Discourse and Visual Analysis II 

Prof. Carver clearly explains topics that I previously found confusing. He really changed the way I think, and I will be able to use the concepts and tools he covered in my research projects. — participant from the United Kingdom

This course covers advanced interpretive and constructivist approaches to the analysis of communicative social practices, incl. spoken and written language, still and moving images, the built environment, and other ways through which meaning is created. Following a review of the rhetorical, semiotic, narrative, and communicative analysis of text and images, the course explores the processes through which meaning-making operates, focusing on such advanced topics as interpellation, constructivism, and feminist analysis.

This course is the second part in a two-course sequence. It requires participants to be familiar or have prior experience with the material covered by Discourse and Visual Analysis I.


This one-week, 17.5-hour course runs Monday-Friday, 1:00-4:30 pm, July 8-12, 2019.


Terrell F. Carver (picture), University of Bristol

Detailed Description

Building on the material covered by the first course in the two-course discourse and visual analysis sequence (cf. Discourse and Visual Analysis I), this course reviews the rhetorical, semiotic, narrative, and communicative analysis of written text as well as still and moving images before turning to more advanced topics, such as:

  • Power/knowledge and 'author-ity'

  • Interpellation and articulation

  • Metaphor and catachresis

  • Constructivism and popular culture

  • Aesthetics and popular culture

  • Feminist and queer analysis

Regular lectures are complemented with various classroom and study group activities and the viewing and discussion of five commercial and independent Singaporean films in which the tenets of post-structuralism are acted out in lively, fictive contexts. The films allow us to explore the processes through which visual meaning-making has operated historically to provoke political change and to consider the evolution of Singaporean film-making from persecuted underground cinema to state-sponsored mainstream prize-winners.

During hands-on workshop sessions, participants are encouraged to identify and develop their own practical research projects, making use of their the newly acquired discourse and visual analysis skills that allow them to analyze the myriad and changing ways through which communicative and representational practices make meanings, create regimes of truth, and generate power in society.


We strongly encourage participants to combine this course with the introductory Discourse and Visual Analysis I. Alternatively, participants should have prior experience with discourse analysis.


Participants are expected to bring a WiFi-enabled laptop computer. Access to data, temporary licenses for the course software, and installation support will be provided by the Methods School.

Core Readings

Bateman, John A. 2014. Text and Image: A Critical Introduction to the Visual/Verbal Divide. New York, NY: Routledge.

Bleiker, Roland. 2009. Aesthetics and World Politics. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hand, Martin. 2012. Ubiquitous Photography. Malden, MA: Polity Press.

Rose, Gillian. 2011. Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials. 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Yanow, Dvora, and Peregrine Schwartz-Shea, eds. 2013. Interpretation and Method: Empirical Research Methods and the Interpretive Turn. 2nd edition. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Suggested Readings

Bronner, Stephen E. 2017. Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Culler, Jonathan. 1983. Barthes: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Railton, Diane, and Paul Watson. 2011. Music Video and the Politics of Representation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Wartenberg, Thomas E. 2007. Thinking on Screen: Film as Philosophy. New York, NY: Routledge.

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