My name is Valerie Moncada and I am a fourth year student at Trent in Oshawa. I have created this blog for a class that I am currently taking called Critical Approaches to Literature: Objects and Subjects. The course is instructed by Dr. Sara Humphreys. Throughout the course, we have studied theories that enable us to analyze our perception of the world and each other through both the content and material culture of literature. We have learned about semiotics, structuralism, material and print culture, visual rhetoric, performativity, speech act theory, gender studies, and queer theory.
As an English major, I have read A LOT of books and very few of them are ones that I will never forget. Stowe’s, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is a book that will forever be in my mind, and one that I will continually recommend to others. I have decided to focus this blog on visual rhetoric, specifically analyzing mass marketed objects and characters from Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I will look at how cultural commodities or mass market objects produced by literature can reinforce certain belief systems. Professor Humphrey’s stated: “While the content of literature is important, the medium that ‘contains’ the content is vital.” When contemplating how this relates to visuals, I find it interesting that even though images do not have the same grammar as language, they can tell stories too. This blog will analyze the stories that images, videos, objects, and other visuals portray. Furthermore, I will draw connections between language, image, and identity.