Human-Social Information Sciences

Media and Semiotics C15

  • Assoc. Prof. Shunichi Kubo    
  • Assoc. Prof. Naoko Morita    
Keywordsrepresentation, media contents, mass media, popular culture

Reading Media Texts and Contents

The laboratory of media semiotics aims at analyzing various media texts and contents, from high arts and literature to popular culture, from the semiotic point of view. Collaborating with the Laboratory of Media and Culture, we attach an importance to questioning specificities and possibilities of the media. We also take the social and political context of the cultural production and consumption into consideration and aim at doing research making full use of the achievement of contemporary theories of criticism like post-structuralism, discourse analysis, gender studies.
The research areas of our laboratory are as follows:

Semiotics and Pop-Media:

Cultural signs and symbols appearing in popular culture like popular arts, trivial novels, parodies, political caricatures, comics (manga), animes, TV games and advertisements are considered and analyzed in their functional and expressional phases as well as in their social and historical contexts.

Narrative-Media Analysis:

 Focusing on narrative texts and media (novels, comics, films, stage performances etc.), the organization of space and time in narrative structure and the relationships between text and image are theoretically and experimentally considered and analyzed.

Research of the students:

The topics of recent doctoral dissertations: Children’s theater play and education, Kafka’s use of perspective, Plays by Hisashi Inoue, Fairy tales by Madame Leprince de Beaumont, Silent movies, Symphonies of F. Schubert, Early American comics, Indonesian comics, Lieder of Beethoven, etc.

  • Artists have been trying to represent parallel actions in a single image, as shows this illustration for “Bluebeard” (Perrault, Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals, 1697).

  • A book on Rodolphe Töpffer, pionieer of the comic strip, by Morita.