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Arguing Against Corporate Claims Visually and Multimodally: The Genre of Subvertisements

  • Assimakis Tseronis

    Assimakis Tseronis is teaching courses on argumentation theory and rhetorical analysis at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. From 2012 till 2017 he worked as Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, and the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is associate member of the research group Argumentation and Rhetoric in Amsterdam. His research interests lie in the fields of multimodal argumentation and the pragmatics of visual communication. Together with Charles Forceville he edited the volume Multimodal Argumentation and Rhetoric in Media Genres, forthcoming with Benjamins.

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    and Charles Forceville

    Charles Forceville is Associate Professor Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He has extensively written on visual and multimodal metaphor in genres including advertising, documentary, animation, political cartoons, and comics. Author of Pictorial Metaphor in Advertising (Routledge 1996), he co-edited Multimodal Metaphor (2009) and Creativity and the Agile Mind (2013) for Mouton de Gruyter. Forceville is finalizing a monograph on how Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory, developed on the basis of face-to-face exchanges, can be adapted and extended to account for visual and multimodal mass-communication (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).

From the journal Multimodal Communication

Abstract

In this paper, we describe the conditions under which the manipulation of the verbal and the visual elements or of the visual elements alone in the genre of subvertisements can be considered as an act of objecting or rebutting in an implicit argumentative discussion. We thus consider the cognitive and pragmatic aspects of communication while paying serious attention to the interaction of semiotic modes in order to analyse a number of images produced by anti-consumerist groups such as Adbusters. We identify four different ways in which image-text relations or the visuals alone can cue an incongruity between the message of the original ad and the message of the subvertisement in such a way that the latter functions as an objection or rebuttal of the claim advanced by the original advertisement.

About the authors

Assimakis Tseronis

Assimakis Tseronis is teaching courses on argumentation theory and rhetorical analysis at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. From 2012 till 2017 he worked as Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, and the Department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He is associate member of the research group Argumentation and Rhetoric in Amsterdam. His research interests lie in the fields of multimodal argumentation and the pragmatics of visual communication. Together with Charles Forceville he edited the volume Multimodal Argumentation and Rhetoric in Media Genres, forthcoming with Benjamins.

Charles Forceville

Charles Forceville is Associate Professor Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He has extensively written on visual and multimodal metaphor in genres including advertising, documentary, animation, political cartoons, and comics. Author of Pictorial Metaphor in Advertising (Routledge 1996), he co-edited Multimodal Metaphor (2009) and Creativity and the Agile Mind (2013) for Mouton de Gruyter. Forceville is finalizing a monograph on how Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory, developed on the basis of face-to-face exchanges, can be adapted and extended to account for visual and multimodal mass-communication (forthcoming with Oxford University Press).

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Published Online: 2017-9-13
Published in Print: 2017-11-27

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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