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The University of Southampton
Archaeologies of Media and Technology Research group

New publication: ‘Translate and Describe’

Published: 19 March 2018
Cropped piece of the Patrons jpg

AMT affiliated Dr. Jane Birkin has an article in Amodern 8: Translaton-Machination, just out at Amodern is a peer-reviewed, open-access scholarly journal devoted to the study of media, culture, and poetics.

Birkin’s essay, ‘Translate and Describe: Archive-Based Image Description as an Intermedial Translation Technique’, maps the relationships between two forms of information processing: direct (literal) translation and image description. Exploring the notion of ‘secondary text’, she makes a strong case for the raised status and even the autonomy of description. Birkin provides various examples in support of this position, not least her own set-piece description of a found news image, Patrons–watch–an–activist–004.jpg. This description serves not only as a metatranslational reference point for theoretical arguments made, but also as a translational text, a discrete example of practice-oriented knowledge production.

Currently Birkin is working on a book on Photography and the Archive that is contracted with Routledge.



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