Visual Rhetoric

Series Editor
Marguerite Helmers
University of Wisconsin-Oskosh

Visual culture studies and visual rhetoric have been increasing areas of emphasis in scholarly studies. Drawing on the work of a variety of theorists, from Kenneth Burke in rhetorical studies to Roland Barthes in semiotics, and addressing a wide range of subjects, from supermarkets to new media, scholars established visual cultural studies as a thriving and significant area of inquiry for the new century. The impetus for such study has been the awareness that Americans’ primary information sources (television and the World Wide Web) are strongly graphic (or visual) rather than print- or text-based in nature. This series will encourage scholars working in rhetoric, cultural studies, and communication to create new scholarly works that analyze visual phenomena. The intent is to assist in the development of a dedicated publication venue for visual rhetorical studies in order to establish coherence in what is currently a disparate discipline.

The previously unquestioned hegemony of verbal text is being challenged by what W. J. T. Mitchell labels the “pictorial turn” (Picture Theory)—a recognition of the importance and ubiquity of images in the dissemination and reception of information, ideas, and opinions—processes that lie at the heart of all rhetorical practices, social movements, and cultural institutions. In the past decade, many scholars have called for collaborative ventures, in essence for disciplining of the study of visual information into a new field, variously labeled visual rhetoric, visual culture studies, or “image studies.” This proposed new field would bring together the work currently being accomplished by scholars in a wide variety of disciplines, including art theory, anthropology, rhetoric, cultural studies, psychology, and media studies.


The Visual Rhetoric series of Parlor Press will publish works that address the following themes:

  • Political examinations of the role of the image in society;
  • Analyses of the production of images, objects, or visual phenomena in society;
  • Historical considerations of the reception of the image to particular times, places, and people;
  • Analyses of the relationship between representation, communication, and knowledge;
  • Studies of perception, reception, and interpretation of images;
  • Focused rhetorical analyses of various media, including, but not limited to television, film, photography, computer imaging, illustrated books, billboards, and propaganda.

Submission and Contact Information

Queries should be directed to Marguerite Helmers, Associate Professor of English, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 800 Algoma Boulevard, Oshkosh, WI 54901. Email:

Parlor Press is an independent publisher of scholarly and trade titles in print and multimedia formats, including Acrobat eBook and Night Kitchen (TK3). For submission information, see Or write to Parlor Press, 3015 Brackenberry Drive, Anderson SC 29621, or e-mail David Blakesley,