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Visual Literacy: WRTG 1150

“A way of seeing is a way of not seeing.”

 - Kenneth Burke

Assignment Details

Primary focus: examine benefits and limitations of images (photos, paintings, advertisements)

Paper goals: argue for a unique interpretation of a historical event

Process: analysis of visual documents to argue what you interpret as the history of an event through visual materials | Your trajectory is from rhetoric to culture to narrative

Approach: pretend visual artefact only remaining memory

Questions about event:

  • What is your interpretation of happenings?
  • Who were people impacted (victims)?
  • Who were the forces causing the event?
  • Why did it happen?

Broader questions about trust:

  • Is your image creating a view or glimpse of a certain place or thing, and in turn assigning it a meaning that it was never meant to have?
  • Are all images a type of propaganda then? .
  • And, perhaps most importantly, can we ever possess a true image of something?
  • A true understanding of the past? Or, are we always just missing it?


    10 page paper with exhaustive annotated bibliography

Search for Images

Searching for ads? Add (ads or advertisements or promotion) to your search. Be sure to choose search tools to limit your search by time period, image type (photo, drawing, etc.), and more. 

Search for articles about your event

Citing images

The basic information you will need:.

  • Artist’s name
  • Title of work
  • Date created
  • Owner, museum, repository
  • City or country of origin
  • Dimensions
  • Material or medium
 MLA APA    Chicago