Engl 706 Application of Method Part 2


Since I used this image in part one of our analysis/application last week, I thought it would be wise to use the same image to see if my interpretation changed based on a new method. Based on the Foss reading for this week, this image constitutes visual rhetoric because:

  • The image is symbolic because it represents not just of the wording or image used, but also preserving the bay in general and in relation also represents the Cheseapeake Bay Foundation
  • There are conscious choices here: the typeface and color, the fish “out of water,” the background design and word choice
  • Intended audience: As we discussed last week, this image can be easily interpreted at face value by almost anyone (expect for a language barrier issue)

I chose to look at Foss this week for this particular artifact because her method encompassed all the elements I noticed last week (the design choices, etc.). By using this method, I could further develop the designers intent to choose an easily recognized image (though not one that necessarily occurs in nature) that would provoke a disgusted response from the audience. The only other thing that I think would be important is the designer’s background and past experiences, which Foss touches on briefly but I would love to hear more about this element.


Engl 706 Annotated Bib 2

Rodger, K., Moore, S. A., & Newsome, D. (2009). Wildlife tourism, science and actor network theory. Annals of Tourism Research, 36(4), 645-666. Retrieved from http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/1624/1/wildlife_tourism.pdf

Kate Rodger, Susan A. Moore, and David Newsome (2009) conducted this study to see how the increased tourism rates in Antarctica affected native penguins. While their overall focus was on how wildlife tourism affected Antarctica as a whole, they chose to focus on penguins as their non-human actor because 94.2% of the tourists they survived said they were most interested in interacting with penguins and because there was an increase in tourism each year when the penguins stayed on the shore to breed. They discovered that there were roughly 27,000 visitors in 2005, a 23% increase from 1993. Based on this surprising increase, the researchers expected 1.5 million visitors per year by 2010. The study was conducted from 1994-2004 and used Actor Network Theory (ANT) to analyze human, non-human (penguins), and related scientific reports.

During the study, Rodger, Moore, and Newsome (2009) conducted interviews with their human actors, a small group of wildlife tourism scientists and the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (ASAC). These human actors observed the penguins in question for the duration of the 10-year stud. Rodger et all (2009) discovered that interessement occurred when the human actors tried to recruit other actors to form alliances. Throughout the duration of the study, the human actors tired to reinforce these alliances, which resulted in a black-box for the remaining eight years of the study.

Funding was allocated elsewhere, unfortunately causing actors in the study to be reassigned. Because actor-networks are only possible if all the actors remain enrolled in the network, the study was disbanded before the research could be completed. Rodgers et al (2009) suggest that, despite the study’s unexpected ending, their findings during the study still support using ANT to study similar situations. In order to complete a similar study, Rodgers et all (2009) also suggest pulling data from “current and past efforts in the sociology of science” for support.

This case study was not as helpful as I thought it was going to be, since I was anticipating more of a focus on the actual penguins and not solely on the human actors. Rodgers et al (2009) also neglect to include the data from the studying the penguins, which is what I was hoping to use as an example for my project. Nevertheless, this study does provide an interested analysis through ANT that could prove useful. In terms of application to our class, however, I do not seem much that I could draw from in terms of visual rhetoric. It would have been helpful if Rodgers et al (2009) had at least included their findings from analyzing their interviews with the wildlife tourism scientists and the ASAC. I was hoping I could apply their approach to the interview I want to conduct as part of my project, but alas these findings were not supplied. Instead, this study will act purely as an example for conducting and reported on a study based on the ANT methodology and will not be one of my primary sources.

Engl 706 February 16th Artifact

This week’s readings were all centered around visual arguments and hidden messages in advertisements and art. While reading, I remembered an ad I saw in my high school marketing class (I cannot believe that was 10 years ago Shocked-Emoji.png). The ad, featured below, is from a corporation focused on helping countries in need called Cordaid. The ad stayed with me because I often see people complain about how no one is helping the poor or how it costs too much to offer aid, all while buying their third latte of the day or sporting a new handbag (like the one below). We’re all guilty of it, even if we don’t mean to. Though Blair might not see this ad as a visual argument (or maybe he would, he seemed to flip-flop on the topic), there is a hidden element here I think our other authors this week would appreciate. The model pose, the focus on color, the subtle but deliberately placed font.The ad does not verbally point out the viewer’s privilege, but all the same I cannot help but feel guilty when looking at this ad, and I even try to avoid purchasing frivolous items for this very reason.  The designer doesn’t have to spell it out for you because you can see the problem and call for help clearly. The organization’s number placement stands out to me as well. It is exactly where your eye looks last.



Engl 706 Application of Method


Since my project is focused around Chesapeake Bay conservation, I wanted to find an advertisement the foundation is currently using to analyze for our methods assignment this week. The artifact above, an advertisement geared at preventing fertilizer and chemical run-off from farms, is gives me the perfect opportunity to apply my Foucault and Latour based Frakentheory.

Though there is not obvious (at least to me) evidence of action on the viewer’s part upon first glance, the ad’s word choice and visual elements do show considerable action on both the designer and viewer’s part. First, the designer chose to use a bass as the main image for the ad, a fish many are familiar with and eat on a regular basis. The designer could have easily decided to use another creature from the bay, a heron perhaps, but chose this image because it invokes more familiarity and probably because of the more direct connection to water and human consumption. By using the text to shape the image, rather than supplying text below or above a realistic depiction of the fish, the designer almost forces the viewer to take in the entire message. The designer also made deliberate choices with the font, using slightly different typefaces, styles, and colors to emphasize particular words and to ensure the viewer reads the text as intended. I also find it fascinating that the text seems to mimics the popular children’s rhyme “the woman who swallowed a fly,” but clears paints a darker message with the use of font and color (starts out whimsical, and then turn deadly).

Engl 706 Annotated Bib Entry 1

Cox, M. J. (2008). Sustainable Communication: A Study of Green Advertising and Audience Reception within the growing arena of Corporate Social Responsibility, Case Study: British Petroleum. Earth & E-nvironment, 3, 32-51. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
  Cox outlines two main research focuses: finding the differences between a 1988 BP advertisement and a 2000 “green” BP ad, and to test the public’s perception of the two ads.  Cox provides a foundation by defining green advertising as one that addresses the product/ environment relationship, promotes a green lifestyle, or represents the “corporate image of environmental responsibility.” After outlining said foundation, Cox reports the results of the focus group created for the study. Twelve A-level students were shown both ads and were asked to complete questionnaires before a group discussion. The study results show that the participants favored the green avert because it seemed more tranquil and honest, provided a connection to ideas outside the scope of the ad, and featured a new logo that seemed more associated with the environment.
Though this study was more focused on discovering how the public felt about BP in general after their supposed switch to greener business practices, I greatly appreciate Cox’s definition for green advertising and the details given on logo development. I plan on adapting the design elements that made this logo “stick,” such as the incorporation of a green and yellow color scheme and perceived movement, into the info graphic I plan to create for the Chesapeake Bay. I also think there are details represented in the results that would be beneficial when I created the interview-based video as well.