On the Cover of Rolling Stone: Photographs, Politics, and the Public
thesisposted on 01.12.2013, 00:00 by Marcy Held
Using Rolling Stone’s August 2013 cover image of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the ensuing outrage as a case study, this essay explores the conditions and processes that allowed this controversy to arise. From a theoretical basis that combines semiotics and Foucauldian discourse analysis, I will argue that the ways in which images are created, used, and interpreted are processes that follow a distinct set of protocols. Though the relationships shared between certain images and sentiments appear to be “natural,” they are actually the result of a specific combination of historic and cultural influences.