“AT THE EDGES OF EMPATHY: JOURNALISTIC ETHICS AND TRANSLATION IN SARAH GLIDDEN’S ROLLING BLACKOUTS (2016)”
November 18th from 12pm to 1:15pm
“At the Edges of Empathy: Journalistic Ethics and Translation in Sarah Glidden’s Rolling Blackouts (2016)”
Eva C Karpinski
This presentation looks at the role of translation in comics journalism through the prism of difficulties involved in reporting on war and trauma stories from outside one’s own culture, language, religion, and class. It brings under scrutiny professional expectations for a journalistic practice to be “informative, verifiable, accountable, and independent” (Glidden), expectations which are exacerbated by the challenges posed by contradictory politics, unequal power dynamics, guilt, cultural ignorance, and multiple mediations involved in creating and transmitting a “newsworthy” story. In the global news context, journalistic translational decisions are always imbricated with power inequalities and operate as a double-edged technology of knowledge production: they can open up new channels of understanding and communication; and equally well, they can reinforce the status quo and reify existing geo-political structures of domination (Bielsa and Bassnett 6). Glidden elaborates a meta-critique of journalism as a translational practice, grounded in an ethics of transcultural encounter that is performatively enacted as risking one’s own vulnerability.