Captioned thematics: How captions make interpretative patterns visible

A collage of images from Sunshine Cleaning (2008) starring Amy Adams and Emily Blunt

Closed captions can help viewers recognize themes and patterns in movies that might otherwise remain latent.

Source: Sunshine Cleaning, 2008. DVD. Featured captions: (spritzes) and “Spritz.”

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S. Zdenek

Dr. Sean Zdenek is an associate professor of technical and professional writing at the University of Delaware. He is the author of Reading Sounds: Closed-Captioned Media and Popular Culture (University of Chicago Press, 2015).