Recent Comments

March 17, 2016 - 16:58

Dr. Achter,

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. 

March 4, 2016 - 17:07

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?

March 4, 2016 - 16:44

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.

February 28, 2016 - 19:17

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. 

February 28, 2016 - 19:09

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?

February 28, 2016 - 18:58

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.

February 27, 2016 - 14:30

I'm caught in the technology itself as I read through your text. Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook are privatized technologies that individuals access more and more from encapsulated devices, like their phones. In many ways this mirrors the reading of manga, but also how taboo the Western world sees the viewing and sharing of erotic images in public places. So, while I'm interested in your construction of paraspaces, I'm equally invested in the intersection of paraspace and material space. 

February 27, 2016 - 14:18

Your post reminds me of several things. One is Luca Barra's observations that fan produced translations can happen after a professional translation as stripped too much culture from the original. He looks at Italian translations of Lost, but I can see the ways in which a fan is going to do this translation in a very different way because, while they work to increase access, they don't need the audience that a show translated for another network does.

I was re-watching a fan-translation episde of Rurouni Kenshin last night and was taken out of the world when one character thanked another for speaking English. My assumption was that all the characters were speaking Japanese, and probably are in the original, but the translators changed it to English because I was listening the show in English translation. Finally I wonder about our awareness of the translation. Translation is best when we don't recognize it, but as a the Harry Potter example makes clear, while I know of obvious changes like calling the American version of Harry Potter and the Philosophers' Stone to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I've never had a British version of the books to compare and think of the other translations that were done between English versions.

February 26, 2016 - 08:50

These are some very interesting connections between paratext and paraspace. Paraspaces seem to be transformative spaces, spaces in which paratext becomes text via fan interventions. These kabe don images, which are loaded with paratexts like kanji (which help authenticate the text), are transformed into new texts by fans in the paraspaces, and via references to the authentic Japanese and queer paratexts, these new texts borrow authenticity.

I’m curious about the recursive nature of paratext-text in these spaces. In what ways do these paratexts from the original manga and the new texts from the fan communities cycle into each other? Perhaps I’m too caught up in seeing the paraspace’s production of a new text as the end of the cycle. What happens once that new text is produced? Does it get folded back into the paraspace community and become the basis for a new generation of paratext-based texts? And if so, what happens as these paraspace-based texts get further from the original? Do they lose some of their authenticity? Or does the authenticity from the original get transmitted through the textual generations?