A particular logic of showing and seducing is inherent in images: they showcase and bring to mind, they possess the force to produce evidence and they are inclusive and integrate ambivalences and connections. At the same time they can establish new relations and thus have a particular reality-transforming effect. Images thus have a genuinely affirmative character but they can also to tip prevailing allocations and meanings into crisis. Finally, they can act as mirrors in which subjects can gaze at themselves. This force that images contain can be measured by reconstructing the acts of perception and appropriation practices as well as the conflicts they trigger.
Discourse theory has mainly developed by referring to written sources and by integrations of linguistics and semiotics. Like political theory in general, it was long cut off from the analysis of visual media. However, visual production and appropriation has long since become a constitutive agent in political subjectivation processes. Contemporary practices of showing and visual seduction testify to the increasing presence of visual media in political positioning and discourse building.
In this panel we would like to discuss approaches to integrating visual culture studies into discourse theory. We would like to discuss the following questions: How do visuals become part of political discourse? How can visual sources and the practices of appropriation and rejection that they are part of be analysed? How can inputs from visual culture studies be integrated into political discourse analysis? And what are the ways in which visuals comply with or challenge written sources?