Assimakis Tseronis: "Rhetorical and Argumentative Relevance of Metaphor and Antithesis on the Front Covers of The Economist"

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Zoom (contact Mats Rosengren or Otto Fischer for link)
  • Organiser: The Department of Literature
  • Contact person: Mats Rosengren, Otto Fischer
  • Seminarium

The Higher Seminar in Rhetoric

Assimakis Tseronis, Örebro University: "Rhetorical and Argumentative Relevance of Metaphor and Antithesis on the Front Covers of The Economist"

In this presentation, I study the front covers of the news magazine The Economist where visual or verbo-visual patterns of form and content are identified, which can be described in terms of well-known rhetorical figures such as metaphor and antithesis. I start from the assumption that the front cover constitutes a multimodal argument in the sense that it invites the reader to buy the specific issue on the grounds of the featured story and the stance that the editors express over it. The goal is to identify the semiotic configurations that distinguish one figure from the other, and to establish conditions under which these figures can be shown to contribute meaning that serves the argument conveyed by the front cover. To this end, I seek to combine a contextualist perspective to the study of visual and multimodal argumentation with a cognitivist one. The former assumes that a certain multimodal text conveys an argument because it belongs to a genre that is argumentative. The latter seeks to show that there are certain characteristics intrinsic to a particular pattern of form and content that invite an argumentative interpretation. When this combined perspective is applied to rhetorical figures, it postulates that, while the use of a figure always has a certain rhetorical relevance (attracts attention, addresses emotions, frames the situation, etc.), it has argumentative relevance under certain conditions. These conditions have to do both with the meaning potential that characterises each figure and the way this is exploited and embedded in a specific text that conveys an argument.

Seminar in English