Netherlands, Utrecht (NL)

Multimodal Rhetoric - Hands on!

when 17 August 2015 - 28 August 2015
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 ECTS
fee EUR 940

This course deals with the art of analyzing and constructing multimodal rhetorical discourse – discourse combining language, images, shapes, colors, sounds that aims at influencing its audience! The course is a mixture of theory, analysis and … practical design! We believe in hands-on learning!

In this course we welcome students who are fascinated by multimodality in rhetorical discourse. We offer you a wide range of information about multimodality in commercial, political and legal matters.

The effectivity and the overwhelming presence of multimodal rhetorical discourse – as the main human device to influence an audience’s perception of its reality – is not at all surprising considering the fact that in it the same devices are being employed that human beings use in making sense of the on-going, continuous, endless stream of data to their senses, trying to comprehend the world. Rhetors use these devices to guide their audiences in their perception and evaluation of their discourse mediated ‘reality’. The big difference is that the discourse world that a rhetor presents to his audience, compared to the continuous unmediated stream of sensory input, is carefully formatted, designed to be effective in a specifically designed rhetorical situation. This formatting is the fascinating object of this course!

We combine the art of analyzing with the art of making; we search for the mediating narrator and we play the mediating narrator. In the first week we analyze numerous examples, paying attention to institutional contexts in which they appear: predominantly advertisement, politics, legal practice. In the second week we go to Amsterdam’s Open Studio, a great place to work. We practice hands on! Using the camera and the editing software, you will produce a short clip! We practice understanding info graphics, hands on, designing info graphics yourself!

Course leader

Paul van den Hoven

Target group

In this course we welcome students who are fascinated by multimodality in rhetorical discourse. We aim at students with a BA in any rhetorically relevant discipline: commercial, politics, law on the one hand, design, social sciences, linguistics, semiotics on the other hand.

Course aim

- Students learn to think rhetorically!
- Students develop an insight in the rhetoric of multimodal arguments compared to purely verbal arguments and are able to relate this to aspects of institutional procedures.
- Students can produce an form analysis of a multimodal discourse visually presented argument (mise-en-scene, cinematography, editing, sound) and relate this to an analysis of the rhetorical devices (narrative, comparison, argumentation, framing).
- Students can basically design a multimodal rhetorical text (rhetorical design, script, storyboard, , logistics) and produce it (shooting, basics of editing and postproduction) and they like it!

Credits info

Certificate of Attendance

Fee info

EUR 940: Course + course materials + housing

Fee includes: the course book (Paul van den Hoven, Gold mining. The art of rhetorical discourse analysis), the use of a camera (together with two other students), the use of editing equipment, one excursion.
EUR 600: Course + course materials


Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course

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