Up North – For Multimodal Argumentation (in Advertising)

I am delighted to have been invited as a lecturer on the Örebro Training School ‚Multimodal Rhetoric and Argumentation in Public Policy Communication‘ (under the European COST Action scheme) to take place in the first week of April. My linguistic interest in advertising and its argumentative structures fits the school’s bill quite nicely; and I am eager to learn about multimodal argumentation in other domains of communication and from other different academic perspectives. I am looking forward to a lecture and a workshop. The lecture will outline advertising as a special type of argumentative discourse and also look at the history of the genre in light of argumentation. Another sensitive issue to raise will be the argumentative use of images: Which function can they take over in the structure of an argument? In the workshop, I will seek to teach the analytical skill of argument reconstruction in commercial and pro-social ads, considering the structure of the arguments, the role of rhetorical figures (in text and image), and the impact of the images on argumentative force. At the end, I hope participants will come away being able to dissect arguments in advertising and to appreciate the creative richness of the multimodal design solutions we’re seeing. Not least, I am also looking forward to reconnecting with some good colleagues, making plans for future engagement with the subject of multimodal rhetoric and argumentation.

Credits/Header Picture: 2020 / Loic Divad for UNSPLASH

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