Department of Rhetoric and Writing

The University of Texas at Austin

Wrapping Up the Year

It’s almost the end of the year for viz.! Over the next few days, we’ll be wrapping up with each writer getting a chance to list and discuss their top five favorite posts from the past year. Here are mine.

Scott Garbacz on Guardians of the Galaxy: Scott’s analysis of images from the film gets at sci-fi’s ability to convey not merely excitement and adventure, but the beauty that can be found in the unfamiliar. He shows how the film creates a rhetoric of compassion in the midst of entertainment.

Aubri Plourde on childhood sexualization: our resident expert on childhood takes down the idea that sexualizing a young person like Miley Cyrus is anything new. Analyzing images of toddlers pictured as adults and the adult Madonna pictured as a child, she demonstrates that the phenomenon is both widespread and time-honored.

Emily Lederman on the Chipotle “Scarecrow” ad: Emily examines the holes in the messaging of Chipotle’s much-watched ad. She asks incisive questions about how friendly to the environment and to animals Chipotle’s food sourcing really is.

My post on a new cover for the Jungle Book: I like it when I get to get a little political on viz. In this case, I enjoyed getting to the root of the problems with the visual message conveyed by this children’s book cover.

My favorite post to work on this year was on the visual rhetoric of girly drinks and its relationship to heteronormativity. I examined the implications of calling particular types of drinks “girly” and what that convention says about conceptions of gender in modern American culture.

That’s it! Thank you for your readership this year and for exploring visual rhetoric with us.

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