Workshop: The Rhetoric of Images. Translating between Disciplines and Cultures

Bilderfahrzeuge Workshop

The Warburg Institute, 8-9 July 2014

Organised by Christopher Johnson (Bilderfahrzeuge Project) and Peter Mack (Warburg)

Speakers: Linda Báez Rubí (Bilderfahrzeuge), Mary Carruthers (New York University and All Souls College, Oxford), Christopher D. Johnson (Bilderfahrzeuge), Andrew Laird (University of Warwick), Peter Mack (Warburg Institute) and Johannes von Müller (Bilderfahrzeuge)

This two-day workshop aimed to explore how iconology can be understood through different forms of rhetoric, rhetoric that allows mobility between visual and verbal media, and across material, physical, geographical, cultural, and disciplinary spaces. These various forms of mobility, we propose, are not only mutually constitutive, but also can be illuminated by examining them in light of the theory and practice of rhetoric.

Through individual presentations and group discussions based on a common set of texts to be read or at least perused beforehand, the workshop examined how rhetoric provides a conceptual and pragmatic framework for thinking about the creation and reception of images as well as the transfer of images and ideas between cultures. More specifically, as we asked how both texts and images gain meaning and mobility, we attended to such notions as invention, memory, occasion, decorum, composition, style, colour, figuration, gesture, and audience. To this end the workshop also considered exemplary texts and material objects that may be said to achieve such mobility – either between Antiquity and Modernity, East and West, or the Old and the New Worlds.


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