Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Quote

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xx

I was twenty years old when I first read Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins and became fascinated with people’s interactions with everyday objects. It was not until I read Skinny Legs and All with its focus on the travels of a spoon, a can of beans, a painted stick, a conch shell, and...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xxi-xxvi

A broad collective of people and things has influenced my thinking, research, and writing over the last seven years and made this book possible. I am deeply grateful to Collin Brooke, without whose guidance, patience, and intellectual energy this project would not have come to...

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1. Current Matters: An Introduction

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pp. 1-22

April 27, 2006, is an important date for visual rhetoric. On this date, Hollywood actor George Clooney, Senator Sam Brownback, and then-Senator Barack Obama were holding a press conference at Washington’s National Press Club. Clooney had just returned from a trip to Darfur...

Part I: A New Materialist Rhetorical Approach in Theory

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2. Spatiotemporal Matters

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pp. 25-55

Typical perceptions of matter view material things as inert, whole objects with analyzable compositional elements that distinguish them from other solid entities. When we study objects such as books, or photographs, or other things from such a perspective, we tend to stand over...

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3. Agential Matters

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pp. 56-82

Ecology is predicated on the belief that biological and social worlds are jointly composed of dynamic networks of organisms and environments that have different spatiotemporal configurations and are interdependent, diverse, and responsive to feedback. In the simplest terms...

Part II: A New Materialist Rhetorical Approach in Practice

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4. New Materialist Research Strategies

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pp. 85-105

At its core, Still Life with Rhetoric is interested in cultivating a new materialist habitus of method for rhetorical study, particularly visual rhetorics. In a methodological sense, a habitus of method can be understood as a set of dispositions embodied in a shared tradition of inquiry that influences...

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5. Iconographic Tracking

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pp. 106-132

In May of 2013, a new political scandal broke out when it was discovered that the IRS was targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status during the months and years leading up to the 2012 elections. As we have since learned, President Obama and the White House had nothing...

Part III: Obama Hope Case Study

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6. Obama Hope, Presidential Iconography, and the 2008 Election

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pp. 135-176

The rhetorical life of Obama Hope is a complicated story with a humble beginning. As identified in the book’s introduction, the image first actualized in one among hundreds of photos taken by Mannie Garcia at a national press conference in April of 2006 (see Figure 1.1). This...

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7. Obama Hope, Fair Use, and Copyright

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pp. 177-201

Obama Hope, it could be said, was born into politics. Most well known for its political role in the 2008 presidential election, Obama Hope became somewhat of a hero in US national politics. Yet, like many political actors, the image has also led a rather scandalous life. As this...

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8. Obama Hope, Parody, and Satire

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pp. 202-243

Just as the scandalous affairs in which Obama Hope would become embroiled were unpredicted, one could never have anticipated how wildly Obama Hope would transform as it entered into diverse associations throughout and since early 2008. While certainly other iconic...

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9. Obama Hope, Remix, and Global Activism

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pp. 244-280

This case study has thus far concentrated largely on the national implications of Obama Hope’s rhetorical life as it has become a single multiple image—one that has a distinct identity yet also exists in a plethora of different versions that take on various roles that often cause it to stray far...

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10. Future Matters: A Conclusion

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pp. 281-296

I begin this final chapter with this quote about invention, potential, and novelty from Brian Massumi (2002) for two reasons. The first is to make a final note about the Obama Hope image. As both an invention in photojournalism and an invention in political art, Obama Hope...

References

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pp. 297-311

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About the Author

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pp. 312-312

Laurie E. Gries is assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Florida, where she teaches courses in writing, rhetoric, theory, and new media. Her scholarship works to forge connections between rhetoric, new materialism, and actor-network theory. She has published in journals such as Computers and Composition, JAC, Composition...

Index

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pp. 313-324