Found in Translation: Joseph Sung-Yul Park

Ideological construction of fansub work in South Korea

Global circulation of digital media products opens up space for new
modes of communicative practice, such as fansubbing (unofficial, fanproduced
subtitles of foreign-language films or television programs). These participatory forms of media practice are fraught with tension, located at the boundaries of formal and informal media markets, and subject to contesting ideologies about language, culture, and intellectual property. Such tensions were made salient, for example, in the recent case in which South Korean fansubbers, who created free subtitles for popular American television dramas, were sued by global media companies. Taking this incident as a case study, I explore the multiple and competing ways in which the work of the Korean fansub community was conceived. The analysis demonstrates that the significance of the fansubbers’ work must be understood in relation to multiple ideologies that condition their practice, including the neoliberal view of language as
commodity and ethnolinguistic ideologies of language learning.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
11-12:30 p.m. • B-4 Dwinelle Hall