• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The discipline of communication has grown in popularity from the time professors of journalism and speech decided, in the mid-1960s, that the term “communication” was an excellent general descriptor for the theory and research that each group aspired to create.  Over time, the two groups grew closer and recognized significant overlap in their theoretical and research interests, but there were also differences in their traditions that kept them apart.  While both groups agreed that communication is a practical discipline, journalism professors focused a great deal of their attention on the education of media professionals.  Speech professors, on the other hand, often were more oriented to the liberal arts and valued the fact that communication could be approached from a variety of traditions, including the arts, ...

Visual Rhetoric
Visual rhetoric

Defining visual rhetoric can be a simple task, but its evolution as a research topic in the communication discipline is more complicated. At face value, the term visual rhetoric encompasses two meanings. First, visual rhetoric can be defined in artifactual terms, as rhetorical expression in visual form. To design an advertisement, create a protest sign, draw a political cartoon, practice photography as a commentary on social issues—all these examples of persuasive expression qualify as visual rhetoric in that they feature some visual image or form that functions to influence or convey meaning.

Some examples may include verbal elements, but in visual rhetoric the visual image is the central component of the message. A cartoon, for example, may include labels or dialogue, an advertisement ...

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