Through the lens of the justice for Gorge Floyd protests, my dissertation offers a critique, consultation, creation, and contribution to the visual imagery emerging from the digital activism of social movements. Built upon a foundation of counterpublics, critical race counterstory, counternarratives, the Black public sphere, rhetorical-cultural narrative, rhetorical-cultural memory, visual social semiotics, hashtag activism, and media framing and schemas, I engage in a rhetorical-semiotic-technocultural analysis of the justice for George Floyd protests, as a social movement. I position myself as a visual specialist artist, activist, academic, and advisor for social movements engaged in social justice and social change. I argue that culture, as moderator, traversed the rhetorical-semiotic-technocultural messaging of the visual imagery emerging from the digital imagery of the justice for George Floyd social movement which motivated global citizens to take to the streets to demand social justice and social change. Drawing upon the justice for George Floyd movement, I offer artists, activists, and academics ten activist strategic propositions for the preservation of the cultural narrative, memory, and history of social movements which may utilize visuality to withstand social movement backlash.
To recognize graduate students for their strides in research, the College of Graduate Studies Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) has put together a new award. The Award for Excellence by a Graduate Student Researcher celebrates UCF’s outstanding graduate students for their impressive research and creative scholarship within their fields. The self-nominated award encourages students to share their research with the UCF community and allows the GSAC to acknowledge and reward exceptional students.
Fellow council member Christopher Odom, a Ph.D. candidate in the texts and technology program, says the GSAC is “laser-focused” on supporting the needs of graduate students.
“Both the Graduate Award of Excellence by a Student Researcher and the Graduate Student Advisory Council are important because, at a university with a student population comprised mostly of undergraduate students, the council and the award offer a way to meaningfully impact, recognize, and support the work and the needs of graduate students,” he says.
Odom also describes the award as beneficial in helping boost students’ resumes and leaving behind a legacy to build upon for future Graduate Student Advisory Councils. He notes that the council is only just getting started and aims to create more opportunities such as this.
“You will see more support from the Graduate Student Advisory Council for graduate students, graduate teaching assistants, and graduate assistants in the future,” he says.
This social justice and social change interactivity presentation is an interactive audiovisual rhetorical argument for #BlackLivesMatter that employs digital media elements of both generative and participatory culture art. If only we could walk a single day in another person’s shoes… We are all the sum of each of our own unique experiences and reality is a perception based upon one’s vantage point within one’s immediate cultural narratives and awareness of the context. Just because you may not have personally killed anyone, does not mean killers do not exist. By the same token, stereotypes, hegemonic marginalizing tropes, systemic racism, and systemic injustice exist, whether or not you are an active participant, unwilling beneficiary, or injustice-denier. Systemic racism and injustice are pervasive and permeate throughout society. This social justice and social change interactive experience is designed as an educational learning tool and a visual rhetorical argument for the #BlackLivesMatter social movement.