Media School 2023

International Research School for Media Translation and Digital Culture

 26 June – 8 July 2023

Key dates Registration

Structure and Organization

The 2023 International Research School for Media Translation and Digital Culture will be run in virtual mode.

The School will consist of five modules:

  • Module 1. Theoretical Approaches to Media Translation Research
  • Module 2. Research Methods in Media Translation
  • Module 3. Research Design & Dynamics
  • Module 4. Featured Theme: Translation and Sustainability in Media & Digital Culture
  • Module 5. Academic Career Development

Each module encompasses three contact hours and six hours of guided reading. Group tutorials offer participants an opportunity to engage further with a wide range of topics and discuss their own research.

Participants will attend one 90-minute lecture per day, in addition to tutorials. Each participant will have the opportunity to select and attend three tutorials during the School.

On the final day, participants will present their work to fellow students and staff and receive oral feedback.

Participants will have access to an advanced e-learning environment provided by SISU, which allows for the full range of activities normally included in the face-to-face delivery mode to be provided virtually, including teamwork and tutorials.


MODULE 1 | Theoretical Approaches to Media Translation Research
Session 1A | Henry Jones
Media Translation and Paratexts

The past few years have seen a surge of interest among translation scholars in the concept of paratext, prompted in large part by the publication of Kathryn Batchelor’s monograph on the topic in 2018. Inspired by the work of literary theorist Gérard Genette (1987/1997), proponents of paratext theory argue “the reading of a text never occurs in isolation from the paratext around it” (Batchelor 2018: 8) and thus seek to draw attention to the important roles played by elements such as prefaces, book covers and blurbs in shaping readers’ selection and experience of a text. Translation studies research has highlighted, for example, the ways in which publishers may use paratext to reframe the translated versions of works of literature and thus attempt to appeal to the interests, values and traditions of the new potential audience (e.g. Freeth 2021); another line of scholarship has explored paratext as an important site for the construction of translators’ identities (Martin 2011; Lee 2020). As Batchelor (2018) notes, however, there has so far been very limited engagement with Genette’s theory among researchers interested in other sites of translation beyond the literary sphere, notably in films, television series and digital media. This is all the more surprising given the extent to which research conducted in the neighbouring field of media studies has made productive use of the paratext concept (e.g. Desrochers and Apollon 2014; Gray 2010). This session aims therefore to introduce participants to the central ideas driving the ongoing development of paratext theory and to encourage them to consider its value as a potential addition to their theoretical frameworks.


Batchelor, Kathryn (2018) Translation and Paratexts, London: Routledge.

Desrochers, Nadine, and Daniel Apollon (eds) (2014) Examining Paratextual Theory and its Applications in Digital Culture, IGI Global.

Freeth, Peter (2021) ‘Germany asks: is it OK to laugh at Hitler? Translating humour and Germanness in the paratexts of Er ist wieder da and Look Who’s Back’, Translation Spaces 10(1): 115-137.

Genette, Gérard (1987/1997) Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, Translated by Jane E. Lewin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gray, Jonathan (2010) Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts, New York: New York University Press.

Lee, Sang-Bin (2021) ‘Translators, Translations, and Paratexts in South Korea’s Gender Conflicts’, Perspectives, 29(1): 84-99.

Martin, Alison E. (2011) ‘The Voice of Nature: British Women Translating Botany in the Early Nineteenth Century’, in Translating Women, edited by Luise von Flotow, Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 11–35.


Batchelor, Kathryn (2022) ‘Translation, Media and Paratexts’, in Esperanza Bielsa (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Translation and Media, London: Routledge.

Gray, Jonathan (2010) Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts, New York: New York University Press. Chapter 1: ‘From Spoilers to Spinoffs: A theory of paratext’.

Session 1B | Mona Baker
Activism in Media Translation and Digital Culture

Activism can assume different forms and involve divergent and opposing choices, especially during fast-paced, highly charged events such as uprisings, revolutions, war and other types of violent conflict. These events are rarely of local significance only; they are de facto global in their ramifications, and hence demand engagement with international audiences. Activists on both sides of any conflict resort to using various forms of translation to connect with other movements, intervene in the narration of events, and promote their cause through social media platforms, youtube videos, blogs and various initiatives that involve translating material for alternative outlets and online encyclopedias such as Wikipedia. This session will focus on volunteer translation by individuals and small collectives, and on political rather than aesthetic activism per se. It will however demonstrate that even political activism has to resort to increasingly novel ways to promote a given narrative of events as it competes for attention in the crowded market of semiotic goods – “signs, figures, images, projections, expectations” (Berardi 2011:77), and “psychic stimulation” (ibid.:73). These ‘goods’ circulate in digital space at a phenomenal speed and with such density that capturing the attention of any audience becomes a major challenge that requires ever more creative strategies of communication and translation.


Baker, Mona (2016b) ‘Beyond the Spectacle: Translation and solidarity in contemporary protest movements’, in Mona Baker (ed.) Translating Dissent: Voices from and with the Egyptian revolution, London & New York: Routledge, 1–18.

Berardi, Franco (2011) After the Future, edited by Gary Genosko and Nicholas Thoburn, translated by Arianna Bove, Melinda Cooper, Erik Empson, Enrico, Giuseppina Mecchia, and Tiziana Terranova, Chico: AK Press.

Lievrouw, Leah A. (2011) Alternative and Activist New Media, Cambridge: Polity.


Baker, Mona (2018) ‘Audiovisual Translation and Activism’, in Luis Pérez-González (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Audiovisual Translation, London & New York: Routledge, 453–467.

Pérez-González, Luis (2016) ‘The Politics of Affect in Activist Amateur Subtitling: A Biopolitical Perspective’, in Mona Baker and Bolette Blaagaard (eds) Citizen Media and Public Spaces: Diverse expressions of citizenship and dissent, London & New York: Routledge, 118-113.

Sadler, Neil (2019)Translation, Twitter, and the 3 July Military Intervention in Egypt’, in Sameh Hanna, Hanem El-Farahaty and Abdel Wahab Khalifa (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Arabic Translation, London & New York: Routledge, 145-162.

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MODULE 2 | Research Methods in Media Translation
Session 2A | Henry Jones
Studying Online Conversations

Since the 1960s, Conversation Analysis (CA) has provided an invaluable framework with which to “examine how, through talking, people live their lives, build and maintain relationships and establish who they are to one another” (Stokoe 2009: 81). More recently, a growing body of research has sought to harness CA concepts and methods for the study of online interactions, adapting these tools in analyses of Twitter threads, Youtube comments, discussion forum data and Whatsapp conversations (Meredith et al. 2021). In the field of media translation studies, the application of CA methods shows particular potential as a means of exploring how – through their interactions in online spaces – non-professional translators working in intensely collaborative settings seek to construct their own identity, authority and legitimacy as knowledgeable experts whose opinions in relation to specific translation problems should be valued (Jones, under review). Through a series of hands-on activities, students will be introduced to the core principles of CA, with special attention drawn to work by Heritage (2012, 2013) on epistemics and the tools he has developed to explore how interactants assert, contest and defend their knowledge claims through their turns-at-talk. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on the risks associated with applying methods first developed for the study of offline phenomena to the analysis of online data.


Heritage, John (2012) ‘The Epistemic Engine: Sequence Organization and Territories of Knowledge’, Research On Language and Social Interaction 45(1): 30–52.

Heritage, John (2013) ‘Epistemics in Conversation’, in The Handbook of Conversation Analysis, edited by Jack Sidnell and Tanya Stivers, Oxford: Blackwell, 370-394.

Jones, Henry (under review) ‘”Gua means scrape”: A conversation analysis of identity construction and negotiation in polylogal Wikipedia paratext’.

Meredith, Joanne, David Giles, and Wyke Stommel (eds) (2021) Analysing Digital Interaction, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Stokoe, Elizabeth (2009) ‘Doing Actions with Identity Categories: Complaints and Denials in Neighbor Disputes’, Text & Talk 29(1): 75–97.


Meredith, Joanne (2020) ‘Conversation analysis, cyberpsychology and online interaction’, Social and Personality Psychology Compass 14:e12529.

Gavioli, Laura (2015) ‘Negotiating Territories of Knowledge: On Interpreting Talk in Guided Tours’, The Interpreters’ Newsletter 20: 73-86.

Session 2B | Luis Pérez-González
Fundamentals of Project Planning in Media Translation Research

Carrying out research requires making effective decisions throughout the lifetime of one’s project. The viability and eventual success of the project is largely contingent on planning decisions made before the research starts. But further decision-making will become necessary as the project unfolds, as researchers reflect on the insights yielded by earlier choices. Most operationalisation work concerns aspects that feature prominently in various textual genres that early career researchers are typically referred to, including but not limited to institutional proposal-writing guidelines, blog posts and handbooks. Most early career researchers can recognise and use the terms that designate the fundamentals of research planning. But that does not necessarily mean that they can gauge their complexity or engage critically with the difficulties that arise when trying to apply them. In this interactive session, participants will be introduced to and asked to reflect on various aspects of research planning. Through a range of guided practical activities, they will gain a better understanding of the options available to them when formulating their research questions and/or hypotheses; gauge the contribution of theory (whether in the form of concepts, models or fully-fledged theories) and methodology (including the rationale for the compilation of a data-set, decisions on the size of samples or scope of case studies and choice of research method) to their project; and become more aware of various practical issues associated with the study of digital material. The activities completed in this session will facilitate the design and drafting of the research proposals to be submitted at the end of taught component of the Summer School.


Olohan, Maeve and Mona Baker (2009) ‘Coherence and Clarity of Objectives in Doctoral Projects. A research design workshop’, The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 3(1): 143-164.

Pérez-González, Luis (2014) ‘Lead the Way’, Chapter 8 in Luis Pérez-González (ed.) Audiovisual Translation: Theories, methods and issues, London & New York: Routledge, 284-304.

Sandberg, Jörgen and Mats Alvesson (2021) ‘Meanings of Theory: Clarifying theory through typification’, Journal of Management Studies 58(2): 487-516. Doi: 10.1111/joms.12587.

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MODULE 3 | Media Research Design and Dynamics 
Session 3A | Kyung Hye Kim
Research Design for Paratextual Analysis of Media Texts

The concept of paratext is useful in exploring the extent to which the ‘fringe’ of a text – titles and cover images, for example – can be a ‘threshold of interpretation’ (Genette 1997) that controls the entire interpretation and reception of a text. It has been widely adopted in domains outside of literary criticism and literary theory, where it was first developed, including translation studies and media studies. Although its application to the analysis of media texts in translation studies has been relatively scarce, there is considerable potential benefit in applying it to media translation analysis (Bachelor 2022) and media text analysis (Gray 2010, 2015, 2016, 2018; Brookey and Gray 2017). This session will discuss key paratextual elements for research of media translation in digital culture, while also touching on important aspects of research design. Research design (i.e. ways to establish appropriate research questions) and data selection and collection (i.e. identifying a suitable dataset) will be explained, particularly in relation to paratextual elements of translations of media texts, i.e. peritexts (text around the physical copy of the text) and epitexts (texts and communications placed outside the text in question). Analysis will focus on paratextual elements of films, and participants will work in groups to develop their own research questions with specific reference to the paratextual analysis of media texts.


Batchelor, Kathryn (2022) ‘Translation, Media and Paratexts’, in Esperança Bielsa (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Media, London & New York: Routledge, 122-135.

Brookey, Robert and Jonathan Gray (2017) ‘Not Merely Para: Continuing steps in paratextual research‘, Critical Studies in Media Communication 34 (2): 101-110, DOI: 10.1080/15295036.2017.1312472.

Genette, Gerard (1997) Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, translated by Jane E. Lewin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gray, Jonathan (2010) Show Sold Separately: Promos, spoilers and other media paratexts, New York & London: New York University Press.

Gray, Jonathan (2015) “Afterword: Studying media with and without paratexts’, in Lincoln Geraghty (ed.) Popular Media Cultures: Fans, audiences and paratexts, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 230-237.

Gray, Jonathan (2016) ”The Politics of Paratextual Ephemeralia’, in Sara Resce and Paolo Noto (ed) The Politics of Ephemeral Digital Media, New York: Routledge, 32-44.

Gray, Jonathan (2018) ‘Intertexts and Paratexts’, In Michael Kackman and Mary Celeste Kearney (eds), The Craft of Criticism: Critical media studies in practice, New York: Routledge, 207-18.


Brookey, Robert and Jonathan Gray (2017) ‘Not Merely Para: Continuing steps in paratextual research‘, Critical Studies in Media Communication 34 (2): 101-110, DOI: 10.1080/15295036.2017.1312472.

Genette, Gerard (1997) Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, translated by Jane E. Lewin, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ‘Introduction’, pp. 1-15.

Session 3B | Neil Sadler
Choosing Platforms and Designing Data Collection in Social Media Contexts

A striking feature of the contemporary Western social mediascape is its dispersion: there are several major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, as well as many smaller, but nonetheless well established, platforms including Tumblr, Medium, Reddit, LinkedIn, Quora, 4chan and Gab. These platforms differ substantially in both their user bases – Tiktok, for instance, skews female and young while Twitter skews older and male – and in their affordances, shaping how their users engage with them – LinkedIn, for instance, retains a significant emphasis on text while on Instagram ‘stories’ (photos or short videos that disappear after 24 hours) are in increasingly important medium.  This session will explore the implications of this diversity in terms of research design. First, we will discuss how to choose the most appropriate platform(s) from which to collect data in the context of a given set of research questions. The second will look at the implications of different platforms’ technical affordances for the design of data collection and management procedures, exploring questions such as the openness of platforms’ APIs, the relative ephemerality of data, and varying expectations of privacy. In so doing, the session will enhance participants’ ability to design research projects in social media contexts and argue for the necessity of thinking of research questions and data collection together from as early a stage as possible.


Blackwood, R. (2019) ‘Language, images and Paris Orly Airport on Instagram: Multilingual approaches to identity and self-representation on social media’, International Journal of Multilingualism 16(1): 7–24.

Li, Y. et al. (2021) ‘Communicating COVID-19 information on TikTok: a content analysis of TikTok videos from official accounts featured in the COVID-19 information hub’, Health Education Research 36(3): 261–271. Doi: 10.1093/her/cyab010.

Meraz, S. and Z. Papacharissi (2013) ‘Networked Gatekeeping and Networked Framing on #Egypt’, The International Journal of Press/Politics 18(2): 138–166.

O’ Donnell, N.H. (2018) ‘Storied Lives on Instagram: Factors associated with the need for personal-visual identity’, Visual Communication Quarterly 25(3): 131–142.

Proferes, N. et al. (2021) ‘Studying Reddit: A Systematic Overview of Disciplines, Approaches, Methods, and Ethics’, Social Media and Society, 7(2).


Read any two of the publications listed above. Focus on the methods used and how they were shaped by the specific affordances of the platform under study.

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MODULE 4 | Featured Theme
Session 4A | Jonathan Evans
Environmental issues in Translation and Interpreting: Towards Sustainable Approaches

While attention has recently turned to ecological approaches to translation and interpreting (e.g. Cronin 2017), there has been less research on the environmental impact of translation and interpreting practices. Machine translation, CAT tools and online interpreting all require significant amounts of computer and digital technologies and the electrical power that is necessary to power them. As Maxwell and Miller point out in Greening the Media (2012), all forms of media, from print to tablet computers, have an environmental impact. Digital technologies are often touted as more sustainable than paper-based solutions but require not only electrical power but a huge range of rare earth metals, plastics and other materials that are environmentally damaging to extract and produce, as well as difficult and dangerous to recycle. This session will explore the environmental issues around translation and interpreting technologies, drawing from work in the environmental humanities, media studies and design studies, before exploring more sustainable solutions that, while offering high levels of functionality, can also reduce negative impacts on the environment. These range from reducing the needs for environmental damaging systems through the reuse of existing technologies to designing more readily fixable items, as well as software solutions from open source communities such as Omega-T that aim to be sustainable and inclusive. Moving beyond expansionist understandings of the translation industry, post-digital approaches (Crary 2022) and degrowth (Latouche 2009) also will be considered as possible ways of thinking the long term sustainability of translation and interpreting activities.


Crary, Jonathan (2022) Scorched Earth: Beyond the digital present to a post-capitalist world, London: Verso.

Cronin, Michael (2017) Eco-Translation: Translation and ecology in the age of the anthropocene, Abingdon: Routledge.

Latouche, Serge (2009) Farewell to Growth, translated by David Macey, Cambridge: Polity.

Maxwell, Richard and Toby Miller (2012) Greening the Media, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Maxwell, Richard and Toby Miller (2012) ‘Introduction’, in Greening the Media, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1-21. 

Pearce, Joshua. M. (2014) ‘Free and Open Source Appropriate Technology’, in Martin Parker, George Cheney, Valérie Fournier and Chris Land (eds) The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organization, Abingdon: Routledge. 308-328.

Session 4B | Kyung Hye Kim
Sustainability, Translation, and Streaming

Streaming services have reconfigured the contemporary global media ecosystem, allowing more dynamic interaction and multidirectional translation flow of film and media texts which would previously have been impossible. This has allowed the remapping of the international media industry, and media content produced in ‘dominated languages’, like Squid Game, challenge what used to be a Eurocentric media industry. (Live)streaming has also fostered greater engagement, connectivity and reflexive activity and has thus been used in various activist movements (Kavada and Treré 2020).

Although perhaps less straightforward, the environmental impact of streaming media production has been noticed and (self-) reviewed (e.g. Marks et al. 2020; YouTube 2022, Netflix 2022). Marks et al. (2020) particularly warn of the increasing electricity consumption of information and communications technologies (ICT), and the major driving factor is streaming media. In addition to the environmental impact streaming services bring, Rauch (2018: 3) argues, ‘our perception of new media technologies as empowering ordinary people…might be exaggerated’ because such networked new media ‘too often distract people from meaningful social action’. Sporadic attempts to address this issue have been enacted, not only to reduce the carbon footprint but also to move towards more sustainable, responsible ways to consume streamed media, such as ‘slow media’ (Rauch 2018) and ‘alternative ways of consuming media’ (Rauch 2021).

Against this background, this module will critically review the issue of sustainability in the context of streaming and global media consumption. Several alternative and activist translation communities will be examined to suggest alternative but more sustainable translation activities that can be implemented in media translation. The aim is to raise our awareness of streaming media’s environmental impact and allow an opportunity for researchers to consider more sustainable translation strategies.


Kavada, Anastasia and Emiliano Treré (2020) ‘Live Democracy and Its Tensions: Making sense of livestreaming in the 15M and Occupy’, Information, Communication & Society 23(12): 1787–1804.

Marks, Laura U., Joseph Clark, Jason Livingston, Denise Oleksijczuk and Lucas Hilderbrand (2020) ‘Streaming Media’s Environmental Impact‘, Media+Environment 2 (1).

Netflix (2022) ‘Our Progress on Sustainability: One year in’. (last accessed 13.09.22)

Rauch, Jennifer (2018) Slow Media: Why “Slow” is Satisfying, Sustainable, and Smart, New York: Oxford University Press.

Rauch, Jennifer (2021) Resisting the News: Engaged audiences, alternative media, and popular critique of journalism, London: Routledge.

YouTube (2022) ‘Advancing sustainability’. (last accessed 13.09.22)


Marks, Laura U., Joseph Clark, Jason Livingston, Denise Oleksijczuk and Lucas Hilderbrand (2020) ‘Streaming Media’s Environmental Impact‘, Media+Environment 2 (1).

Rauch, Jennifer (2018) Slow Media: Why “Slow” is Satisfying, Sustainable, and Smart, New York: Oxford University Press. Chapter 4. ‘Greening Media: New Directions in Environmental Citizenship and Scholarship’, pp. 53-78.

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MODULE 5 | Academic Career Development
Session 5A | Neil Sadler
Getting an Academic Job: Understanding the Different Academic Job Markets and Building a Rounded Profile

The goal of many PhD students is to ultimately secure a permanent academic job. Nonetheless, the challenges of obtaining such a position in universities in anglophone countries such as the UK, USA, Canada and Australia are well known. If the difficulties of the academic job market are widely recognised, it can be less clear what PhD students seeking academic career can and should do to maximise their chances of success. With this in mind, this session will focus on how to think about the job market and position yourself as strongly as possible before the time comes to put in applications. It will argue that three key things are required: 1) to appreciate what you can and cannot control and concentrate on the former rather than the latter; 2) to understand what profiles employers are looking for and what recruitment processes are followed, while appreciating that this differs significantly from country to country; and 3) to work over the long term to ensure that you acquire the necessary skills and experiences during the PhD. While success can never be guaranteed, following these principles – which are precisely the same as in other sectors – will maximise your employability upon completion of your PhD.


Kelly, Alice (2017) ‘Please, Sir, I Want Some More Employment: Applying for UK jobs’, Part I – The Lay of the Land’. The Professor Is In’.

Kelsky, Karen (2016) ‘How to Write a Recommendation Letter’, The Professor Is In.

Session 5B | Mona Baker
Designing Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Research Projects

Translation Studies is now a vast and growing area of scholarship and is recognized as such by major funding bodies in different parts of the world. At the same time, the success of translation scholars in competing for large grants has largely depended in recent years on their ability to address key priorities such as interdisciplinarity and collaborative research. This session will focus on a number of new and emerging themes that have successfully crossed the boundaries of translation studies proper to engage with scholars in other disciplines, highlighting in particular issues of methodology and impact. These include themes such as the role of translation in shaping intellectual history and mediating our understanding of key concepts in society; translation and digital culture; translation and migration; the role of translation in the context of pandemics and major health crises; translation and news production and dissemination; and translation in the context of global activism. The presentation will also offer some ideas for future directions, specifically related to translation in the context of media and digital culture, including further engagement with non-professional translation and the impact of new media cultures and technologies on our ability to formulate research questions in translation studies. Participants will be offered guidance on writing and structuring research proposals.

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