This is the last entry–for now–at Foveal Rhetorics, a course blog woven with stenope entries from WRTG540: Visual Rhetoric and Information Design at Eastern Michigan University, Winter 2017. Entries will remain for at least one year from today. After that, well, who among us can see that far into the future?
Thinking about the readings on mapping and defining disciplinary activity, take 5 minutes to answer the survey questions. When everyone is finished, share with someone next to you and see if there are any similarities or differences that are worth noting about your experiences in the field thus far.
1. Where are you from? City, Province or City, State
2. From what institutions did you obtain the following degrees (as applies)? BA or BS MA or MS PhD Other Please specify degree.
3. What graduate program are you in?
4. What professional organizations do you belong to?
5. Who were the first scholars you were introduced to and how have they shaped your understanding of the field?
6. What scholars best connect with your research interests and why? List up to 3
Survey modified from
Mueller, Derek. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-border Networks in Writing Studies. 24-25.
Comment with link to your project draft if yours requires a link.
Link to Rachel Nadrowski-Jiang’s Timeline:
Sousanis discusses the power we have, “it’s the capacity to host a multiplicity of worlds inside us” (96), and he uses the analogy of a door to introduce the expansiveness of our imaginations.
With this in mind, draw the door to your imagination.
“We look at interface as a thing, a representation of computational processes that make it convenient for us to interact with what is ‘really’ happening. But the interface is a mediated structure that supports behaviors and tasks. It is a space between human users and procedures that happen according to complicated protocols” (Drucker 139).
This excerpt reminds me a lot of writing more broadly. All sorts of people–students, non-writing instructors, administrators, and the public–often think about writing as a thing–a textual product. Yet, we know writing is a recursive, social process that is contextually and rhetorically situated. Despite all the time and research it took to inform our understanding of writing as a process, there are still people who don’t get it, who still view writing as only a product. I’m curious what the process will look like to reframe interfaces as an interactive structure that exists between human users and protocol-informed procedures, as opposed to a static thing. What will need to happen throughout this process to create a meaningful paradigm shift for composition / TPC / interface design scholars, as well as other stakeholders such as students, non-writing instructors, administrators, and the public more broadly?
Visual Rhetoric Proposal
Cover Analysisà Cover Design (?)
The cliché goes “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” With regards to books, however, most people do. Covers are generally the audience’s first introduction to the book. The rhetorical purpose of a book cover is to convince people to pick up the book. Whether an elaborate scene or a minimalist presentation of just the title, if the cover does not entice the reader into picking up the book, then it is unsuccessful as a cover. I want to examine different covers in order to analyze the messages that come across from them, and how those will or won’t appeal to potential readers.
First, I want to research what has already been studied about book covers. My research will focus mainly on how publishers make decisions about cover arts, how is that different for different genres and different audiences, and what message do they hope to get across. Why do most children’s books and graphic novels have vivid pictures on their covers, whereas many young adult novels have icons instead of characters? Are there other reasons why publishers change the covers of a book other than taking advantage of a movie/television adaptation? What are the different effects of cartoonish covers and photorealistic ones? How much say doe the author have in the covers?
Then, I want to analyze the covers of popular books. Either I will choose one category of books (Young adult or children’s or adult or …), or compare and contrast between different categories. Either way, I will develop a coding system based on certain factors on the cover: number of characters, action vs. static, contrast, cartoony vs photorealistic, etc…Afterword, I will analyze the effect that the book has on both my understanding of what the book’s about and my interest in the book. For the latter, I will read the blurbs on the back or inside and see if it lines up with my analysis.
Finally, using the information I learned about the creation of covers, I hope to conceptualize covers for my own stories. I will explain why I made certain rhetorical decisions with regards to audience, genre, contrast, etc… I may even design one or more of my own to present to the class for the presentation.
I stumbled upon this website called Colourlovers the other day, and I’ve found it really helpful in helping me think about potential color palettes/schemes for my poster. As someone who isn’t too versed in color theory (yet), I found it helpful to browse the variety of color schemes that are shared on this site, which are also conveniently sorted into “channels” based on purpose (web, print, etc.). Also, the schemes lay out the number/code for each color used, which makes it easy to replicate the colors in whichever software you’re using.
Wanted to share the resource in case anyone else was interested!
Early in Syllabus, Lynda Barry makes repeated reference to Ivan Brunetti’s drawing techniques and also to his book, Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice. Here’s a brief teaser–a kind of book trailer–for that book.
We didn’t have time to discuss Sontag fully enough on Monday evening. But here’s a video clip that offers a gloss-refresher on Plato’s parable of the cave (from The Republic). The parable is fraught for its over-reliance on insider-outside status, universal subjectivity, and enlightenment rationality, among other things, and yet it provides a simple model for considering the power of visual evidence (images) on epistemology.
Hello everyone. I think I know everyone in class, but as a refresher, my name is
Andrew Durand. This is my fourth semester in the Written Communication program and I have two more after this. I am working through the professional track in the program as well as the certificate for the teaching of writing. After graduation, I hope to be working as a professional in the TC field along with picking up occasional adjunct positions at whatever college I end up close to. A bit of personal information, I have four children and the two youngest recently got guinea pigs as pets. I’m not sure how I feel about this.
I have been eager to take this class and am excited to dive into visual rhetoric. My provisional definition for visual rhetoric was as follows:
The study of images, graphics, and visuals, how and why they are made, their effects, and how they circulate.
I wonder where visual rhetorics could be applied. When I develop a resume, does its visual appeal carry a rhetorical apparatus? Is this what we are referring to as visual rhetoric? I look forward to answering questions like this during the semester.