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Missing Chapter (30%, 30 points)

Camera Lucida

Alberto Cairo's The Functional Art (2013) provides a broad introduction to contemporary information graphics and visualization, yet rhetoric is conspicuously missing from the book. To be fair, Cairo delivers a few hints at a rhetorical understanding of information graphics. For example, Chapter Three mentions context, audience, and purpose—commonplaces for basic rhetorical analysis, but it is nowhere clear enough that information graphics operate rhetorically. Thus, your task is to plan and develop Chapter 10, the chapter on "The Rhetoric of Information Graphics and Visualization" (or some other title you choose). The chapter you prepare should be sufficiently developed that it establishes rhetorical terms and applies them to selected information graphics or data-visual evidence and examples (i.e., evidence and examples you find or make). The chapter ought to introduce sources much in the same way Cairo does; in fact, it should also duplicate, as much as possible, the visual style of The Functional Art, including spacing and typography, which is to say it should become a believable artifact.

An in-progress draft of your chapter is due on Monday, April 6. The completed chapter is due to the EMU Online dropbox by midnight on Friday, April 17.

Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2020 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"We need to become irritated at our favorite theories and theorists and tired of our usual list of visual objects. Visual studies should be ferrociously difficult, as obdurate and entangled in power as the images themselves. Complacency on that score leads back toward the fun house of aimless impressionistic writing about the joys of contemporary consumerism. There is so much more out there waiting to be understood" (201). James Elkins, "Envoi," Visual Studies: A Skeptical Introduction

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