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CA Position: Petra Bernhardt on the Trumpian Spectacle

Visual Politics of the 45th President of the United States

Lecture 24.11.20

Online CA Position

Tuesday 24.11.20, 16.30 – 18.00
Lecture in English

BA Visual Communication – Camera Arts
Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – School of Art and Design

For external participants, please request the access link via sarahlaura.hauenstein@hslu.ch

A Trumpian Spectacle:
Visual Politics of the 45th President of the United States

Donald Trump transformed political communication into a memetic spectacle and broke with the established conventions of democratic political representation. Based on various case studies, this lecture looks back on the visual politics of an extraordinary presidency.
We examine Donald Trump’s visual practices and discuss his strategies of hijacking media attention while bypassing and delegitimizing journalistic gate keepers.


Donald Trump’s fast food buffet for the Clemson Tigers football team. Shealah Craighead/The White House, Jan. 15, 2019
President Trump and his national security team monitoring developments as Special Operations forces closed in on the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound in Syria. Shealah Craighead/The White House, Oct. 26, 2019
President Donald Trump holds a Bible in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images, June 1, 2020
Petra Bernhard (©Interfoto)

Dr. phil. Petra Bernhardt

Petra Bernhardt (*1980) is a political scientist with a focus on visual political communication in the digital age. Her work deals with visual self-presentation strategies, the role of official photographers and memetic reactions to political communication.
She currently teaches at the University of Vienna and at the University of Applied Sciences, FH Campus Vienna. After receiving her doctorate in 2012, she worked on various research projects, among others at the University of Vienna and at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Her recent book „Wie Bilder Wahlkampf machen“ (Mandelbaum, Vienna 2020) deal with the growing importance of visuals in political campaign communication. She blogs for the FALTER THINK TANK, a cooperation between the Viennese city newspaper FALTER and the University of Vienna.



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