This literature review traces recent scholarship on a particular form of communication that uses images for persuasive purposes: visual rhetoric. Disciplines within the purview of this literature review include writing studies, speech, communication, education, and marketing as well as, to a limited degree, anthropology, information science, art history, architecture, and design. The chapter will discuss three main theoretical constructs which ground scholarship in this field: rhetoric, iconology, and semiotics.
While much has been written about visual literacy and multimodal teaching, almost nothing has been published on preparing instructors and graduate teaching assistants to provide students with the mechanics of visual design, rhetoric, and cultural criticism to help them build complex, multimodal projects that go beyond visual inclusion and critique. This chapter focuses on a graduate course on visual literacy, rhetoric, and design that was taught by one of the authors and taken by the other four.
The role of the school librarian requires mastering numerous dynamic and pliable 21st-century literacies. Of those literacies, visual literacy is sometimes overlooked, yet appear in numerous standards at the state and national levels.