Title

Rhetoric of Public Culture: Humans of New York and Pathos

Presenter

Liz Chenok

Abstract

I explore the rhetorical significance of an image from the popular photoblog, Humans of New York. The image is of a young boy, clearly distressed and crying, The caption reads: “I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me.” I focus on how this image generates pathos in individuals. My argument is threefold: how the image works rhetorically, how the caption works rhetorically, and how, together, image and caption have the potential to create change and pathos in individuals. My discussion ranges from the persona the photographer has created for the boy to what the boy is wearing to potential reasons why individuals might identify with the boy to issues of LBGTQ representation in the media. I unpack why, especially in this circumstance, visual and verbal rhetoric as a duet have significant impact on pathos in people.

Faculty Sponsor

Heather Hayes

Sponsor Department/Programs

Rhetoric Studies

Tracks

Rhetorical Studies: Public Culture

Terms of Use

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Location

Reid G02

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 19th, 2:45 PM Apr 19th, 3:00 PM

Rhetoric of Public Culture: Humans of New York and Pathos

Reid G02

I explore the rhetorical significance of an image from the popular photoblog, Humans of New York. The image is of a young boy, clearly distressed and crying, The caption reads: “I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me.” I focus on how this image generates pathos in individuals. My argument is threefold: how the image works rhetorically, how the caption works rhetorically, and how, together, image and caption have the potential to create change and pathos in individuals. My discussion ranges from the persona the photographer has created for the boy to what the boy is wearing to potential reasons why individuals might identify with the boy to issues of LBGTQ representation in the media. I unpack why, especially in this circumstance, visual and verbal rhetoric as a duet have significant impact on pathos in people.

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Rights Statement

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