Visual Rhetorics

This page -- very much under construction -- is dedicated to the study of visual rhetorics. In my own work the focus has been on how photojournalistic photography implicates and is implicated by the forms, functions, and force of public argument in the context of twentieth-century liberal-democratic political cultures. The emphasis here, however, is on the plural (visual rhetorics) and my larger interest concerns the critical problems and possibilities of articulating the theory of rhetoric (in its pre-modern, modern, and post-modern guises) with the alleged "explosion" of visual culture in the contemporary world. My goal, then, is to make this a site that invites a wide range of projects concerned with articulating the theory and practice of rhetoric and visual culture wherever we might find it.



Barbara Biesecker and I have organized a roundtable discussion titled On The Lookout, Or, Visual Rhetorics and Rhetorical Visions, to be held on Sunday, November 22, 1998 at the National Communication Association Convention in NYC (New York Hilton, Clinton Suite, Second Floor, 12:30-1:40 p.m.). Panelists have supplied short position papers (posted at the site above) on the problems and possibilities of visual rhetorics that we will use to seed the discussion at the convention. The papers will not be presented so that our time might devoted more fully to debate and discussion, and hence panelists and other participants are encouraged to study these papers before attending the panel. In a week or so Barbara and I will add a list of discussion questions culled from our reading of the position papers. If you have any questions please feel free to contact John Louis Lucaites or Barbara Biesecker.




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