COMM 234 : Introduction to Visual Rhetoric

Transcript title

Visual Rhetoric



Grading mode

Standard letter grades

Total contact hours


Lecture hours


Course Description

Analyzes the power of visual communication and persuasion, including composition, color and content, and how such concepts produce both overt and covert influence on the ideas, attitudes and behaviors of others.

Course learning outcomes

1. Define rhetoric in both classical and contemporary terms.
2. Analyze the use of imagery to persuade.
3. Recognize the use of composition and color in visual rhetoric.
4. Recognize both covert and overt methods of visual persuasion.
5. Identify the markers of gender, class, race, and ideological biases.
6. Create persuasive visual images.

Content outline

  1. Classical Rhetoric Tradition
    1. Gorgias
    2. Isocrates
    3. Aristotle
    4. Cicero
  2. Contemporary Rhetorical Tradition
    1. Bacon
    2. Burke
    3. Bitzer
    4. Sontag
  3. Early Image Creation
    1. Pictographs/Petroglyphs
    2. Painting
    3. Sculpture
    4. Oil Painting
  4. Modern Image Creation
    1. Photographs
    2. Moving Pictures
    3. Video
    4. Digital Scans
    5. Mash-ups
  5. Modern Media and Images
    1. Removal from Original
    2. Detail Only
    3. Reproduction
  6. Interpreting Images
    1. Provenance vs. Viewer Response
    2. Ownership vs. Content
    3. Nostalgia and Publicity
    4. Sexism and Advertising
    5. Racism and Advertising
  7. Creating Images
    1. Digital Creation
    2. Hand Drawn
    3. Collage
  8. Image Assignments
    1. Add Images to a Text
    2. Logo
    3. Poster
    4. Slide Show
    5. Persuasive Image

Required materials

Requires textbooks, students may need to clip out images in advance for collage purposes. Notepad and Blank paper for drawing images.

General education/Related instruction lists

  • Arts and Letters

Outside of

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