Dr Marie Gelang, "The Visual Rhetoric of Store Window Mannequins: A study of mannequins posture and proxemics"

11 December, 2017


This presentation examines the visual rhetoric of store window displays with a special focus on the nonverbal expressions, such as postures and proxemics, of mannequins from the 1930s to today. The empirical material consists of an archive of over one thousand pictures of Swedish shopping window displays.  The analysis of a selection of this material reveals that shop windows try to persuade consumers to step into the store through the artistic design and visual rhetoric of mannequins.  I argue that visual images such as shop window displays reflect ideals, norms, values and desires that we embody to create our ethos and personae, i.e., certain aspects of ourselves that we emphasise in a specific situation. Finally, I conclude with the results of the analysis in which observation of visual rhetoric shows differences between as well as within each gender category.



Marie Gelang, PhD, Researcher and Senior Lecturer in Rhetoric, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden is a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Literature, Art and Media (SLAM). She has written articles, book-chapters, and monographs within the tradition of rhetoric with a special concentration in delivery. Her scholarly interests include nonverbal communication with a specific focus on interaction in public settings and developing theories on paralinguistic communication.


Please RSVP to AND by COB 8th of December.

Location: Room 330, Writing hub Tutorial Room, Old Teacher's College (A22).

Contact:Megan Ivory