I've been interested in studying visual rhetoric for several years, focusing specifically on how it is used in writing classes/to teach writing. So I was excited to finally get to teach a course on visual rhetoric. All of the work for the course is housed in the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi wiki. We started with the question of Why Study Visual Rhetoric and focused on trying to answer/understand
And then using all of that info, each student undertook a research project, and that is what we present here. We played around with different formats, even created sample Flash projects that might be useful in a first year composition course (as that is what many of the students are doing/preparing to do next.
This was one of those quick five-week learning blurs, but the students developed some great discussions to add to the visual rhetoric conversation:
In the Visual Analysis section,
Gillian Lawler, in Television Product Placement, discusses whether visual product placement in popular tv shows has an affect on product purchasing;
Misty Lassister, in "One Cannot Speak a Capital Letter", applies visual analysis to two poems by Charles Bukowski, focusing on elements such as type to determine if those elements support Bukoski's poetic theory;
Elva Martinez, in How Much Does Book Cover Say, analyzes the covers of books that speak to teaching basic writing to determine the affects those covers may have on the beliefs that teachers develop toward basic writers;
Noelle Ballmer, in Ambulance Chasers, examines the design elements use in two phone book ads for lawyers to determine if the design creates the desired effects;
Eva Muniz, in Visual Rhetoric of Graffiti , presents examples of grafitti in Corpus Christi and discusses the visual elements and meanings, including what the visuals tell us about the literacies of the individuals who create them; and
Heather Dorn, inComposing the Self analysis the design elements of self portraits in terms of such elements as identity and power.
In the Visual Pedagogy section,
Laura Salinas, in Evaluating Textbook Images, looks at the relationship between the visuals that have been added to a popular first year composition text to determine if those visual elements support the discussion in the text of what visual rhetoric is supposed to accomplish, and
Adam Webb, in Your Face is in Myspace, shares research he conducted on an activity used in a first year composition course using MySpace and FaceBook.
I really enjoyed sharing these projects and I know you will enjoy the conversations.
Susan Loudermilk Garza