A Narratological Approach to Content Selection in Audio Description

Date: 18 March 2016

Venue: Universiteit Antwerpen - Campus Zuid - Aula 126 - Schildersstraat 41 - 2000 Antwerpen

Time: 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Organization / co-organization: Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte

PhD candidate: Gert Vercauteren

Principal investigator: prof. dr. Aline Remael & prof. dr. Tom Paulus

Short description: Openbare doctoraatsverdediging Gert Vercauteren, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte

A Narratological Approach to Content Selection in Audio Description

Audio description (AD) is one of the most recent areas of research within the field of translation studies, and there still are a number of basic questions to which no satisfactory answers have been provided yet.

One of those questions is that of content selection or ‘what to describe’. Taking a narratological approach, the present work develops a model that allows audio describers to select the most relevant information from a variable audiovisual input and to prioritize this information in instances in which it is not possible to include all of it in the description.

The model necessarily comprises two parts: starting from the author’s, c.q. filmmaker’s perspective and based on early structuralist narratology and film studies. First a tool is presented that enables audio describers to analyse the film and decide what meaning-making constituents it contains and which of these constituents are most relevant and thus eligible for description. For the actual selection process, the focus shifts to the audience: based on insights from cognitive narratology on how audiences process narratives, a three-tier approach is presented that makes it possible to prioritize all the relevant narrative information and decide which meaning-making constituents will finally be included in the description.