The Representation of Translation and Translators in Contemporary Media

Dror Abend-David
In an increasingly global and multilingual society, translators have transitioned from unobtrusive stagehands to key intercultural mediators-a development that is reflected in contemporary media. From Coppola’s Lost in Translation to television’s House M.D., and from live performance to social media, translation is rendered as not only utilitarian, but also performative and communicative.
In examining translation as a captivating theme in film, television, commercials, and online content, this multinational collection engages with the problems and limitations faced by translators, as well as the ethical and philosophical aspects of translation and Translation Studies. Contributors examine the role of the translator (as protagonist, agent, negotiator, and double-agent), translation in global communication, the presentation of visual texts, multilingualism in contemporary media, and the role of foreign languages in advertisements. Translation and translators are shown as inseparable parts of a contemporary life that is increasingly multilingual, multiethnic, multinational and socially diverse.

Short review:

This timely book makes a very important contribution to the growing field of translation and media. Unusual in placing the translator firmly in the spotlight, these varied and informative studies show how translators and translating are presented in films, or represented in advertisements, or discussed on social media. A fascinating and instructive resource for researchers and students at all levels.

– Jean Boase-Beier, Professor Emerita of Literature and Translation, University of East Anglia, UK

Link to publisher

book cover for The Gulf

The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea

Jack E. Davis

Jack E. Davis, professor of history and sustainability studies, has won the Kirkus Prize for nonfiction for his environmental history book, The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea. The $50,000 prize, given by literary publication Kirkus Reviews, honors exceptional books that meet Kirkus standards of excellence.

The Gulf offers a comprehensive cultural, political, and natural history of The Gulf of Mexico and is the first such history of this important waterway. The book has been well received by readers and benefits from native Floridian Davis’ passion and appreciation of The Gulf. After attending Largo High School, Davis studied at University of South Florida St. Petersburg. He intends to use part of the Kirkus Prize to support his mother, who still lives in Largo, Fla. “Living on The Gulf is what inspired this book, having that intimate relationship with it,” Davis told the Tampa Bay Times. “I just want everyone to know what it is, and what it has the potential to be.”

Davis meanders through the early history of this fascinating sea, which became a kind of graveyard to many early marooned explorers due to shipwrecks and run-ins with natives. Yet the conquistadors took little note of the abundant marine life inhabiting the waters and, unaccountably, starved. A more familiar economy was established at the delta of the muddy, sediment-rich Mississippi River, discovered by the French. The author focuses on the 19th century as the era when The Gulf finally asserted its place in the great move toward Manifest Destiny; it would “significantly enlarge the water communication of national commerce and shift the boundary of the country from vulnerable land to protective sea.” The Gulf states would also become a mecca of tourism and fishing and, with the discovery of oil, enter a dire period of the “commercialization of national endowments.” The story of this magnificent body of water and its wildlife grows tragic at this point—e.g., the “killing juggernaut” of Gulf wading birds to obtain fashionable feathers. Still, it remains an improbable, valiant survival tale in the face of the BP oil spill and ongoing climate change.

– Kirkus Reviews

Publisher Description

When painter Winslow Homer first sailed into The Gulf of Mexico, he was struck by its “special kind of providence.” Indeed, The Gulf presented itself as America’s sea ― bound by geography, culture, and tradition to the national experience ― and yet, there has never been a comprehensive history of The Gulf until now. And so, in this rich and original work that explores The Gulf through our human connection with the sea, environmental historian Jack E. Davis finally places this exceptional region into the American mythos in a sweeping history that extends from the Pleistocene age to the twenty-first century.

Significant beyond tragic oil spills and hurricanes, The Gulf has historically been one of the world’s most bounteous marine environments, supporting human life for millennia. Davis starts from the premise that nature lies at the center of human existence, and takes readers on a compelling and, at times, wrenching journey from the Florida Keys to the Texas Rio Grande, along marshy shorelines and majestic estuarine bays, profoundly beautiful and life-giving, though fated to exploitation by esurient oil men and real-estate developers.

Rich in vivid, previously untold stories, The Gulf tells the larger narrative of the American Sea ― from the sportfish that brought the earliest tourists to Gulf shores to Hollywood’s engagement with the first offshore oil wells ― as it inspired and empowered, sometimes to its own detriment, the ethnically diverse groups of a growing nation. Davis’ pageant of historical characters is vast, including: the presidents who directed western expansion toward its shores, the New England fishers who introduced their own distinct skills to the region, and the industries and big agriculture that sent their contamination downstream into the estuarine wonderland. Nor does Davis neglect the colorfully idiosyncratic individuals: the Tabasco king who devoted his life to wildlife conservation, the Texas shrimper who gave hers to clean water and public health, as well as the New York architect who hooked the “big one” that set the sportfishing world on fire.

Ultimately, Davis reminds us that amidst the ruin, beauty awaits its return, as The Gulf is, and has always been, an ongoing story. Sensitive to the imminent effects of climate change, and to the difficult task of rectifying grievous assaults of recent centuries, The Gulf suggests how a penetrating examination of a single region’s history can inform the country’s path ahead.

In Davis’s hands, the story reads like a watery version of the history of the American West. Both places saw Spanish incursions from the south, mutual incomprehension in the meeting of Europeans and aboriginals, waves of disease that devastated the natives and a relentless quest by the newcomers for the raw materials of empire. There were scoundrels and hucksters, booms and busts, senseless killing in sublime landscapes and a tragic belief in the inexhaustible bounty of nature. A few artists and eccentrics fought to preserve the ecology of the place and sometimes succeeded. Whereas the West was re-engineered to account for a shortage of water, The Gulf of Mexico was re-engineered to account for a surfeit of oil.

– The New York Times

Davis’ previous book, An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century, was also well regarded and received a Florida Book Awards gold medal. His next book focuses on the conservation and symbolism of the bald eagle.

The Gulf has also been longlisted for the American Library Association’s Carnegie Medal.

Perpetua’s Journey

Jennifer Rea

Jennifer Rea, associate professor of classics, is the second Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty member to collaborate with illustrator Liz Clarke for a graphic history book. Examining issues of power, gender, and religion in the ancient world, Perpetua’s Journey: Faith, Gender, and Power in the Roman Empire is a graphic history set in Roman Africa in 203 CE that tells the story of the Christian martyr Perpetua.

Vibia Perpetua was a young mother who lived in Roman Africa and, at the age of 22, chose to publicly proclaim her Christian faith. She died as a result of her actions, though she did not die alone; she was part of a group of Christian martyrs, including several slaves, who were placed in prison and then executed in Carthage during the birthday celebrations of Emperor Septimius Severus’s son in 203 CE. Perpetua’s diary, which is the first extant diary of a Christian woman, contains her account of the days leading up to her martyrdom.

Says Rea, “I have always been intrigued by Vibia Perpetua’s story because her narrative differs from other tales of Christian martyrs. She writes about her feelings in a way that allows us to relate to her, as a young mother and daughter: she describes her fights with her father over the fact that she has become a Christian, she relates how frightened she is to be in prison, and she reveals her deep love for her son.

“When an editor at Oxford University Press (OUP), Charles Cavaliere, approached me about writing a text for OUP’s graphic history series, I saw an opportunity to write a book about Perpetua that could offer a unique and immersive way to learn about life in Roman Africa. I also immediately thought about how Perpetua recounts a series of visions she has before her martyrdom. Her visions are incredibly detailed and full of visual imagery that I knew would translate beautifully into sequential art. Making this text was a highly creative process; I had to research what daily life was like in ancient Carthage and write historical commentary on all aspects of it. I then worked with an OUP artist, Liz Clarke, to make Perpetua’s story relevant to a modern audience in the graphic portion of the book: I translated her diary from Latin into English, and then turned it into a storyboard, with text that accompanied Liz’s pictures.”

book cover for Tacitus


Victoria Emma Pagan
Victoria Pagán’s latest book, titled Tacitus, describes the works of the historian of the same name, which means “silenced.”

The greatest of Roman historians, Publius Cornelius Tacitus (56–117 CE) studied rhetoric in Rome. His rhetorical and oratorical gifts are evident throughout his most substantial works, the incomplete but still remarkable Annals and Histories. In concise and concentrated prose, marked by sometimes bitter and ironic reflections on the human capacity to misuse power, Tacitus charts the violent trajectory of the Roman Empire from Augustus’ death in 14 CE to the end of Domitian’s rule in 96.

Victoria Emma Pagán looks at Tacitus from a range of perspectives: as a literary stylist, perhaps influenced by Sallust; his notion of time; his modes of discourse; his place in the historiography of the era; and the later reception of Tacitus in the Renaissance and early modern periods. Tacitus remains of major interest to students of the Bible, as well as classicists, by virtue of his reference to ‘Christus’ and Nero’s persecution of the Christians after the great fire of Rome in 64 CE. This lively survey enables its readers fully to appreciate why, in holding a mirror up to venality and greed, the work of Tacitus remains eternal.

“Victoria Pagán’s lively new survey of Tacitus’ works and their impact is especially interesting for her original contribution to our understanding of how twentieth and twenty-first century poets, painters, dramatists, composers and filmmakers have brought the historian’s trenchant worldview into our own time. Recommended highly to students and general readers.”

– Ronald Mellor, Distinguished Research Professor of Ancient History, UCLA

“book cover for The Medeival Risk-Reward Society

The Medieval Risk-Reward Society

Courts, Adventure, and Love in the European Middle Ages

Will Hasty

The Medieval Risk-Reward Society: Courts, Adventure, and Love in the European Middle Ages offers a study of adventure and love in the European Middle Ages focused on the poetry of authors such as Marie de France, Chrétien de Troyes, Wolfram von Eschenbach, and Gottfried von Strassburg—showing how a society based on sacrifice becomes one of wagers and investments. Will Hasty’s sociological approach to medieval courtly literature, informed by the analytic tools of game theory, reveals the blossoming of a worldview in which outcomes are uncertain, such that the very self (of a character or an authorial persona) is contingent on success or failure in possessing the things it desires—and upon which its social identity and personal happiness depend. Drawing on a diverse selection of contrasting canonical works ranging from the Iliad to the biblical book of Joshua to High Medieval German political texts to the writings of Leibniz and Mark Twain, Hasty enables an appreciation of the distinctive contributions made in antiquity and the Middle Ages to the medieval emergence of a European society based on risks and rewards.

A wonderful, creative diachronic study. This book is an engaging read which will have a wide audience among students of literature, philosophy, and culture.”

—–G. Ronald Murphy, S. J., Georgetown University

The Medieval Risk-Reward Society takes a descriptive approach to the competitions in religion, politics, and poetry that are constitutive of medieval culture. Culture is considered always to be happening, and to be happening on the cultural cutting edge as competitions for rewards involving the element of chance. This study finds adventure and love—the principal concerns of medieval European romance poetry—to be cultural game changers, and thereby endeavors to make a humanist contribution to the development of a cultural game theory.

Will Hasty is Professor of German and Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

book cover for Scandalous Economics

Scandalous Economics

edited by Aida Hozić and Jacqui Tru
A new book, Scandalous Economics: Gender and the Politics of Financial Crises, edited by Aida A. Hozić and Jacqui True, was released in March 2016.

Scandalous Economics builds upon the Occupy movement and other critical analysis of the Global Financial Crisis to comprehensively examine gendered material, ideational and representational dimensions that have served to make the crisis and its effects, ‘the new normal’ in Europe and America as well as Latin America and Asia.

The book seeks to:

  • Survey the landscape of the ongoing globalised financial crisis and its consequences from the perspective of gender and feminist theory
  • Break new ground by arguing that normalisation of the current economic order in the face of its obvious breakdown(s) has been facilitated precisely by co-opting feminist and queer perspectives into the language of policy responses to the crisis
  • Demonstrate how feminist political economy analysis contributes important insights to the critical enterprise in the fields of International Political Economy (IPE) and International Relations
  • Analyse scandals, media narratives and popular culture as THE gendered texts of the economic crisis

Progress in Political Economy is running a series of blogposts on Scandalous Economics: Progress in Political Economy
The book has received some excellent endorsements through the Oxford University Press.

Scandalous Economics is now available through Amazon.

book cover for Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke and the Conservative Logic of Empire

Daniel O’Neill (Author)

Edmund Burke, long considered modern conservatism’s founding father, is also widely believed to be an opponent of empire. However, Daniel O’Neill turns that latter belief on its head. This fresh and innovative book shows that Burke was a passionate supporter and staunch defender of the British Empire in the eighteenth century, whether in the New World, India, or Ireland.

Moreover—and against a growing body of contemporary scholarship that rejects the very notion that Burke was an exemplar of conservatism—O’Neill demonstrates that Burke’s defense of empire was in fact ideologically consistent with his conservative opposition to the French Revolution. Burke’s logic of empire relied on two opposing but complementary theoretical strategies: Ornamentalism, which stressed cultural similarities between “civilized” societies, as he understood them, and Orientalism, which stressed the putative cultural differences distinguishing “savage” societies from their “civilized” counterparts. This incisive book also shows that Burke’s argument had lasting implications, as his development of these two justifications for empire prefigured later intellectual defenses of British imperialism.

Available for purchase through the University of California Press

book cover for Encyclopedia of the Yoruba

Encyclopedia of the Yoruba

Edited by Toyin Falola and Akintunde Akinyemi

The Yoruba people today number more than 30 million strong, with significant numbers in the United States, Nigeria, Europe, and Brazil. This landmark reference work emphasizes Yoruba history, geography and demography, language and linguistics, literature, philosophy, religion, and art. The 285 entries include biographies of prominent Yoruba figures, artists, and authors; the histories of political institutions; and the impact of technology and media, urban living, and contemporary culture on Yoruba people worldwide. Written by Yoruba experts on all continents, this encyclopedia provides comprehensive background to the global Yoruba and their distinctive and vibrant history and culture.

Indiana University Press

book cover for Defining Duty in the Civil War

Defining Duty in the Civil War

Personal Choice, Popular Culture, and the Union Home Front

J. Matthew Gallman

The Civil War thrust Americans onto unfamiliar terrain, as two competing societies mobilized for four years of bloody conflict. Concerned Northerners turned to the print media for guidance on how to be good citizens in a war that hit close to home but was fought hundreds of miles away. They read novels, short stories, poems, songs, editorials, and newspaper stories. They laughed at cartoons and satirical essays. Their spirits were stirred in response to recruiting broadsides and patriotic envelopes. This massive cultural outpouring offered a path for ordinary Americans casting around for direction.

Examining the breadth of Northern popular culture, J. Matthew Gallman offers a dramatic reconsideration of how the Union’s civilians understood the meaning of duty and citizenship in wartime. Although a huge percentage of military-aged men served in the Union army, a larger group chose to stay home, even while they supported the war. This pathbreaking study investigates how men and women, both white and black, understood their roles in the People’s Conflict. Wartime culture created humorous and angry stereotypes ridiculing the nation’s cowards, crooks, and fools, while wrestling with the challenges faced by ordinary Americans. Gallman shows how thousands of authors, artists, and readers together created a new set of rules for navigating life in a nation at war.


A Civil War Monitor Best Book of 2015
Silver Medal, 2015 Florida Book Awards in General Nonfiction
2016 Bobbie and John Nau Book Prize in American Civil War Era History, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History


Press Release

About the Author

J. Matthew Gallman is professor of history at the University of Florida and author of Receiving Erin’s Children: Philadelphia, Liverpool, and the Irish Famine Migration, 1845-1855


“A splendid book. Gallman is a shrewd historian.”


“Both an enjoyable read and one that expands our understanding of the public discourses occurring on the Union home front.”

“A lavishly illustrated, persuasively argued treatment of Northern popular culture during the Civil War.”

“I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the American Civil War. I say that because this book handles some of the issues of the home front unlike any book I have read before…I praise Gallman for what he has written here and hope that many others see the value of this work. His research is phenomenal, his writing is engaging, and the reader is never left confused. Another fine addition to the Civil War America series.”

“In an intriguing and wonderfully illustrated book, J. Matthew Gallman offers a crucial new take on print culture and citizenship in the North during the Civil War. By looking at print materials in popular media, from political cartoons to short stories, Gallman gives readers surprising insights into the hearts and minds of Northerners by looking at what they wrote and read during this tumultuous era in American history.”

Publisher Notes

The University of North Carolina Press
Ohio State Press

Chica Lit

Chica Lit

Popular Latina Fiction and Americanization in the Twenty-First Century

Tace Hedrick

This study illuminates how discourses of Americanization, ethnicity, gender, class, and especially commodification shape the genre of “chica lit,” that is, chick lit written by Latina authors with Latina characters. Chica lit is produced and marketed in the same ways as contemporary romance and chick lit fiction, and aimed at an audience of twenty- to thirty-something, upwardly mobile Latina readers. Tace Hedrick argues that Its stories about young women’s ethnic class mobility and gendered romantic success tends to celebrate twenty-first century neoliberal narratives about Americanization, hard work, and individual success. However, its focus on Latina characters necessarily inflects this celebratory mode: the elusiveness of what chica lit means when it used the actual term “Latina” tends to homogenize the differences among and between Hispanophone heritage peoples in the United States.

Of necessity, chica lit also struggles with questions about the actual social and economic “place” of Latinas and Chicanas in this same neoliberal landscape; these questions unsettle its reliance on the tried-and-true formulas of chick lit and romance writing. Looking at chica lit’s market-driven representations of difference, poverty, and Americanization show how this particular popular women’s fiction functions within the larger arena of struggles over the representation of Latinas and Chicanos in the United States.

Read our review

University of Pittsburgh Press

book cover for Early Medieval Chinese Texts

Early Medieval Chinese Texts

Cynthia L Chennault
Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

A guide to primary sources that date from China’s early medieval period (late third through sixth centuries) and to later anthologies or reference works concerning them. Ninety-three essays, arranged alphabetically by title, discuss authorship, contents, history of editions, traditional commentaries and assessments, modern scholarship, and translations.

Available for purchase



book cover for China

Animation in China: History, Aesthetics, Media

Sean Macdonald
Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

By the turn of the 21st century, animation production has grown to thousands of hours a year in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Despite this, and unlike American blockbuster productions and the diverse genres of Japanese anime, much animation from the PRC remains relatively unknown.

This book is an historical and theoretical study of animation in the PRC. Although the Wan Brothers produced the first feature length animated film in 1941, the industry as we know it today truly began in the 1950s at the Shanghai Animation Film Studio (SAFS), which remained the sole animation studio until the 1980s. Considering animation in China as a convergence of the institutions of education, fine arts, literature, popular culture, and film, the book takes comparative approaches that link SAFS animation to contemporary cultural production including American and Japanese animation, Pop Art, and mass media theory. Through readings of classic films such as Princess Iron Fan, Uproar in Heaven, Princess Peacock, and Nezha Conquers the Dragon King, this study represents a revisionist history of animation in the PRC as a form of “postmodernism with Chinese characteristics.”

As a theoretical exploration of animation in the People’s Republic of China, this bookwill appeal greatly to students and scholars of animation, film studies, Chinese studies, cultural studies, political and cultural theory.

Available for purchase
More Information



book cover for The Cave of the Nymphs at Pharsalus. Studies on a Thessalian Country Shrine

The Cave of the Nymphs at Pharsalus. Studies on a Thessalian Country Shrine

Robert S. Wagman
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers (Brill Studies in Greek an Roman Epigraphy 6)
Department of Classics

Cave of the Nymphs at Pharsalus is the first book-length study of one of Greece’s most cited nymph sanctuaries. The volume includes a revised catalog, extensive new commentaries on the cave’s famous inscriptions, and a first-time investigation of the site’s topographical and archaeological layout.

Also known as Alogopati or Karapla cave, the Pharsalian shrine holds a special place among ancient nymph caves as the only such site to feature an inscribed poetic chronicle of the shrine’s foundation and its founder, the mysterious nymph worshipper Pantalces. Based on years of fieldwork and archival research, Cave of the Nymphs challenges some commonly held views about the origin of this rock-cut ‘tale’ and offers a fresh perspective for understanding the Pharsalian cave in its proper historical context.

Available for purchase

book cover for French Cinema

Traveling in French

Sylvie Blum-Reid
Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

This book covers different travel modes and tropes at play in French cinema since 1980 to the present day. It follows the archetypal figure of the traveler and the way these journeys are ‘performed.’ Films travel for us, spectators, and we in turn virtually take off with them. Examinations of departures and returns, as well as destinations and healing rituals attached to travels, take place, as do the way women travel and the urgent situation of migrants attempting to find refuge in the Global North across borders. The book questions high-speed travel, efficiency and technology at a time when slow speed and inner reflection are being revisited, and analyses film narratives that offer a way out of the daily routine and allow the traveler to escape a situation at home.

Available for purchase from palgrave macmillan


book cover for Getting Insiders Undergrad Research

Getting In

David G. Oppenheimer

David G. Oppenheimer is the associate professor of biology at the University of Florida, and Paris Grey, research scientist and undergraduate research mentor in Dr. Oppenheimer’s research laboratory. Available from Amazon books

Getting In helps undergraduate students find the perfect research experience while preparing them for the challenges that will be part of their life in the lab.

Getting In starts with an overview designed to help students examine what they want to gain from a research experience, what is realistic to achieve with the commitment they are willing to make, and gain a solid understanding of what will be expected of them from their research mentor.

In addition, Getting In includes direct, specific advice on how to search, apply, and interview for research positions, and includes step-by-step strategies on how to master time management and professionalism during those processes.


book cover for Tokaido

Tokaido Texts and Tales: Tokaido gojusan tsui by Kuniyoshi, Hiroshige, and Kunisada

Ann Wehmeyer

Ann Wehmeyer is associate professor of Japanese and linguistics at the University of Florida and the translator of Motoori Norinaga’s Kojiki-den, Book 1.

Throughout the Edo period (1615-1868), the Tokaido was the most vital road in a network of highways across Japan. Connecting Edo (modern-day Tokyo) and Kyoto, the road and its fifty-three rest stations became a popular theme for artistic expression in a variety of mediums. Read More.

Andreas Marks is head of the Japanese and Korean Art Department at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the author of Kunisada’s Tokaido: Riddles in Japanese Woodblock Prints. Laura Allen is curator of Japanese art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the coeditor of The Printer’s Eye: Ukiyo-e from the Grabhorn Collection.

Available from University Press of Florida.