Translating 'Islamic State': multimodal narratives across national and media boundaries


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Mustafa, Balsam Aone Mustafa (2018). Translating 'Islamic State': multimodal narratives across national and media boundaries. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis provides an original contribution to ongoing research on so-called Islamic State (‘IS’) by using a multiple case-study approach to offer an in-depth analysis of Arabic and English language narratives related to four atrocities committed by the group: (1) the mass killing of hundreds of Iraqi soldiers, known as the Speicher massacre, (2) the captivity and sexual enslavement of Ezidi girls, known in Arabic as sabi, (3) the executions of a number of western, Arab, and Kurd victims, and (4) the destruction of cultural artefacts in Nineveh province. The analysis engages with the discourses of ‘IS’, western, Arabic, Iranian, and Kurdish media, survivors, ‘IS’s’ religious opponents, and other actors.

The dissertation uses a social narrative theory as its conceptual framework that I seek to develop by focusing on the fragmentation in narratives, on one hand, and on the multimodal resources through which narratives circulate, on the other. To this end, I combine the theory with Boje’s (2001) notion of antenarrative and Kress’(2009) understanding of the three resources of discourse, genre, and mode, to investigate ways in which narratives first unfold and how they later change as they are translated.

Translation is understood in the thesis as a multi-directional movement that simultaneously takes place across multiple resources without necessarily crossing language boundaries. The findings of this study reveal that the aforementioned resources contribute to transforming narratives. In translation, ‘IS’s’ narratives can be delegitimized and confronted, or the opposite. Examining the changes in these narratives as they are translated in multiple directions is a novel contribution to the field of translation studies in relation to the digital media environment.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting


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