Browsing by Subject "Doctoral Programme for Language Studies"

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  • Loponen, Mika (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    This study discusses the evolution of racialized concepts in the genres of the fantastic, especially fantasy, science fiction, and supernatural horror. It provides the first detailed interpretation of how such concepts are constructed and how they develop based on their interaction with the evolving cultural landscapes, thus showing how characteristics are borrowed from real world cultural stereotypes. The analysis concentrates on fantastic renderings of racialized stereotypes based on real world cultural fears. The concepts are examined both in their source cultures and through the lenses of transmediality and translation. As the fantastic arts have always been heavily transmedial in nature, the study is not limited to a certain art form, but views all media as complementary in producing concepts of the fantastic, either by adding new facets to the concepts, or by changing them on a temporal basis. Contextualizing concepts in the fantastic arts through their linkage to the real world cultural development provides a method through which we can perceive how the concepts are built on – and preserve – racialized stereotypes of their cultures of origin. In order to do so, this study provides a framework that utilizes several approaches from cultural semiotics as well as translation studies. Furthermore, it presents a view of the evolution of the genres in specific media through case studies. The framework is applied to some well-known fantastic concepts (orcs, dwarves, goblins, and gnomes), by mapping their entry into the fantastic arts and examining how the changes in their signifying imagery have affected their allusive links to the real world stereotypes that are (intentionally or non-intentionally) portrayed through them. In addition, translational tools are applied in a case study to examine how racialized features are transported to a new cultural setting in translation. The study argues that the inclusion of properties of racialized stereotypes from real world cultures to fantastic concepts is widespread and that especially negative racialized allusions often survive in texts of the fantastic, even after they have been perceived as offensive in the real world cultures from which they stem. It displays how racialized narratives can change when fantastic concepts inherit properties from new real world racialized stereotypes, and how inheriting signifiers from a “positive” real world racialization can affect the negative properties of fantastic concepts. Keywords: semiotics, fantasy, science fiction, game studies, transmediality, racism