Political cartoons are not meant to record visual evidence of an event as a photo might, neither are they created to act as icons for the events that they speak to. Rather, they treat the events of their day with an acknowledged slant in the point-of-view, draw correlations between events when such correlations might exist only in the mind of the artist, or deride (or, rarely, admire) individuals or organizations. In all cases, political cartoons fall far more on Fidel’s Object pole than they do on her Data pole (1997). Indexing political cartoons offers a unique challenge in the larger realm of indexing images. But while subject access has been the focus of image indexing research in recent years, and is a robust and active topic of discussion and debate, it has rarely been turned to the realm of indexing opinion, visual or otherwise. Will Armitage and Enser’s Panofsky-Shatford mode/facet matrix (1997) be more useful in such work than Jorgensen’s 12 classes (1994), or will an entirely new measure of subject need to be developed? This paper asks questions within this realm of image indexing as it pertains to political cartoons.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Landbeck, Chris (2008) Issues in Subject Analysis and Description of Political Cartoons. In Lussky, Joan, Eds. Proceedings 19th Workshop of the American Society for Information Science and Technology Special Interest Group in Classification Research, Columbus, Ohio.