When a Picture Speaks a Thousand Words?
RIT Sponsors Four-day Conference on Visual Communication




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How do images persuade us in our day-to-day lives? How does footage on the nightly news shape our opinions? How does the fantasy world of advertising seduce consumers? We all know that images can be manipulated, but how does that influence us?

The power of visual communication will be explored during a four-day conference, sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology's William A. Kern Professor in Communications in the College of Liberal Arts.

Panels of national and international scholars and professionals will meet March 29—April 1 to discuss visual communications from a myriad of perspectives. The conference will be held at the Strathallan Hotel, with special sessions and exhibits at Rochester Institute of Technology and Gallery r, and visits to the George Eastman House and the Vietnam War Memorial at Highland Park.

Visual Communication: Rhetorics and Technologies will provide a forum for discussion of research related to visual messages in various media, technologies that produce, distribute and receive visual messages, and uses and effects of visual communication.

"Visual communication has become the major way mass audiences are created and reached," says Diane Hope, the William A. Kern Professor in Communications at RIT. "We get formal training on how to read and analyze text. We don?t get the same training in how to read visual images."

"My dream is that this conference will initiate discussion about the establishment of a center for the study of visual communication at RIT," Hope adds.

Documentary photographer and educator Rick Williams will give the keynote speech. His most recent collection of images, Working Hands, documents work on ranches, oil rigs, and in high-tech clean rooms of Texas during the last 20 years.

Other speakers include Elayne Rapping and Kevin DeLuca. Rapping, media critic and professor of women's studies and cultural studies at State University of New York at Buffalo, has written several books and numerous essays. She also has appeared on CNN, CBS and ABC on matters of culture, media and gender.

DeLuca explores the new rhetoric of environmental activism. He considers how industrial cultures relate to the natural world and construct visions of nature. DeLuca is an assistant professor of speech communication at the University of Georgia.

Early registration before Feb. 19 is $100; after Feb. 19, the fee is $135. Registration forms and conference details are on the Web at www.rit.edu/~kernwww/.

For more information about the conference, contact Hope at 716-475-6053 or dshgpt@rit.edu.

For the past decade, U.S. News and World Report has ranked RIT as one of the nation's leading comprehensive universities. RIT is also included in Yahoo Internet Life's Top 100 Wired Universities, Fisk's Guide to America's Best Colleges, as well as Barron's Best Buys in Education.