Dr Ryoko Sasamoto – Telop and Relevance

Invited speaker Dr Ryoko Sasamoto will be presenting at the workshop and convening a Master Class with Associate Professor Minako O’Hagan.

Dr Sasamoto’s oral presentation is titled “Telop and Relevance: unpacking the contribution of telop to viewer reception”

Abstract: “As anyone who has experienced Japanese TV programmes would agree, Asian (Japanese in particular) TV programmes are filled with statically and dynamically positioned textual inserts that appear across many genres and broadcasters. These captions, or telop as locally known in Japan, are often brightly coloured and occupy a large part of the screen, with many additional typographical features. The use of such written props is not just Asian-specific. As we can see in the popular BBC series Sherlock, there seems a very interesting trend for the use of text on multimodal content. These texts are different from conventional subtitling and are not used as an aid for viewers. Instead, they are used as part of media design to guide viewers’ interpretation process, in order to ensure that the intended effects of the programme are achieved and as such, the use of telop is aimed to enhance viewing experience.

Despite its prevalence in Asia and increasing use in the West, there is little research on telop, particularly outside Japan. In particular, little is examined in terms of multimodal nature of telop and the interpretive mechanism or viewer experience.

The purpose of this talk is to unpack the contribution of telop to inference, and the consequences this has for the viewers’ reception, with a particular focus on the multimodal nature of telop. Working within Sperber and Wilson’s (1986 / 1995) relevance theory, I examine the way viewers interpret programmes with telop and the role telop plays in the interpretation process. I hope to demonstrate how telop is deeply embedded into media products and how the TV producers take advantage of such a device in order to influence the viewers’ interpretation.”

Dr Sasamoto’s biographical information can be found here.