Printed with national ink: Post-9/11 representations of the self and other on the covers of "Time"
This thesis examines how 'TIME' magazine edits and assigns meaning to cover images in order to supplement the dominant national, political and cultural discourse of their publication and American culture. This discourse is understood through an introduction of the history of 'TIME', including a discussion of visual precedents, the statistics of readership and an examination and definition of the self and other. The terms self and other are grounded in their political and cultural precedents and discussed within an Orientalist and post-colonial framework. The self, from an American perspective, appears whole and dominating, in comparison with the other who is intrinsically unfamiliar, fragmented, inferior and submissive to the dominating gaze. In order to situate specific images within their historical, political and cultural context, foreign policy, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, media war practices and terrorism are examined, analyzed and defined. The evolution of those constructs are then evaluated on individual cover images using rhetoric, framing, topoi, metaphor, semiotics, photographic messages and media and communication theory.