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English curricula are now requiring students in the middle years of schooling to explain how images influence the opinions communicated in multimodal paper and digital media texts. While such curricula address some aspects of visual semiosis, these do not include how images communicate ethical positions and judgements about propriety. This article explores the ways in which ethical and moral judgements are communicated in images in a selection of picture books and animated movies that challenge discourses that naturalize war and armed struggle as ways of addressing conflicts among communities and nations. A framework is proposed that distinguishes explicit visual inscription from a range of strategies for implicit invoking of judgement in images. The use of the distinctive affordances of picture books and animated movies in the different forms of invocation is discussed and implications for further research to inform multimodal discourse analysis and emerging multimodal literacy pedagogies are briefly noted.

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Journal Article

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