Samuel James Conroy

Confirmation Progymnasmata

            Jonathan Culler puts out a very interesting piece regarding travelers versus tourists. I have read numerous pieces for this class thus far regarding tourism and the negatives surrounding it. So far, we have read about the appropriation of cultures through and the degradation of environments in certain countries due to overpacking tourists. However, I found myself disagreeing with many of the points suggested as I did not think all people traveled for the sole purpose of seeing the “big” tourist attractions. I argued in previous pieces how it was lazy to stereotype all tourists into one category as the ones who have no intention of learning the culture of the place, they travel to but rather see something, take a picture, and then leave. At my high school we used to have a spirit week where one of the days were tacky tourist day, this reminds me of slapping a stereotype on a group. Here is a picture for reference:

Culler does a good job and splits these two types of people, travelers and tourists.

Culler describes the difference in these two by talking about the semiotics of travel. Tourists are those who are not interested in what the culture has to offer but rather the idea of what their culture has to offer. Culler describes it perfectly, “The French chanteuse singing English with a French accent seems more charmingly French than one who simply sings in French” (Culler). These tourists are not interested in what France has to offer culturally, but rather what the perceived image of France has to offer, hence French people speaking English with French accents rather than actually speaking French. Then, the traveler is one who goes to various destinations for getting lost in that nation. As stated in the reading, “to drive through Roumania or Afghanistan without hotel reservations and to get by on terrible French” (Culler). Travel has become too much of becoming something you are not, such as traveling to a foreign country to become part of a social class that you are not part of back home or to simply take pictures of nice locations to brag about on social media. This piece is logical as it describes the fine line that differentiates the stereotypical “tourist” versus the more serious “traveler.” Culler has in-depth reasoning as to why both exist, the issues that arise from tourism, and why becoming a traveler needs to become the new normal so cultures do not get degraded.

Aongus Mui

The Semiotics of Tourism, Jonathan Culler

Progym: Confirmation

Tourism, a simple yet complex concept. Jonathan Culler does a phenomenal job illustrating that tourists sometimes unknowingly interpret signs. He goes in depth on one of the more specific parts of tourism which is the symbolism that comes along with it. Culler goes through the perspective of multiple individuals to give us a detailed conclusion of tourism. Many tourists go to famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon, and the Statue of Liberty. The tourists go here expecting something based on someone else’s critic. Another interesting theme that Cullen included in his writing is that “tourism reveals difficulties of appreciating otherness except through signifying structures that mark and reduce it.” Cullen explains that as tourists we often fail to fully understand the culture of the place that we are visiting. As a person who has been a tourist many times, I find Cullen’s perspective to be fitting, and logical. When I travel, I think of all the known places like the beaches of Aruba or the night lights of Las Vegas, tourists are hardwired with the desire to seek out the spots that other people have told them are “amazing” or “beautiful.” We never fully dive into the culture or connect with the people there. The reading helped me reevaluate my mindset when it comes to travel, showing me that there is more than just sightseeing to being a tourist.

Lucas Enrique Fernandez

The Tourist’s Gaze: Revisited


In the article “The Tourist’s Gaze: Revisited” John Urry presents and wonderfully articulates the concept of the tourist’s gaze to the reader. Urry meticulously breaks down first what the “gaze” is, and then how our gaze interacts with travel and the environment. I believe that he was correct in being critical of the tourist’s gaze as often times it can be both superficial and dangerous.

Sight is not seen as the noblest of the senses but as the most superficial, as getting in the way of real experiences that involve the other senses.

This quote truly makes me think of the negatives that are associated with many tourists in today’s day and age. There are many people who travel places just for the sake of checking off a list of sights. The most common place I see this is with Instagram where people feel compelled to document things just to seem more popular. People will go across the world and be in an amazing city, eating a beautiful meal, and not truly experience any of it because all that matters is getting the perfect visual instead of experiencing everything about where they are. One of the big lessons I took from this is that people need to explore the places they travel with all of their senses. Smell the flowers, taste the food, hear the sounds of the city or forest, feel the different textures of the area. To use your experience as a tourist in another place as just a way to see and collect images and sights then that is a waste.

Also, in much tourism there is the equivalent of looking at the mad behind bars. The bars can be the camera or the ethnic costumes or the quaint village that gets invaded every summer.

This part of the text made me think about how tourism and “sightseeing” can often be a source of dehumanization. People from other countries are made to be a spectacle for tourists and onlookers where they are expected to conform to stereotypes as a way to survive. While tourism is a benefit to many, the superficial art of it definitely has a dark side that hurts many, often those that are indigenous to different regions. If a tourist can take the extra step to truly experience and understand where they are visiting, I believe that is a step in the right direction.

Paula I Arraiza

How to Analyze an Image

Type of Progym: Confirmation


In “Breaking Down an Image”, Sheffield does exactly what the title of the article states, she breaks down an image. The author uses a picture from a watch advertisement to explain various rhetorical elements that are commonly used with images. She lists various elements that are helpful when analyzing an image. Many of these elements are somewhat self-explanatory, such as figuring out the purpose, audience, and context of the image. However, other elements she mentions are things we wouldn’t usually think twice about. For example, she mentions the placement and size of details are important since something more important could be a larger component of the picture than something than isn’t as important. Similarly, to what Cohn mentioned in last week’s reading, the color and size of the font used can also be important when analyzing an image. In short, Sheffield tells is guiding us to focus on the small details we wouldn’t think twice about when analyzing an image since the creator of said image did everything with a specific purpose. Her advice and explanation of specific elements would definitely come in helpful when examining or creating an image.

Samuel James Conroy

Confirmation Progymnasmata

Confirmation Progymnasmata

Jenae Cohn’s piece “Understanding Visual Rhetoric” is a great writing about using imagery to your advantage in writing and to show how something as simple as an image can change opinions drastically. Cohn does a fantastic job of describing rhetorical imagery in a way that most can relate to.

The piece is started by giving an example of going out to get food with your friends. Since you are trying to decide where you want to go out you research various places and see the imagery that is present to determine where you go. You end up finding a burger place online that has some pictures that are simply making you salivate. However, the next picture that you stumble upon is significantly worse than the ones you just viewed. All of a sudden, the burgers look cheap, greasy, and unappetizing. Your liking of this restaurant just decreased heavily, and you no longer feel that it is the choice for you and your friends. Cohn then goes on to explain that the use of these images is all visual rhetoric. These images are used to display information in a way that words cannot.

This piece is unquestionably logical as anyone who has wanted to gain info on something is profoundly influenced by the imagery on display. Say you are attempting to purchase a boat. You go online and find a boat that appears to be the one:

Looks to be in great condition and is reasonably in your price range. Upon further investigation you find this image of the boat from a top angle:

All of a sudden that boat is not looking like you thought it would. The visual rhetoric has changed your mind completely and you stop pursuing this boat despite the fact it could just have been not cleaned at the time of that picture.

Catherine Dodd Corona Uncategorized

The Art of Travel – Alain de Botton

Traveling Nearby

Progymnasmata: Confirmation

This video as a side piece to Alain De Botton’s book “The Art of Travel” is a wonderful collage of the reasons to travel. The perks and drawbacks of traveling to the unknown. He ventures through different kinds of travel such as cruise ships, road trips, and plane travel. With most places he draws from artists who painted, photographed or wrote about the sublime and wonderment of different places. Along with clips of the cities and villages that almost abstractly show the feeling and aura of each place. Whether it be an obscure shot of the neon on a red light district or the smooth movement of an airport escalator. From quick shots of tanning European cruise ship go-ers to the erotically dressed swinging hotel guests, these small clips give the viewer a sense of the atmosphere of a certain place. Botton travels to several different countries and discusses the “why” of travel in all of them. One of my favorite points he makes is that one does not necessarily travel far to feel the excitement and pleasures of travel. He observes people in distant places wandering sheepishly towards their guide. It seems that their curiosity is not being fed by the must see wonders of that destination. People have left their home to wander aimlessly, and maybe that is what they want. But there are lots of people that travel to see something exotic. He argues that something “exotic” is a matter of perspective. A cold rainy english day can be exotic to an Egyptian, just like the Nile can be exotic to an english man. The point being travel and the wonders of travel can be felt very close to home. It’s a wonderful argument because it manifests curiosity. People should travel to different cultures. There is extreme merit in that, but people should also explore their known. By accepting travel to nearby or known places one can accept more curiosity into their day to day. In a way it folds some of the wonder in travel into habitual life, so days do not feel so monotonous.