Audiovisual Translation and Description (COMM 190)

In this course, students will analyze the history and theory of the practice of audiovisual descriptions and have the opportunity to produce a description of a cultural object of their own choosing. These will range from visual, aural, performative, and digital descriptions for consumers with sensory disabilities. This course will draw on feminist film theory, science and technology studies and disability studies to consider the production of description in film and media.  What is disability design? What is assistive technology? How do disability design and assistive technology inform our everyday practice? Feminist and Critical Disability Studies scholars have been interested in the ways that design functions, particularly by exploring its limits and the ways in which design thinking informs our everyday experience. In this course, students will work and think in a methods lab employing a feminist disability studies approach to understanding the function of assistive technology. This ranges from practices of description (visual, aural, performative, digital) for people who are blind or with low vision, to analyzing objects belonging to disability culture. When reviewing these texts and objects, we will continue to revisit our approach to methodology, and how critical methods might intersect with our work. In the first section of this course, we will consider a variety of design mediums, along with theoretical texts, art installations, images, and performances as social texts. The end of term project draws on these ideas to encourage the proposal and construction of projects relating to the impact of design on social justice.