An Introductory Approach to Analyzing Intercultural Images

  • Katie Day Good Miami University
Keywords: Visual culture, intercultural communication, media literacy, identity, race, gender, cultural studies, mass media, social media, democracy, politics


The rise of antidemocratic rhetoric and disinformation in the Trump era has highlighted the need for lessons in media literacy that critically engage with matters of identity, history, and power inequality in the United States. This lesson plan responds to this need by offering students an adaptable framework for methodically analyzing intercultural images, defined here as an images or performances that transmit meanings about cultural identity and difference to diverse publics. Using a mnemonic device called C.H.I.R.P.S., students work in groups to analyze how a single controversial image and its meanings are shaped by variations in Contexts, Histories, Identities, Representations, Power inequalities, and Space. By conducting a C.H.I.R.P.S. analysis, students gain practice in thinking critically and holistically about media representations and their relationships to larger social, political, and historical currents in American culture.