Current Postgraduate Students
Ms Denise Filmer, BA Hons University of Catania (Italy); MA (Durham)
Translating the Politically Incorrect: Berlusconi's Language in the British Press: A cross-cultural analysis of ideology in media discourses translating Italian news into English.
Media translation is now central to any political debate and is embedded in the immediacy with which news circulates. Ideology in translation and the translation of ideology (Hatim and Mason 1997; 143) are of key importance when misinterpretations of other cultures appear in translation-mediated media discourses, yet their impact on target audiences is much underestimated. It becomes imperative to understand the mechanisms afoot in relaying information across language and cultural barriers where ideological clashes could occur.
My research interests pivot around the inherent difficulties in rendering culture-specific perceptions of notoriously controversial issues such as race, gender, sexuality, and religion across Italian/English lingua-cultural contexts. I have just completed a part-time MA by research in which I investigated issues surrounding the meaning transfer of racial slurs and ethnic epithets from English into Italian in the sphere of audiovisual translation with a case study of Clint Eastwood's film Gran Torino (2008).
My current research is funded by a Durham Doctoral Studentship and supervised by the Italian department of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. I am undertaking a full-time PhD which will scrutinize representations of Berlusconi's discourses in the British press, as assimilated via translations, by analysing the reverberations of linguistic taboos when translated from Italian into English from a CDA perspective. No Italian leader has attracted so much world attention since Mussolini: this comparison emphasizes the magnitude of Berlusconi's impact on the international media, an impact however that is more of linguistic than political nature. Systematically violating codes of politically correct his verbal indiscretions on race, religion, and gender cause intercultural embarrassment.
A corpus of Berlusconi's references to linguistic taboos and politically incorrect comments in Italian with their English interpretations will be created using online newspapers and press agencies. Drawing on my MA research supervised by Durham experts in audiovisual translation, this corpus of Berlusconi's politically incorrect use of the Italian language will be contrasted with three docu-films reporting the Italian situation to international audiences: Videocracy 2009; Viva Zapatero! 2005; and Silvio Forever (2011).
Prior to embarking on this research project I worked full-time at the University of Catania as an English Language Teacher and taught the translation module (Italian to English) to 3rd year undergraduates. Before moving to Italy I worked for Cosmopolitan magazine as Fashion Editor.
- (2012). Racial Slurs: Last Linguistic Taboo and Translational Dilemma. Lambert Publishing.
- Filmer, Denise (2012), Berlusconi's (other) Women: Representations of Berlusconi's sexist language in the British Press, Postfeminism? The Culture and Politics of Gender in the Age of Berlusconi. Scuola Superiore, University of Bologna, Italy.
- Filmer, Denise (2012), Berlusconi's Double Whammy: Representations of Berlusconi's Taboo Language in the British Press, The Taboo Conference, Scuola Superiore per Interpreti e Traduttori, Forli, UNiversity of Bologna, Italy.
- (2010), Racial Slurs: Last Linguistic Taboo and Translational Dilemma, European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) 'Everchanging Landscapes - Audiovisual Translation across Europe Conference. University of Turin, Italy.
Essays in edited volumes
- Filmer, Denise (Forthcoming). Ethnic Epithets and Linguistic Taboos: Offensive language meaning transfer in Eastwood's Gran Torino,. In Audiovisual Translation Across Europe: An Ever-Changing Landscape. Bruti, Silvia, di Giovanni, Elena & Orero, Pilar Peter Lang.
Journal papers: online
- (2012). The Gook goes "Gay". Cultural Interference in Translating Offensive Language. inTRAlinea 14.