When Kenneth Burke visited the Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Road to Victory: A Procession of Photographs of the Nation at War” in the summer of 1942, he most likely did not expect to leave with such intense and intensely contradictory impressions. His visit there offers rhetoric scholars an opportunity to examine the exhibition – important for museum rhetoric because of its propagandistic political message and its innovative visual and material design. Considering the exhibition on its own terms, and the way designers managed problems of circulation and implemented new methods of “extended vision” helps us to present Burke’s then-developing theories (placement, the pentad) as themselves decidedly visual – photographic, even – and concomitantly, for that moment at least, as decidedly war-directed.
Original Publication Information
Hawhee, Debra & Megan Poole. "Kenneth Burke at the MoMA: A viewer’s theory." 2019 Quarterly Journal of Speech, 105(4): 418-440.
Hawhee, Debra and Poole, Megan, "Kenneth Burke at the MoMA: A Viewer’s Theory" (2019). Faculty Scholarship. 545.