Issue 3:2 - Visual Rhetoric

Guest Editors: David Blakesley and Collin Brooke


Introduction: Notes on Visual Rhetoric
David Blakesley and Collin Brooke

Abstract

Theorizing Practice, Visualizing Theory, and Playing by the Rules
Sally Gomaa

Abstract

Where the Visual Meets the Verbal: Collaboration as Conversation
Robert Miltner

Abstract

Popular Icons and Contemporary Memory: An Apology, Year 2001
Marguerite Helmers

Abstract

Towards a Rhetoric of Tactile Pictures
Carol Wiest

Abstract

Panoptic Mediation: From Bentham's Panopticon to the P-Chip
Robert Craig

Abstract

Comfort Food at Death's Door
Starla Stensaas

Abstract

The Found Photograph and the Limits of Meaning
Barry Mauer

Author

Torso (Poem)
Salita Bryant

Abstract

Bodying Forth the Impossible: Metamorphosis, Mortality, and Aesthetics in the Works of Jorge Luis Borges
Heather Lisa Dubnick

Abstract

"Recoil" or "Seize"?: Passing, Ekphrasis, and "Exact Expression" in Nella Larsen's Passing
Monique Rooney

Abstract

Spectacular Spectators: Regendering the Male Gaze in Delariviere Manley's The Royal Mischief and Joanna Baillie's Orra
Julie Anderson

Designer

Interface Designer
Wes Juranek

Designer

Titles Designer
David Woodward

   
 

The Writers and Designers

Introduction: Notes on Visual Rhetoric
David Blakesley and Collin Brooke

Email
David Blakesley: blakesle@purdue.edu
Collin Brooke: cbrooke@syr.edu

Homepages
David Blakesley: http://icdweb.cc.purdue.edu/~blakesle/
Collin Brooke: http://wrt-brooke.syr.edu/

David Blakesley is Associate Professor of English and serves as the Director of the Professional Writing Program at Purdue University. He earned his PhD from the University of Southern California in 1990 in Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Literature. He is the editor of the Rhetorical Philosophy and Theory Series (Southern Illinois University Press), the Production Editor for WPA: Writing Program Administration, and the general editor and publisher, with Dawn Formo, of the digital version of The Writing Instructor. He founded the Virtual Burkeian Parlor and moderates KB, the Kenneth Burke Discussion List. His book, The Elements of Dramatism, was published in October, 2001. Work forthcoming or currently under review includes The Terministic Screen: Rhetorical Perspectives on Film, Illuminating Rhetoric: A Guide to Seeing, Reading, and Writing, and essays on film rhetoric, directed self-placement, and deja vu. His research interests are in rhetorical theory, visual rhetoric, technical communication, electronic publication, and film.

Collin Gifford Brooke is an Assistant Professor in the Writing Program at Syracuse University. He earned his PhD in the Humanities, with
concentrations in critical theory and rhetoric/composition, from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1997. In addition to visual rhetorics,
his primary areas of research/interest are writing and new media, philosophies and rhetorics of science and technology, and the intersections among rhetoric and critical theory. An original member of the Enculturation editorial board, his work has appeared in JAC, PreText Electra(Lite), and several edited collections. He is currently working on the manuscript for his first book, tentatively titled Lingua Fracta: Rhetoric and Identity in the Late Age of Print.

Theorizing Practice, Visualizing Theory, and Playing by the Rules
Sally Gomaa

Email: sgom4436@postoffice.uri.edu

Sally Gomaa is a doctoral candidate at the University of Rhode Island. Her interests include rhetorical theory, African American studies, and post-colonial theory. She settled in the United States in 1995 after earning her bachelor's degree in English from Alexandria University in Egypt. Her dissertation, provisionally entitled "Rhetorics of Subjugation: The Relationship between Society and Constitutional Law in the Reconstruction Era, 1865-1877," deals with the emergence of an African American subjectivity defined by law and undermined by the social and cultural discourse surrounding the idea of race.

Abstract: This paper is based on the observation that all human action occurs in time and occupies space: an observation that is so obvious and yet so obscure. As Henri Lefebvre states, the idea of space is "Conspicuous by its absence from supposedly fundamental epistemological studies," notwithstanding "the fact that 'space' is mentioned on every page." While (Hegelian) historicism privileges temporality over space by trying to trace a chronology of events as if they occur regardless of their location or as if location is a by-product of this chronology, cultural geography sees events as over-determined by energy-space-temporality, (i.e., agency-location-time). An "event" here, in Foucault's words, is "the reversal of a relationship of forces, the usurpation of power, the appropriation of a vocabulary turned against those who had once used it, a feeble domination that poisons itself as it grows lax, the entry of a masked 'other'" ("Nietzsche" 155). The other's mask echoes the traditional split of reality versus appearance, which allows "the exploitation of one discourse by another to sustain the imperialism of a particular theory" (Wigley 93). This paper aims at finding ways of dwelling within this theoretical fissure.

Where the Visual Meets the Verbal: Collaboration as Conversation
Robert Miltner

Email: rmiltner@stark.kent.edu
Homepage: http://www.stark.kent.edu/employee/rmiltner.htm

Robert Miltner teaches creative writing and composition at Kent State University Stark Campus. His poems, stories, articles, and reviews appear in CrossConnect, Pleiades, EnterText, Mid-American Review, and Poetry International. Additionally, he is the author of three poetry chapbooks, On the Off Ramp, The Seamless Serial Hour, and Against the Simple, as well as a forthcoming artists' book, Ghost of a Chance. Miltner's research interests include interdisciplinary connections between visual art and writing, and the emerging literary mongrels, microfictions and prose poems.

Abstract: This essay considers ekphrasis, writing in response to art. Begun in earnest during the Modernist period, Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams were early practitioners, followed by an almost seamless integration of the two by the New York School writers, particularly poet Frank O'Hara whose work was part of an active dialogue with painter Mike Goldberg. Contemporary poet Robert Creeley uses this dialogue as a means of collaboration in which his writing extends the art rather than merely responding. Through the author's own experiences in ekphrastic
collaboration with print maker Wendy Collin Sorin, he considers the personal and artistic growth shared both by visual and verbal artists who collaborate.

Popular Icons and Contemporary Memory: An Apology, Year 2001
Marguerite Helmers

Email: helmers@uwosh.edu
Homepage: http://www.english.uwosh.edu/helmers

Marguerite Helmers is Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where she teaches courses in writing, literature, and literary criticism. She is the author of Intertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms (Erlbaum 2002, forthcoming) and Writing Students (SUNY 1995) and articles appearing in College English, JAC, Bad Subjects, The Writing Instructor, and elsewhere. She is the editor of WPA: Writing Program Administration with Dennis Lynch. In 1998, she was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award for UW Oshkosh and in 2001, she was announced Provost's Leadership Fellow. She is currently editing a collection of essays on visual rhetoric with Charles Hill titled Defining Visual Rhetorics.

Towards a Rhetoric of Tactile Pictures
Carol Wiest

Email: cawiest@attcanada.ca

Carol Wiest studied language and professional writing at the University of Waterloo, where she completed her master's degree in 1996. Her areas of research included narrative theory, visual rhetoric, and social semiotics. Carol is currently Director of Documentation with a software company in Toronto, Canada. She continues to pursue her interests in rhetorical theory.

Abtract: This paper offers a first step towards a rhetoric of tactile pictures by applying the visual framework developed by Gunther Kress and Theo van Leeuwen to a tactile alphabet book. After a brief review of tactile research, this paper explores the ways in which tactile pictures represent objects in the world and the stategies the pictures use to enact interative-represented participant relations. These explorations demonstrate that Kress and van Leeuwen's framework offers valuable insights and a sound basis, but their framework must be adjusted to the semiotic codes used in tactile pictures. It is hoped that this essay will encourage interest and research into tactile rhetoric. Such research would benefit both those who rely on tactile pictures and those who study rhetoric in its many manifestations.

Panoptic Mediation: From Bentham's Panopticon to the P-Chip
Robert Craig

Email: cygnus555@hotmail.com

Robert Craig is a PhD Humanities candidate and part-time instructor at Concordia University in Montreal. He is currently receiving scholarships from Le Fonds pour la Formation de Chercheurs et l'Aide à la Recherche, The Datatel Scholars Foundation and Concordia University. He is also a media and visual artist, screenplay writer, and video and filmmaker with four documentaries and two experimental films to his credit. This includes the award-winning Overdale that has been part of various curricula, including courses in independent video at McGill University and courses in nonfiction film and video in Film Studies and Communications Studies at Concordia University. He has contributed academic writing to the Canadian Journal of Film Studies and The Animist, as well as the books Closely Watched Brains and e-Ducation Without Borders. He is currently on a visiting scholarship at the University of Rochester's Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies.

Abstract: Inspired by Jeremy Bentham's architectural model and Michel Foucault's theoretical elaboration, Craig has designed the Panoptic Cinema. This serves as model, metaphor, and theoretical basis for researching and understanding the implications of a panoptic mediation in the current technological environment. By creating an installation design as a metaphor and research methodology, he employs symbolism, art, and rhetoric as a means to pose questions about mediated surveillance. It sets up a paradoxical relationship between two fundamentally differing ethics: Installation and performance versus surveillance and discipline. As metaphorical field of technical automation embodied by a paradoxical relationship between surveillance and performance, the Panoptic Cinema raises implicit questions about the 'art' of mediated surveillance.

Comfort Food at Death's Door
Starla Stensaas

Email: sstensaas@nebrwesleyan.edu
Homepage: http://www.starlastensaas.net

Starla Stensaas, M.F.A., is director of the eDesign B.F.A. program at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her studio art research began as a focus on artist-made books and has developed into digital image and text projects. She also publishes on digital culture and art-making in the age of digital reproduction.

Abstract: "Comfort Food at Death’s Door" is an artist-made hypertext that documents the artist’s experience preparing food for a neighbor when her father died. In addition to recipes and musings about the choice of foods prepared for midwestern American funeral rituals, this hypertext considers the role of neighbor in public and private spheres. As a hypertext, this work is also concerned with the intersection of visibility and artifact/body with invisibility and the lack of an apparent artifact/body in digital environments.

Navigation is somewhat arbitrary and left to the viewer’s discretion to enhance the sense of everyday connection—the ways in which one daily occurrence informs another. Although there is a "recipe" underlying the text that connects like "ingredients," in several cases pages do not contain links and the viewer must use the browser back button. The intention is to remind the viewer of the ways in which tasks are completed in the kitchen or how conversations with neighbors reach their conclusion across the hedge and everyone retreats back to their living rooms. A grocery list provides the reader with a sense of completion as all items on the list are crossed out when most pages have been read.

The Found Photograph and the Limits of Meaning
Barry Mauer

Email: bmauer@pegasus.cc.ucf.edu
Homepage: http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~bmauer

Barry Mauer earned his doctorate in Cultural Studies, May 1999, from the University of Florida and now teaches English as an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida as part of the Texts and Technology PhD program. His areas of interest include film theory and history, cultural studies, rhetoric and composition, computers and writing, pedagogy, and post-structuralist theory. He has published two essays besides this one: "Methodologies of the Film Still" in Cinema Journal Winter 2002 (In Press); and "Electronic Monumentality" in Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments (http://english.ttu.edu/kairos/1.3/coverweb/bridge.html) Autumn, 1996.

Abstract: The goal of this essay is to explore the challenges posed to our sense-making apparatus by three stages in the life of "found photographs": their original context in the family photo album, their loss and discovery, and their recontextualization in the museum exhibit. Found photographs are media artifacts of a peculiar kind because they were not meant to be viewed and interpreted by total strangers. Because the original contexts that anchored their meaning have been severed from them, found photographs foster a new and valuable "reading" disposition, one that sharpens our inferential skills and reflects upon our ordinary habits of perception. The best conclusions we can draw from found photographs are conclusions about ourselves; when we interpret found photographs, we reveal our own perceptual processes. Several conflicting responses come into play when I encounter found photographs: voyeuristic fascination fueled by stereotypes; a surrealist's glee in discovering the bizarre; and an anthropologist's interest in photographs as cultural artifacts. All of these responses share a common element; they involve inference-making, or making conceptual leaps from the known to the unknown.

Torso (Poem)
Salita Bryant

Email: ssbryant@olemiss.edu

Salita Bryant is a Ph.D. student and instructor at the University of Mississippi in Oxford Mississippi specializing in nineteenth-century American literature and criminal narratives. She has just completed her first poetry collection, Love, and Do What You Will, and has most recently been published in the North American Review. "Torso" is an ekphrastic poem based on a 1919 photograph of Georgia O'Keeffe by Alfred Stieglitz.

Bodying Forth the Impossible: Metamorphosis, Mortality, and Aesthetics in the Works of Jorge Luis Borges
Heather Lisa Dubnick

Email: hldubnick@aol.com

Heather Dubnick recently completed her doctorate in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation examines the use and origins of the mise en abîme structures in the works of Jorge Luis Borges, Miguel de Unamuno and Macedonio Fernández. She is currently a full-time instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences Writing Program at Boston University. Her research interests include interarts relations, visual studies, and literary theory.

Abstract: This essay explores Jorge Luis Borges's aesthetic theory and practice in relation to his use of the mise en abîme structure, as well as his appeal to vision and embodiment in the face of mortality and ineffability. Particular attention is paid to two short stories, "The Aleph" and "The Garden of Forking Paths," and two essays, "Partial Enchantments of the Quixote" and "The Wall and the Books."

"Recoil" or "Seize"?: Passing, Ekphrasis, and "Exact Expression" in Nella Larsen's Passing
Monique Rooney

Email: monique.rooney@english.usyd.edu.au

Monique Rooney was recently awarded her doctorate on the theme of racial passing in twentieth-century American literature at the Department of English, University of Sydney, Australia. Her research areas include literature of the Harlem Renaissance, race and ethnic studies, sexuality, psychoanalysis, rhetoric, visual culture, literary production. In January, she is taking up a research fellowship at the Harry Ransom Research Centre at the University of Texas in Austin to study the correspondence between popular author Fannie Hurst and the African American writer Zora Neale Hurston.

Abstract: This essay reads the marked figure of the passer in Nella Larsen's Passing (1929) in relation to the operation of ekphrasis in language. Ekphrasis enables an interrogation of the difference between being and seeing and draws our attention to the association of the spectacle with superficiality and incompleteness. Likewise, the passer in Larsen's novel challenges racial and sexual classifications by playing on the discrepancy between being "white" and looking "white." Although appearing "white," the passer is inevitably classified black and is murderously judged to be a threateningly fragmented subject. The exposure of this figure destabilises at the same moment as it defines racial and sexual difference. This suggests the primacy but also instability of the visible in identification practices.

Spectacular Spectators: Regendering the Male Gaze in Delariviere Manley's The Royal Mischief and Joanna Baillie's Orra
Julie Anderson

Email: JNAAnderson@aol.com

Julie Aipperspach Anderson is completing her doctoral work in English at Texas A&M Univerisity. Her dissertation focuses on the authorial personae created by three seventeenth-century female playwrights (Catherine Trotter, Mary Pix, and Delariviere Manley) as they position themselves within the dramatic and economic culture of the London theatre at the turn of the century. Currently, she teaches composition and British literature as a full-time lecturer in the English department at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Abstract: The specific gender assignments in Laura Mulvey's cinematic theory suggest a presupposed power position of the male viewer over the female object. However, if the gender assignment of the spectator is ambiguous, as Tania Modleski argues, then the power position of the spectator is also questionable. This ambiguous assignment of gender and power for the spectator that Modleski explores is similar to what Anderson terms the refractive quality of the female gaze in Delariviere Manley's The Royal Mischief (1696) and Joanna Baillie's Orra (1812). Although Mulvey's theory suggests that the gendering of the gaze threatens the audience's pleasure, the changing gender identity of the spectator and the empowering of the spectacle in Manley's and Baillie's plays increases the audience's pleasure as spectators.

Interface Designer
Wes Juranek

Email: wesjuranek@hotmail.com

Wes Juranek graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2001 with a BS in Information Systems and a minor in Art with an eDesign emphasis. He is currently employed as a Web Specialist with the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and works as a Flash freelance designer.

Titles Designer
David Woodward

Email: dwoodwa@purdue.edu
Homepage: http://www.onethirtyseven.com

David Woodward is an undergraduate student at Purdue University, currently majoring in Creative Writing, with a completed minor in Philosophy, and a second minor in Art and Design. He is a website designer outside of school, specializing in Flash and HTML.

 

Copyright Enculturation 2001

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