Seminar in Rhetorical Theory
Term: Fall 2023 - Full Term (08/28/2023 - 12/11/2023)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|2:10pm - 3:30pm
In this class, we will explore the enormous rhetorical powers of photographic images - whether combined with photographic images - whether combined with text or not - to inform, educate, delight, and, of course, persuade viewers. We will learn how to consider the rhetorical function of photographs that were taken with the intent to record as well as those that were taken with the intent to persuade; “disposable” photographs as well as famous “classics”; single, unique photographs as well as those commonly embedded in social movements and photo-essays; contemporary photographs “in the prime of” their original rhetorical function as well as some that have outlasted their original message to take on new rhetorical functions. In addition to thinking about particular photographs, we will also consider the ethos of photography itself as a scientific imaging technology. We will supplement our viewing by reading what some of the theorists have had to say about photographs and other kinds of pictures. And, finally, we will sample some of the work rhetorical critics have produced as the discipline has expanded to acknowledge the importance of visual as well as verbal rhetorical artifacts. Non-majors: please contact the professor regarding registering for this class.