Visual Rhetoric
A Reader in Communication and American Culture

Edited by:


© 2008 | 464 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Visual images, artifacts, and performances play a powerful part in shaping U.S. culture. To understand the dynamics of public persuasion, students must understand this "visual rhetoric." This rich anthology contains 20 exemplary studies of visual rhetoric, exploring an array of visual communication forms, from photographs, prints, television documentary, and film to stamps, advertisements, and tattoos.

In material original to this volume, editors Lester C. Olson, Cara A. Finnegan, and Diane S. Hope present a critical perspective that links visuality and rhetoric, locates the study of visual rhetoric within the disciplinary framework of communication, and explores the role of the visual in the cultural space of the United States.

Enhanced with these critical editorial perspectives, Visual Rhetoric: A Reader in Communication and American Culture provides a conceptual framework for students to understand and reflect on the role of visual communication in the cultural and public sphere of the United States.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Five broad pairs of rhetorical action—performing and seeing; remembering and memorializing; confronting and resisting; commodifying and consuming; governing and authorizing—introduce students to the ways visual images and artifacts become powerful tools of persuasion
  • Each section opens with substantive editorial commentary to provide readers with a clear conceptual framework for understanding the rhetorical action in question, and closes with discussion questions to encourage reflection among the essays
  • The collection includes a range of media, cultures, and time periods; covers a wide range of scholarly approaches and methods of handling primary materials; and attends to issues of gender, race, sexuality and class
  • Contributors include: Thomas Benson; Barbara Biesecker; Carole Blair; Dan Brouwer; Dana Cloud; Kevin Michael DeLuca; Anne Teresa Demo; Janis L. Edwards; Keith V. Erickson; Cara A. Finnegan; Bruce Gronbeck; Robert Hariman; Christine Harold; Ekaterina Haskins; Diane S. Hope; Judith Lancioni; Margaret R. LaWare; John Louis Lucaites; Neil Michel; Charles E. Morris III; Lester C. Olson; Shawn J. Parry-Giles; Ronald Shields; John M. Sloop; Nathan Stormer; Reginald Twigg and Carol K. Winkler


"This book significantly advances theory and method in the study of visual rhetoric through its comprehensive approach and wise separations of key conceptual components." —Julianne H. Newton, University of Oregon

Bruce E. Gronbeck
Foreword: Visual Rhetorical Studies: Traces of Power Through Time and Space
Lester C. Olson, Cara A. Finnegan, and Diane S. Hope
Visual Rhetoric in Communication: Continuing Questions and Contemporary Issues
 
I. Performing and Seeing
Reginald Twigg
1. The Performative Dimension of Surveillance: Jacob Riis' How the Other Half Lives
Nathan Stormer
2. Embodying Normal Miracles
Cara A. Finnegan
3. Recognizing Lincoln: Image Vernaculars in Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture
Charles E. Morris III and John M. Sloop
4. "What Lips These Lips Have Kissed": Refiguring the Politics of Queer Public Kissing
 
II. Remembering and Memorializing
Judith Lancioni
5. The Rhetoric of the Frame: Revisioning Archival Photographs in The Civil War
Janis L. Edwards and Carol K. Winkler
6. Representative Form and the Visual Ideograph: The Iwo Jima Image in Editorial Cartoons
Carole Blair and Neil Michel
7. Reproducing Civil Rights Tactics: The Rhetorical Performances of the Civil Rights Memorial
Barbara Biesecker
8. Remembering World War II: The Rhetoric and Politics of National Commemoration at the Turn of the 21st Century
Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites
9. Public Identity and Collective Memory in U.S. Iconic Photography: The Image of "Accidental Napalm"
 
III. Confronting and Resisting
Daniel C. Brouwer
10. The Precarious Visibility Politics of Self-Stigmatization: The Case of HIV/AIDS Tattoos
Margaret R. LaWare
11. Encountering Visions of Aztlan: Arguments for Ethnic Pride, Community Activism and Cultural Revitalization in Chicano Murals
Anne Teresa Demo
12. The Guerrilla Girls' Comic Politics of Subversion
Christine Harold and Kevin Michael DeLuca
13. Behold the Corpse: Violent Images and the Case of Emmett Till
 
IV. Commodifying and Consuming
Ronald Shields
14. The Force of Callas' Kiss: The 1997 Apple Advertising Campaign, "Think Different"
Ekaterina V. Haskins
15. "Put Your Stamp on History": The USPS Commemorative Program Celebrate the Century and Postmodern Collective Memory
Diane S. Hope
16. Memorializing Affluence in Post-War Families: Kodak's Colorama in Grand Central Terminal
 
V. Governing and Authorizing
Lester C. Olson
17. Benjamin Franklin's Pictorial Representations of the British Colonies in America: A Study in Rhetorical Iconology
Keith V. Erickson
18. Presidential Rhetoric's Visual Turn: Performance Fragments and the Politics of Illusionism
Shawn J. Parry-Giles
19. Mediating Hillary Rodham Clinton: Television News Practices and Image-Making in the Postmodern Age
Dana L. Cloud
20. "To Veil the Threat of Terror": Afghan Women and the Clash of Civilizations in the Imagery of the U.S. War on Terrorism
Thomas W. Benson
Afterword: Look, Rhetoric!

Great theory information and variety of articles.

Dr AmberNicole Pfannenstiel
English Dept, Northern Arizona University
April 6, 2015

Too specific to rhetorical studies for the visual communication and media approach of the course.

Professor Michael Griffin
Humanities & Media & Cultural Studies, Macalester College
September 28, 2011

The book is a reader filled with great academic articles from the discipline, and it would work well for more advanced students. However, the book does not offer enough guidance, structure, summaries, and activities for an introductory level undergraduate course (which is also a core/general requirement class). Our visual rhetoric students would benefit from a visual rhetoric textbook that would help them understand these academic articles; they struggle with reading them. So, while great readings, will not work for our class.

Dr Kathi Groenendyk
Communication Arts and Sciences, Calvin College
March 24, 2011

very interesting book may be used in a different course design thinking

Mr Tore Kristensen
Department of Marketing, Copenhagen Business School
September 14, 2010

I'd prefer something a little more hands on.

Dr Calum Neill
Health and Social Sciences, Napier University
October 26, 2009

For my semiotics course I decided to use an online text along with personally chosen online content.

Dr Marlana Portolano
English Dept, Towson University
October 1, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

Chapter 5


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Paperback
ISBN: 9781412949194
$109.00