HAU

Notes on the iconography of mediated gestures

Stefka Hristova

Abstract


This article argues for the relevance of Erwin Panofsky’s twentieth-century art historical three-step method of preiconography, iconography, and iconology to the field of media studies. It illustrates the ways in which genealogies of visual elements spread across a wide range of visual media can illuminate long-standing cultural tropes. More specifically, this project takes up the second step proposed by Panofsky—namely iconography—to link visual representations of Trump’s election campaign to the recruitment World War I posters featuring a caricature of Uncle Sam.  Through the articulation of this genealogy, it sheds light on the ways in which humor and politics have been visually welded together by the popular press since the nineteenth century.


Keywords


Uncle Sam, iconography, visual genealogy, gestures, caricature

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau7.1.028