Skip to Main Content
Sign In
Visit Apply Give


Image Picker for Section 0

 For Google



218 Memorial Hall<div class="ExternalClass32389D9E0BD54BE4803FB102ACF4CE96">Sean Zdenek is associate professor of technical and professional writing at the University of Delaware. His research interests include web accessibility, disability studies, sound studies, and rhetorical theory and criticism. Prior to joining the Department of English in 2017, Dr. Zdenek was a faculty member at Texas Tech University for fourteen years, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses on a range of subjects, including rhetorical criticism and theory, disability studies, web accessibility, sound studies, designing technical instructions, multimodal composition, technical communication theory, writing for publication, document design, professional report writing, and writing style. Dr. Zdenek's book, Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture (University of Chicago Press), received the 2017 best book award in technical or scientific communication from the Conference on College Composition and Communication (4Cs).</div>zdenek@udel.eduZdenek, Sean<img alt="" src="/Images%20Bios/FAC_Zdenek-Sean_180.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Director of Graduate StudiesAssociate ProfessorDisability Studies;Film and New Media;Rhetoric and Composition;Professional and Technical WritingB.A. English, University of California - Berkeley; M.A. Rhetoric and Teaching Writing, California State University - Stanlislaus; Ph.D. Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University



Reading Sounds Closed-Captioned Media and Popular CultureZdenek, SeanThe University of Chicago PressChicago, IL2015<p>​Imagine a common movie scene: a hero confronts a villain. Captioning such a moment would at first glance seem as basic as transcribing the dialogue. But consider the choices involved: How do you convey the sarcasm in a comeback? Do you include a henchman’s muttering in the background? Does the villain emit a <em>scream</em>, a <em>grunt</em>, or a <em>howl</em> as he goes down? And how do you note a gunshot without spoiling the scene?These are the choices closed captioners face every day. Captioners must decide whether and how to describe background noises, accents, laughter, musical cues, and even silences. When captioners describe a sound—or choose to ignore it—they are applying their own subjective interpretations to otherwise objective noises, creating meaning that does not necessarily exist in the soundtrack or the script.<em>Reading Sounds</em> looks at closed-captioning as a potent source of meaning in rhetorical analysis. Through nine engrossing chapters, Sean Zdenek demonstrates how the choices captioners make affect the way deaf and hard of hearing viewers experience media. He draws on hundreds of real-life examples, as well as interviews with both professional captioners and regular viewers of closed captioning. Zdenek’s analysis is an engrossing look at how we make the audible visible, one that proves that better standards for closed captioning create a better entertainment experience for all viewers.</p>zdenek





Page Settings and MetaData:
(Not Shown on the Page)
Page Settings
MetaData for Search Engine Optimization
University of Delaware
  • Department of English
  • 203 Memorial Hall
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-2361