S2: The World of Cultural Translation S2:文化翻訳の世界

Course Description

This course uses film to examine the cultural translation of famous stories in different times and cultural settings by looking at how shifts in the narrative, images, dialogue, and translation will foreground different ideas.


Contents of Lectures 10 Lectures / 2 Videos

Week 1 1 Introduction to cultural translation from the perspective of Translation Studies, including imported terms such as “thick translation” and “indigenization,” and transcultural adaptation (intersemiotic translation). Two stories, “Beauty and the Beast” and “Romeo and Juliet,” will be introduced.

Week 2 The context of the departure text of “Beauty and the Beast” will be discussed. The Disney cultural translation paradigm will be reviewed, and then the story in its Disney version discussed in terms of narrative elements; characters and casting; images; and intertextual and intermedial resonance. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1992) will be compared with Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bte (1946)

Week 3 The shifting meanings of ‘beauty’ and ‘beast’. The special effects of King Kong (1933) will be compared with the 2006 digital retelling by Peter Jackson.

Week 4 As a “Beauty and the Beast” story, James Brooks’ As Good As It Gets (1997) will be considered in terms of the links it makes with illness, and with sexuality, and its multiple beauties and beasts

Week 5 A discussion of Mark Palansky’s Penelope (2006), which shifts the predictable gender roles in the “Beauty and the Beast” story: a young woman is the Beast.

Week 6 Why don’t Romeo and Juliet live in London? This class examines the narrative circulation of the “Romeo and Juliet” that precedes the creation of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Oct 14 Week 7 This class considers how Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1996) culturally translates time and place in its retelling of Shakespeare’s story, and inflects the ‘untranslated’ language in different Englishes. The different media and use of screens in the film will be examined. Special attention will be paid to the first meeting of the two lovers, the balcony scene (Act II, scene ii), the death and ending of the film.

Week 8 West Side Story (1961) will be discussed as an American “Romeo and Juliet” which uses the story of hatred to talk about social issues. The development of the idea for West Side Story as a musical and then a film will be considered.

Oct 30 Week 9 “What’s in a name?” Isao Yukisada’s GO (2001) uses Juliet’s famous lines (II, ii, 1-2) to frame his adaptation of Kazuki Kaneshiro’s novel about zainichi Koreans living in Japan.

Week 10 By re-routing the “Romeo and Juliet” story from its tragic ending, is Kenny Ortega’s High School Musical (2006), an adaptation or a new story? This is the question that will be foregrounded in the examination of this cultural translation.

Instructor: CURRAN‚ Beverley F.M. | Language of Instruction: E/J

Course ID: GES052 | Course Schedule: 3/TU, 2/TH, 3/TH | Update: 2020.02.25

Fields of Relation: Media‚ Communication and Culture メディア・コミュニケーション・文化 Category: General Education