Sherie. Its interesting to think about why so many of us don't consider reaching out more to community partners. I wonder too how such outreach would even be received when it comes to activist organizations. I also wonder about the complications in doing so, especially in working with groups in cultures different than our own. One of my former colleagues at UF, Maria Rogul, does really interesting work in which she works with local organizations to design graphics for their homemade artisan goods and advertisements. She works really hard to draw on their own cosmologies, histories, rituals, and aesthetic traditions to co-design graphics that are representative and meaning to them while simultaneously appealing to tourists and others. If digital humanists are going to partner up with local communities abroad, I think we have to follow this lead, especially in postcolonial cultures. It would be fascinating, and as you note, transformative to do such work. Any one have any project ideas?
I think your work on iconographic tracking is fantastic. I am especially intrigued by the notion of how using this method helps us in the academy better understand digital social movements. I am also struck by your insistence that scholars do not have to become something else in order to become involved, but that we should unabashedly offer skills we have developed because of our experience in the academy. As you suggest, one such skill is creating methodologies that explore the tangible ways digital social movements affect change. I agree with your suggestion that such work is a vital contribution to such causes as it could help activists replicate success and eliminate blind spots. Furthermore, I think that such work is activist in and of itself. I also believe that embracing the tactile nature of methodologies like research-creation can help digital humanists become direct agents in activist movements. Like you, I think we have much to contribute, if we are committed to being collaborators with our community partner who are doing some very transformative work.0in"> 0in">
thanks for your comments, Jess and Sherie. Our discussion of eudemonia, social justice, and blacklivesmatter circles around big questions: how do we live the good life? How can we serve others, ethically? These questions matter all through our lives, especially when we are choosing careers. We'll spend the majority of our adults lives working, so we should think carefully about how our work aligns with our values.
I teach classes about rhetoric, power, and citizenship, and I have been thinking in the past few years about the language of movements for a "living wage." I appreciate the living wage movement, and I also wonder, what if we raised the bar, and said what we really want for everyone who works hard is a thriving wage? Politically, it's probably more practical to stick with "living wage," because it draws attention to the fact that our lowest wage earners in the U.S. do not make enough to live, and "living wage" already has a history as a term. But a thriving wage, that's the better a goal. We should want each other to thrive.
I think the university's role within movements such as #blacklivesmatter and other social justice movements is really important. The backing or support of a movement as well as the silence to one speaks volumes and there are, of course, going to be different reaction to it. However things need to be done carefully as well, especially when there are so many different outcomes to them and repercussions there can be on scholars.
The use of the term Eudemonia is a very improtant one, especially with the passion that is seen within these movements on social media and other platforms. However it can be attributed to 'real life' practices within social justice as well.
I really like your observation about the academy letting others take the lead if we are to ethically create and circulate knowledge. In doing so, I believe we acknowledge the university's role in the production and protection of the problematic ideologies social movements challenge, and ultimately, seek to undo. As you also suggest, this fraught history has led underrepresented groups to distrust the academy, especially when it comes to scholars' involvement in social movements. However, I think re-purposing a rhetorical term like eudemenia as a means to create a relationship of collaboration as opposed to co-option between the academy and social activists is a good way to start healing the wounds of oppression and injustice the institution is guilty of inflicting. I am also curious to see how eudemenia could help scholars who do not represent the majority be more included into the academy; I think if we take some of our cues from social movements, the academy would become more welcoming of the broad public AND scholars who are not white, male, and heterosexual.
I'm having a bit of trouble with your separation of paratext and paraspace. Specifically, there are two questions: why bother with creating paraspace apart from the paratext, and what is the "space" that paraspace is outside of, or above?
As I understand his work, Genette writes of palimpsests and paratexts to talk about the stuff surrounding the text, to extend the object to its surroundings. This allows him to talk about headers, footnotes, dust covers, prefaces, and all the other bits that surround the text. Genette's move allows us to go not only from work to text (following Barthes), but from text to something even larger still. A more recent version of this is, perhaps, Fred Turner's current work on the "Democratic Surround" in which we live not in front of a single screen, but are instead "surrounded" by media. To the text we add the paratext, but also the context.
So, to get back to my question, why "paraspace" and is it simply the "contexts" in which a text is created, consumed, rehashed, repeated, and recreated? And, if so, how is it different from "space" itself? What is space and what is paraspace?
Very true. The desire for access and to better translate leads many to join the industry, but I'd also point out the less romantic reasoning of money. Need to make a living, and fan translation does not really provide it. So much stems from economic imperatives: individual incomes and industry decisions alike.
Video game translation hacking and localisation are really interesting areas of practice to consider. The technology is so integral, and the skills required so specialised, as you note. I guess this is why so many fan translators end up crossing over into the professional realm - while often still doing free, voluntary translation/localisation on the side, as a type of social service.
This discussion of paratexts and paraspaces reminds me of the extra layers/levels of discussion opened up by fansub headnotes, glosses and pop-ups - where translation operations seep beyond the frame of the text, word or image. One difference with paratextual memes of course is the level of agency they afford users/consumers, enabling feedback on processes of translation, transformation and cross-cultural circulation. This is interesting to relate back to Jamie Henthorn's comment (see her post) regarding imbalances in levels of participation that often characterise 'participatory culture'. Do paratextual memes provide a means of countering such imbalances?
I am interested in the idea you raise of fans 'moving between' international and local/regional fan spaces. How do fans negotiate this type of movement, and how is it affected by cultural and language difference? Also, its interesting to think about how translation 'proper' also often involve non-linguistic transformation - relating to character names and ethnicity - and how fans respond to such changes.