Thursday: 6:00pm – 8:50pm
This course addresses the communicative power of images. Class participants examine photography, film, sketch artistry, image-driven protest, designed space, and various forms of multimodal composition as dynamic transactions between rhetors and their audiences. Using various examples from each category, we place visual artifacts in historical context, assessing their meanings according to the cultural predispositions that reigned when the images first appeared. We also consider how those meanings change with time, looking especially at how they resonate within our local, contemporary moment. Our analysis of visual rhetoric leads to engagement with teachers of multimodal literacy who frame composition as a practice that need not be limited to paper and ink, and who challenge their students to use any combination of image, sound, print-text, movement and other means of expression to make arguments about topics that matter to them.
The class features Robert Hariman and John Louis Lucaites’s No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy, Wendy Hesford’s Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, Feminisms, Amy Propen’s Locating Visual-Material Rhetorics: The Map, the Mill, and the GPS, Kristie Fleckenstein’s Vision, Rhetoric, and Social Action in the Composition Classroom and Jody Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole. Assignments include leading discussion of one or more course texts, producing a full-length scholarly article, and making an argument in visual and/or multimodal form.