Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Director

Avi Santo

Committee Member

Jennifer Fish

Committee Member

Lindal Buchanan

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.H85 S68 2012


The act of translation is one that is riddled with difficulties, and the labor that the translator performs is equally as difficult. Translators must simultaneously grapple with linguistic issues from languages being incongruent as well as the aspects of language embedded with culture. These complexities have given rise to the study of translation and the struggles that translators face. What often goes unnoticed, however, are the ways in which the habitus of translators informs their cultural labor. Likewise, their position as cultural intermediaries between a target and source culture illuminate challenges that are not explicitly answered or even addressed in traditional translation theory.

This thesis examines the way that translators are situated within institutional contexts and the subsequent effects that has on their labor. By positioning them in the middle of the various intersections that complicate the process of translation, I argue that it is possible to discern ways that translators may ameliorate issues of invisibility and more efficiently address concerns over culture, gender, and post-colonialism. I locate this discussion in a Korean context, including an analysis of the overlap of Korean studies with translation studies. Likewise, a discussion of two Korean memoirs translated into English addresses issues of function and habitus. Lastly, an analysis of a digital fansubbing community challenges the traditional habitus of translators and reimagines the ways in which their labor is performed.


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