Visual Rhetoric and Political Campaigning

We’re well past the first day of the fall semester and now with the first day of the fall season officially here, election season has been well underway. Elections offer the opportunity and many ready examples for use in obvious politically related areas as well as for things like visual rhetoric with political messaging, slogans, and materials. With other obvious examples coming from popular culture with things like “Vote for Voldemort!”
A friend of mine with a wonderful sense of humor to create parody (by which I mean this in the best sense with parody being legitimize and subvert, following Linda Hutcheon’s work on parody) keeps coming up with these possible slogans for Romney. The slogans are all “Romneyeque” and are now online (disclaimer: I have provided technical assistance). All of the slogans are written in a positive way and some may found favorable to Romney supporters and some may be found favorable to his detractors. Whatever the political leanings, these Romneyesque slogans all riff off of Romney’s statements and actions, and are quite funny as commentary. It’s nice to have these as a way to engage with the seriousness of the current political discussions and the election and be able to laugh at the same time, and which we regularly see from greats like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and from the many contributors to memes and one-off jokes and parodies across the internet, including the Romneyesque site.
If anyone is teaching a class where the students are creating or analyzing current political slogans and creating their own, I’d love to see the assignments and examples of student work (if those are readily available online). At some point in the future, I’d also love to see student DIY political swag-stuffs like buttons, bobble-heads, and all of the political extras that get created during campaigning (and a nice selection of these are held by the UF Libraries if any teachers are interested). It would be very interesting to see an analysis of what’s being made, and then see what students create, why, and how it is intended to support/detract from the political figure and/or platform.