Visual Rhetorical Analysis

Paper instructions:
Assignment Description: You will write a 10-12 page visual rhetorical analysis of a chosen text that answers this question: How does this image function rhetorically? The essay should include historical context, a central visual theory or concept, at least 3 visual/aesthetic elements that mobilize its rhetoric, and an implications section that addresses how this text contributes to ways of seeing. Examples of appropriate texts include: famous paintings, media images, advertisements, movies, political images, social movement images, news images, or particular places such as museums or monuments. Here is an overview of what your essay *might* break down to look like.

1. Introduction (about 1 page long): Your introduction should broadly introduce your text in an interesting way, introduce the notion of visual rhetoric, preview the major sections of your essay, and include your overall argument. Your central thesis should articulate the major persuasive message, be directly related to central concept(s) from the course, and should follow the structure discussed in class. Central concepts in visual communication are discussed throughout modules 2-7. Example: “I argue that Burtynski’s landscape photographs utilize the visual strategies of symmetry, scale, and color to create images of the toxic sublime, which work to resist consumerist ideologies in the contemporary moment.” *** Include the image (or one still shot of your image, if it is a moving image) immediately following the introduction.
2. Context (about 1-2 pages long): Please discuss the historical context of your chosen image using the information discussed in Module 1 of the course. Is it from modernity or postmodernity? This section should also include any relevant contextual data related to your specific artifact (date published, author/producer, audience reception, major plot line, etc.). This section will need outside sources to support it.
3. Discussion of Central Concept(s): (about 1 page): This section should precede the analysis section and should use readings from class (and outside, if necessary) to discuss a central concept from class. Central concepts come from modules 2-7 and include: iconic images, iconicity, pornification, affect, camp, experiential landscapes, performativity, sublime, narratives of the self, visual play, image events, culture-jamming, performance, cultural capital, among many more! For the example thesis statement, the central concept would be the toxic sublime.
4. Analysis (about 4-6 pages long): Your analysis should be organized around the 3-5 aesthetic elements that cause it to function rhetorically. Aesthetic elements are discussed throughout the course, but the foundations are discussed in Module 1 (color, elements of design, aesthetic principles, juxtaposition). Use relevant sources from class or outside of class to support main points.
5. Implications (about 1-2 pages long): Your implications section should discuss how this text contributes to particular ways of seeing in the contemporary moment, as discussed in Module 8 of the course. You may connect your artifact to a particular theory (the gaze, the glance, panopticonism, hyperreal) or come up with your own way of seeing (see Dickinson, Ott, and Aoki). Largely, the section should address the ideological and/or social impact of this way of seeing in the world and how it influences other people, cultures, races, genders, ethnicities, cities, or ideologies. This section would also include statistics, larger social issues related to your text, topic or concept, and/or the larger implications of studying visual rhetoric. Outside sources are necessary to support your findings.
5. Conclusion (about 1 page long): This section should

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