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CAS 506 - Contemporary Rhetorical Theory

Professor: Anne Demo
Office: 219 Sparks
Phone: (814) 865-6255

In the twenty years since W.J.T. Mitchell argued for a “pictorial turn” in the humanities, the study of visuality has preoccupied diverse disciplines and inspired a number of subfields.  The goal of this seminar will be to explore foundational concepts that span two prominent subfields – visual rhetoric and visual culture – and assess their relative contributions.  For example, how does scholarship in visual culture and visual rhetoric differ in their approach to affect or virtuality?  In what ways are the reading practices used to analyze images, sites, and interfaces similar/different?  

Course Objectives

  1. Introduce foundational theories that unite the subfields of visual culture and visual rhetoric;
  2. Apply and assess diverse concepts and methods used to analyze images, objects, sites, and modes of seeing;
  3. Track differences in scholarly norms within disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship that prioritizes visuality as a central focus.