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Speaker's Series Mar. 13

Friday, March 13, 2020 - 15:00

Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation & Rhetoric along with the PhD in Argumentation Studies at the University of Windsor invite you to a talk by


Harmony Peach

CRRAR Graduate Student Fellow


Picturing A Thousand Unspoken Words: Visual Arguments and Controlling Force


Abstract: This paper explores how visual argumentation may be the mode best suited for eliciting appropriate force for the reasons given by arguers who face systematic identity prejudices. In the verbal mode, this force is often problematically skewed by conscious and unconscious biases (Bondy 2010, Kukla 2014). Because of their reliance on enthymeme (Dove 2016), visual arguments are highly context specific, and therefore require a deep understanding between audience and arguer or a kind of empathetic commonality for their inferences to be correctly translated from creator to viewer. Here I use Ian Dove’s Visual Scheming (2016), which maps visual argumentation schemes from Douglas Walton’s verbal schemes and engineers some others exclusively for visual argument evaluation, and repurpose the theory of the Retort Collective (2004), which argues the September 11th attacks were designed for their resulting spectacular appeal as a kind of political argument with the intent of recirculation, and evaluate some visual arguments used in social movements. I demonstrate how the visual mode can maintain the appropriate force, leaving it in the control of the creator of the image, while in the verbal mode of the same arguments the force is skewed. I offer that in context, visual arguments have the best hope of interrupting unconscious bias long enough to carry the necessary and correct force of the argument to the intended audience.


Friday, March 13, 2020


Chrysler Hall North, 1163

All are welcome