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Toward a Methodology of Visual Rhetoric with Constant Reference to Mikhail Bakhtin’s Concept of “Chronotope”: A Theoretical Proposal and Taiwan Case Study

Authors: Hsiao-Yung Wang

Abstract:

This paper aims to elaborate methodology of visual rhetoric with constant reference to Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of “chronotope”. First, it attempts to outline Ronald Barthes, the most representative scholar of visual rhetoric and structuralism, perspective on visual rhetoric and its time-space category by referring to the concurrent word-image, the symbolic systematicity, the outer dialogicity. Second, an alternative approach is explored for grasping the dynamics and functions of visual rhetoric by articulating Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of “chronotope.” Furthermore, that visual rhetorical consciousness could be identified as “the meaning parabola which projects from word to image,” “the symbolic system which proceeds from sequence to disorder,” “the ideological environment which struggles from the local to the global.” Last but not least, primary vision of the 2014 Taipei LGBT parade would be analyzed preliminarily to evaluate the effectiveness and persuasiveness embodied by specific visual rhetorical strategies. How Bakhtin’s concept of “chronotope” to explain the potential or possible ideological struggle deployed by visual rhetoric might be interpreted empirically and extensively.

Keywords: barthes, chronotope, Mikhail Bakhtin, Taipei LGBT parade, visual rhetoric

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