Visual Rhetoric and Design

Sergio Figueiredo and Chanon Adsanatham offered an analytical framework and activities for producing, “reading,” and teaching visual texts. Handouts, theoretical readings, and assignment ideas from the session can be found at http://visualrhet.wordpress.com.

Sergio’s presentation dealt with Gregory Ulmer’s surrealism-influenced manner of rhetorically thinking through composing visual images in the digital age. Specifically, he presented the CATTt (manifesto) method (Contrast, Analogy, Theory, Target, tale) and how each part works together to form a sort of “scholarly” production. Sergio also showed some of the images he created for my dissertation research that enacts (intuitively) Ulmer’s method. In addition, he also presented an example activity for undergraduate students to begin working with visual images in the form of Magic, the Gathering trading cards, but directed at their own construction of a person when writing.

Chanon covered the four elements of visual design, CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity), and demonstrated how they can be used to analyze and create visual artifacts. He presented a list of heuristic questions designed to help students move away from merely describing and identifying CRAP elements to examining their rhetorical functions and effects. See the visualrhet website for more details.

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