Writing Identity onto the Screen

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A/P Akinobu Matsumoto – Post-production techniques of telop, and the culture of television production in Japan

Invited speaker Akinobu Matsumoto will be presenting at the workshop.

A/P Matsumoto’s presentation is titled: Post-production techniques of telop, and the culture of television production in Japan

Abstract: Associate Professor Akinobu Matsumoto will speak on pre-production and post-production techniques of telop and the culture and transition of television production in Japan. The original exercises are aimed to make participants feel, understand and discuss the effect of telop and interlingual subtitling (for foreign language shows) in television production.

A/P Matsumoto’s biography can be found here.


Masterclass Registration Extended

The registration for the Masterclass has been extended!

There are limited spaces available in each stream, so email:

  • a 1 page expression of interest
  • your CV
  • and a 1000 word writing sample

to writing-identity@unimelb.edu.au by midnight on October 28th (AEDT).

Remember to specify if you require a travel stipend by sending through a letter from your supervisor detailing their support of your attendance and a budget showing the costs of travel/attendance as well as any other funding that you have/will receive.

For information on the Masterclass, click here.


Registrations now open!

If you wish to attend the workshop and/or Master Class registrations are currently open!

  • To attend the Master Class, email a 1 page expression of interest and your CV to writing-identity@unimelb.edu.au by midnight on October 9th (AEDT).
  • To attend the workshop send an email to writing-identity@unimelb.edu.au providing name, university or institution and research area by midnight on October 28th (AEDT).

Note: If you wish to speak at the workshop applications for submission close on midnight October 9th (AEDT). If you plan on attending the Master Class, you should consider submitting to speak at the workshop as well!

You can now also find us on the Sociolinguistic Events Calendar: http://baal.org.uk/slxevents.html which makes it easy to add the workshop to your personal calendar (details provided in the link).

If you have any enquires, contact via email: writing-identity@unimelb.edu.au


P Debra Occhi – In/comprehensibility and dialect in regional promotional media

Invited speaker Professor Debra Occhi will be presenting at the workshop and convening a Master Class.

P Occhi’s presentation is titled: In/comprehensibility and dialect in regional promotional media: the case of Kobayashi, Japan.

Abstract: A 2015 YouTube promotional video for the rural Japanese city of Kobayashi in Miyazaki prefecture that features its dialect now appears prominently on the city’s website. Kobayashi employed a French actor to describe his impressions of the locale in local dialect (with subtitles in the so-called standard Japanese), in doing so promulgating the ruse that Kobayashi’s distinct dialect resembles French. This artifact alone is worthy of analysis, and is only one of the city’s promotional media whose theme relies on the use of dialect. A previous video depicted a visiting hiker who, lost in the woods, cannot understand the dialect spoken by the god who appears to guide him. A series of posters and postcards combines imagery with a word or phrase that outsiders may not easily decipher. These materials are humorous yet quizzical; their efficacy in attracting visitors seems questionable. What can these attempts at viral marketing show us about regionality, ideology, and language choices, in Japan and in the global mediascape?

Miyazaki prefecture’s linguistic landscape is varied, with several distinct dialect areas. Kobayashi, an inland city having a population of about 45,000 and an agriculture-based economy, is known for Nishimoro dialect, one often characterized as difficult to understand by outsiders. Like many such peripheral cities in contemporary Japan, Kobayashi struggles economically, suffering from an aging and decreasing population. This project discusses the city’s use of dialect in their promotional materials and attempts to contextualize them, incorporating data from fieldwork in Kobayashi and its surrounding areas, as well as other media containing reactions to these materials. Findings thus far indicate that the nature of local tourism renders the dialect comprehensibility issue less problematic than imagined. However, the issues concerning migrants are complicated, and among these dialect is just one.

Professor Occhi’s biographical information can be found here.


Extension for abstracts and registration

The dates for final submission of papers for the workshop, as well as for registration for the workshop and the Master Class have been extended. The new dates are as follows:

  • To submit a paper for the workshop, these must be submitted by midnight on October 9, 2016. (See submission details here).
  • To register for attendance at the Master Class, applications must be in by October 9, 2016. (See eligibility/submission details here).
  • To register for attendance at the workshop, applications must be in by October 28, 2016. (See registration details here).

If you have any enquiries, contact via email: writing-identity@unimelb.edu.au


A/P Minako O’Hagan – Making Pokémon Go in Another Language and Culture

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

A/P O’Hagan’s presentation is titled: “Making Pokémon Go in Another Language and Culture: Researching Translation of Games as Contemporary Global Media”

Abstract: Digital games have penetrated the world as mainstream contemporary entertainment and playing games has become a social phenomenon. This has been recently demonstrated by the augmented reality game Pokémon Go which has reportedly exceeded 75 million downloads since its release in July 2016. Behind the games’ global success lies, albeit little acknowledged, translation. In this presentation I discuss game localisation which is a relatively new domain of research in Translation Studies (O’Hagan and Mangiron 2013) and elsewhere. Game localisation refers to the whole complex process of adapting a game made in one country to sell in another so players all over the world can enjoy games originally made in other language and cultural contexts. Given the complex nature of modern games as sophisticated technological and cultural artefacts, game localisation research seeks to be multidisciplinary and provides ample scope for exploration from a multitude of perspectives. In this presentation I will discuss my current work in the field, mainly focused on user experience of localised games, which led to innovating methodologies as well as seeking new theoretical frameworks. For example, my experimentation has taken me in the direction of Emotion (Kansei) Engineering (e.g. Lévy 2013;Nagamachi 2011) to gauge effect-oriented user response to localised games while applying sociology-inspired frameworks such as Critical Theory of Technology (Grimes and Feenberg 2013) to analyse the relationship between technology and users. To this end, I hope to map out key research agenda for game localisation in an attempt to provide a platform for future collaboration among scholars with different expertise to tackle this fascinating, complex and edgy modern pursuit.”
A/P O’Hagan’s biographical information can be found here.

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.


Call for papers “Language and Global Media” International Workshop

Call for Papers
“Language and Global Media” International Workshop and Masterclass
(Supported by “Writing Identity onto the screen: Subtitles and captions in Japanese Media” (DP150102964); Asia Institute (University of Melbourne); Arts Faculty (University of Melbourne); Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA); Research Unit in Public Cultures (RUPC); University of Melbourne)

Language and Global Media International Workshop (November 16, 17, 18, 2016)
Researchers engaged in writing system research, global media research, discourse studies, language and identity studies, translation studies, gender and queer studies, are invited to present on their current research in relation to the workshop theme of ‘language and global media’.

  • Oral Presentation: An oral presentation of 20-minutes duration. Each session will include time for discussion.
    • 300w abstract (excluding references)
    • Submit by midnight (AEDT) October 9, 2016 to the online submission system. http://linguistlist.org/confservices/EasyAbs/customabssub.cfm?emeetingid=6002JA44585E4A5840A050441
  • Panel: Each panel session will be comprised of three oral presentations of no more than 20-minutes each, and include time for discussion.
    • 100w overview of panel and 1x300w abstract (excluding references) for each oral presentation (i.e. 100w overview & 3x300abstracts)
    • Submit by midnight (AEDT) October 9, 2016 to the online submission system. http://linguistlist.org/confservices/EasyAbs/customabssub.cfm?emeetingid=6002JA44585E4A5840A050441

Submissions will be anonymously reviewed.
The workshop aims to encourage intensive discussion across disciplines and encourage the establishment of networks for future collaborative work between researchers working across the humanities and social sciences in intersecting fields such as Linguistics, Media Studies, Cultural Studies and Translation Studies. In accordance of the aims of the Workshop, participation will be capped at 50 to allow for full academic discussion and collaboration.

Register for attendance by October 28 2016 by sending an email to Writing-identity@unimelb.edu.au providing name, university or institution and research area. Successful registrars will be notified and asked for further information (food requirements, etc.) by November 1, 2016.

Confirmed Invited Speakers:
Associate Professor Minako O’Hagan (University of Auckland)—“Making Pokémon Go in Another Language and Culture: Researching Translation of Games as Contemporary Global Media”

Dr Ryoko Sasamoto (Dublin City University)—“Telop and Relevance: unpacking the contribution of telop to viewer reception”

Mr Akinobu Matsumoto (Ryukoku U)—“Post-production techniques of telop, and the culture of television production in Japan” (TBC)

P Debra Occhi (Miyazaki Int. U)—“In/comprehensibility and dialect in regional promotional media: the case of Kobayashi, Japan”

For further details email: writing-identity@unimelb.edu.au

Language and Global Media Masterclass

(Supported by “Writing Identity onto the screen: Subtitles and captions in Japanese Media” (DP150102964); Asia Institute (University of Melbourne); Arts Faculty (University of Melbourne); Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA); Research Unit in Public Cultures (RUPC); University of Melbourne)

The “Language and Global Media” International Workshop will be prefaced by a day of Master Classes aimed at Research Higher Degree students and Early Career Researchers. lecture and part discussion, the Master Classes will available to both domestic and international PhD students. Attendance for the Master Classes will be capped at 25 participants

Stream A Masterclass by A/P Minako O’Hagan & Dr Ryoko Sasamoto

In this masterclass, Associate Professor Minako O’Hagan and Dr Ryoko Sasamoto will draw on their combined experiences in conducting research into telop (impact-captions used in audiovisual media), to discuss broader research-related issues with linguistic and cultural focuses from the perspective of applied translation studies and cognitive pragmatics. Aimed at postgraduate students from different backgrounds researching global media, the session will concentrate on qualitative research design, including formulating research questions, preparing ethical approval, constructing experiments and finding appropriate theoretical frameworks.

Stream B Masterclass by P Debra Occhi

Professor Occhi will draw on her research in linguistic anthropology and characterization features of human/nonhuman actors.The session will concentrate on linguistic anthropological approaches to analyzing narrative media contents, including characterization features of human/nonhuman actors, gender and other aspects of role language, aesthetics in regional/national/global contexts, linguistic landscape, and globalization.

How to apply

Participation is free, but will be capped at 25-participants. Interested participants should send a 1-page expression of interest and a 1-page CV to the Writing Identity email address: writing-identity@unimelb.edu.au by October 9, 2016.

(When completing this information ensure to specify if you are applying for a travel stipend.) Successful applicants will be required to send through a 1000 word sample of a research project they are currently working on by October 28, 2016. This will allow for discussion, collaboration and specific skill development at the Master Class.

The Masterclass will be followed by the “Language and Global Media” (LGM) International Workshop (November 16, 17, 18). Those participating in the Masterclass are strongly encouraged to present their research at the IGM Workshop. The call of papers can be accessed here: http://linguistlist.org/confservices/EasyAbs/customabssub.cfm?emeetingid=6002JA44585E4A5840A050441

Please note that Minako O’Hagan and Ryoko Sasamoto will also be presenting at the “Language and Global Media” (LGM) International Workshop (November 16, 17, 18).

Profiles of invited speakers

Minako O’Hagan is Associate Professor at the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics in the University of Auckland, a position she took up in September 2016. Prior to joining SLCL, she spent fourteen years in Dublin City University, Ireland, where she lectured in translation technology, multimedia translation and terminology. She has research specialisms in translation technology with extensive publications, including the co-authored, first monograph in Translation Studies on videogames translation, published by John Benjamins: Game Localization: Translating for the Global Digital Entertainment Industry (O’Hagan and Mangiron 2013). She has external assessor and PhD supervision experiences with international research collaboration links in Ireland, Spain, UK and Japan.

Ryoko Sasamoto is a Lecturer in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS). She teaches on a number of Japanese and Japanese language modules. Since joining SALIS in 2011, she has expanded her research expertise in Pragmatics into the emerging interdisciplinary research area of Digital Asian Studies, working across different disciplines such as Pragmatics, Japanese language studies, media studies, psychology, and reception studies. She specialises in the relevance theoretic approach to multimodal contents and mixed method approaches into viewer experience using theoretical and empirical methods, with a special interest in the cognitive and affective dimension of communication, and the interface between verbal and non-verbal communication. Her PhD supervision covers a range of research areas, including an eye-tracking study of Japanese pop-up captions, reception of onomatopoeia in translated manga, and use of multimodal artwork in the language classroom.

Debra Occhi is a Professor in the Department of Comparative Culture within the School of International Liberal Arts at Miyzaki International College in Japan. She is a linguistic anthropologist specializing in Japanese. Her research includes cognitive and cultural linguistics, popular culture and media, education, gender, regionality, emotion, and nature.

Akinobu Matsumoto is Associate Professor at the Department of Community Management, Faculty of Sociology in Ryukoku University, Japan. He teaches Media Studies and Video Production. Since joining Ryukoku University in 2015, he has directed and produced several television documentary shows for Discovery Channel, NHK, and Television Tokyo, to name a few. His latest  work is a documentary show on the election in Hong Kong for NHK where he followed the plight of the Pro-Chinese Camp and  the Localist groups who “fan  the flames” for Hong Kong independence. He has started collaborative research with NHK to analyze tons of stocked documentary shows to study the transition of NHK’s documentary style.

Travel Stipends for PhD students

(supported by Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA))

  • PhD Scholarship for 4 domestic HRD participants to Workshop & Master Class @ Maximum of $300/person
  • PhD Scholarship for 2 International HRD participants to Workshop & Master Class @ Maximum of $800/person

For those interested in a travel stipend, please specify this in the expression of interest for pre-registration. As well as the expression of interest and CV, those interested in the stipend should also include a letter from their supervisor detailing their support of the PhD candidate’s attendance and a budget showing the costs of travel/attendance as well as any other funding that you have/will receive.

Preference will be given to those who don’t have the support to attend the Master Class & workshop without the stipend.


Save the dates! “Language and Global Media” an International Workshop

Language and Global Media
(Supported by “Writing Identity onto the screen: Subtitles and captions in Japanese Media” (DP150102964); Asia Institute (University of Melbourne); Arts Faculty (University of Melbourne); Japanese Studies Association of Australia (JSAA))

Masterclass (November 15, 2016)
Workshop (November 16, 17, 18, 2016)

Leading international scholars and local early career researchers engaged in writing system research, global media research, discourse studies, language and identity studies, translation studies, gender and queer studies, will present on their current research. The workshop aims to encourage intensive discussion across disciplines, and to establish networks for future collaborative work. The “Language and Global Media” Workshop will be prefaced by a day of Master Classes aimed at Research Higher Degree students and Early Career Researchers. Part lecture and part discussion, the Master Classes will be available to both domestic and international PhD students.

Confirmed Speakers:

Dr Debra Occhi (Miyazaki Int. U)

Dr Minako O’Hagan (Dublin City University)

Mr Akinobu Matsumoto (Ryukoku U)

Dr Ryoko Sasamoto (Dublin City University)

Call for papers and details of travel grants for domestic (Australian based) and international PhD available soon.


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