Political economy in digital language and the metapragmatics of fansubbing: DiLCo Lecture Series 2023 (23 February) - Joseph Sung-Yul Park - Universität Hamburg
Political economy in digital language and the metapragmatics of fansubbing: DiLCo Lecture Series 2023 (23 February)
Joseph Sung-Yul Park is a Professor in the Department of English, Linguistics, and Theatre Studies, National University of Singapore. His work explores various issues of language in the context of globalization, including language and transnationalism, English as a global language, and political economy of language under neoliberalism. His latest book is In Pursuit of English: Language and Subjectivity in Neoliberal South Korea (Oxford University Press, 2021).
While previous sociolinguistic research on digital language and communication has highlighted problems of inequality regarding access and linguistic diversity, less attention has been paid to how digital mediation of discourse opens up new markets for capital and its commodification of language. In this talk, I argue that a focus on the political economy of digital media communication can offer not only a cogent point of criticism against capitalist appropriation of language, but also a useful basis for asking fundamental questions about the nature of language and communication in digital media. For this, I consider how the digitally mediated work of fansubbing — fans’ creation and circulation of unauthorized subtitles for audiovisual media content — becomes a site of tension for regimes of intellectual property. Taking a metapragmatic perspective, I show that what lies at the heart of such tension is the question of how instances of digital language such as fansubs can be characterized — either as decontextualizable chunks of discourse that can be subjected to market-based exchange, or as embodied communicative practice that cannot be extracted from its social and material embeddedness.
DiLCo Lecture Series 2023 aims to showcase cutting edge international research on digitally language and communication by both senior and younger researchers from across the world. We wish to present research that explores digital language and communication by drawing on key concepts and topics in socio-cultural linguistics, such as community, context, identity, mediated interaction, multimodality, and linguistic change. We particularly welcome presentations of innovative methods that cut across traditional disciplinary boundaries.--- DiLCo (‘Digital language variation in context’) is a 3-year international research network initiated in 2021 at the University of Hamburg. The network brings together researchers from Europe and USA with expertise in computational, interactional, and ethnographic approaches to digital language and linguistics. It aims to provide a platform for the development of interdisciplinary ideas in digital language and communication research, and for early-career capacity building.