PASTICHE IN VISUAL NARRATIVE: AN ANALYSIS OF TARANTINO’S SELECTED WORKS
Postmodernism has played an important role in the formation of new arts. It has brought with
it new trends and traditions. In the context of visual narrative, pastiche seems to flourish in full
swings with the development of postmodernism. The omnipresence of pastiche in Tarantino’s
films further intensifies the idea of artist being not able to produce distinct styles which is why
Jameson comes to the conclusion that the artists of present-day cannot create new works. They
can only mix and paste past styles. Jameson calls this practice of mix and paste a pastiche
which lacks the essence of parody. Jameson’s theorization of pastiche serves as a building
block to chalk out the cinematic elements of pastiche in three of Tarantino’s works. The present
study focuses on the elements of Pastiche in Quentin Tarantino’s movies to show that he
creates new works by remixing the old styles with new techniques.
ISLAM/MUSLIMS IN AMERICAN LITERARY CONSCIOUSNESS: A CRITIQUE OF PEARL ABRAHAM’S AMERICAN TALIBAN AND DON DELILLO’S FALLING MAN
Islamophobia has become a focal concept of debate in past few decades. The rise in Islamophobia has raised a question on the identity of the Muslims especially after the incident of 9/11. The purpose of present study is to explore divided American literary consciousness on the issue of Islamophobia by critically analyzing Don Delillo’s Falling Man and Pearl Abraham’s American Taliban. By using theoretical perspectives of Edward Said and Sara Mills, the researcher investigates the existence of the divided consciousness that exists because of diversity in literary writings. The main argument of the study is based on Said’s claims that falsehood about Muslims and Islam is constantly propagated in the media in the name of objectivity, freedom, democracy liberalism and progress. In order to strengthen my theoretical framework, I have invoked the argument of Sara Mills to analyze how media and politicians are powerful enough to shape discourse which can be both an effect of power and an instrument. The purpose of the present study is to reveal representation of Muslim characters in the selected novels and to explore those discourses that influence the image of Islam and Muslims in the minds of Americans. The analysis of the selected texts reveal that Delillo’s Falling Man try to reinforce the negative stigma associated with Muslims and Islam, while Abraham’s American Taliban seems to be giving a voice to the voiceless by providing readers with a different version of reality. Abraham also seems to be reacting to the dominant truth by deconstructing the idea that Americans are innocent while Muslims are the only entity to blame. The researcher has reached to the conclusion that both types of narratives exist in post 9/11 literary domain and these narratives shape distinct versions regarding the image of Islam and Muslims.
SUBVERTING THE MONOLITH: A POSTCOLONIAL FEMINIST STUDY OF SELECTED SRI LANKAN FICTION
This dissertation is a reading of two Sri Lankan novels: Cinnamon Gardens (1998) and A Disobedient Girl (2009). This project rests on the premise that the western feminists categorize the third world women as a monolithic entity and consider them as other. Both the selected texts provide ample amount of space to examine the rejection of universalism and binaristic hierarchies along with exploration into the representation of the indigenous women by Sri Lankan authors. Postcolonial feminism or the ‘Third World feminism’ originated as a critique of mainstreams in the western feminist discourse. It investigated the portrayal of women in the literature and society of the colonized countries as marginalized and oppressed, such that they are considered as inferior beings. Therefore, this research contests the totalization and the universalization of western colonial discourse by studying the unique female experiences in the selected novels. To investigate this, Mohanty’s essay “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourse” (1984) serves as the main theoretical lens. The major dynamics of the postcolonial feminist stance, studied in this research are: i) The representation of the third world as “monolithic universal image.” ii) The representation of the indigenous women by Sri Lankan authors to fight the binary of ‘Other.’ These two major objectives of this research aid to subvert the monolith assumptions set by some western feminists for the third world women of color (women specifically belonging to areas like India, Bengal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia etc). The novels, Cinnamon Gardens (1998) and A Disobedient Girl (2009) bring to light the female characters who try to resist and break the colonial and patriarchal imposed dynamics of silencing and suppressing women in the Sri Lankan society. The findings reveal that the novelists have realistically given voice and visibility to the idea of the third world Sri Lankan woman as headstrong, determined, educated, and rational. Thus, this research has problematized the marginalization of the third world brown women at the hand of those western white feminists, who manipulate the women in the third world. Moreover, both writers, Shyam Selvadurai and Ru Freeman, through their novels, depict the unconventional journey of struggle and empowerment of the Sri Lankan women within their society and norms, howsoever, tyrannical the circumstances may be.
Anatomo-politics and Consumerist Identity: A Postmodern Reading of Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada and Don DeLillo’s White Noise
In this study, I examine Lauren Wiesberger’s The Devil Wears Prada and Don DeLillo’s White Noise in order to explore the perpetuation of anatomo-politics of the human body. Anatamo-politics is one of the two techniques of bio-power that permeates human life up to the extent of controlling micro processes of its existence. The strategies of postmodern consumerism arguably sustain anatomo-politics of the human body. The study argues that the characters depicted in the selected novels become self-disciplining under the influence of knowledge that normalizes fit and thin body in the name of beauty and health. In this way, the selected novels explorably manifest the disciplines of the human body and the controlled management of their energies and forces. I substantiate this argument by drawing upon Foucault’s notion of anatomo-politics that helps me highlight administration of the individual bodies in the selected texts. Moreover, this project reveals the consumerist strategies embedded in the chosen texts that make consumer products desirable for such bodies and, hence, enhance their subjugation in the contemporary age of postmodern consumerism. I draw upon Jameson’s concept of late capitalism and Baudrillard’s theorizing of simulation with the specific focus on their hegemonic aspect that provide me with the proper conceptual framework to probe the texts for such consumerist strategies. In this regard, I employ Catherine Belsey’s idea of textual analysis as a research method in analyzing the selected texts. Since it is relatively an untapped area, the anatomo-politics perspective of the human body examined in the primary texts highlights the significance of my intervention and is likely to be a contribution in the production of knowledge in the contemporary critical corpus.
ANTHROPOMORPHIC LANGUAGE USE FOR ERASURE: AN ECOLINGUISTIC STUDY OF WILDLIFE TV SHOW ‘MEATEATER’
Anthropomorphism is a technique through which human qualities and emotions are attributed to non-human entities e.g gods, plants or animals. The present study attempts to highlight the usage of anthropomorphic and anthropocentric language and to unveil the hidden phenomenon of Erasure in the wildlife TV show ‘MeatEater’ under the model of Ecolinguistic Discourse Analysis. Moreover, with the help of the theory of Erasure, this research aims to highlight the indifference of man towards nature, ecosystem and wildlife. This indifference is often identifiable in the wildlife documentaries and films where the natural behavior of animals is frequently overlooked. The study identifies and measures the gendered pronouns using ‘AntConc’ and highlights the ‘Anthropocentric’ constructs with the help of textual evidence bringing out the three types of erasure namely, the trace, the mask and the void in the selected sample. The study further elicits the detailed analysis of different forms and levels of erasure explaining how the natural world is presented in a distorted fashion. The findings of the study show the anthropocentric lexical choices of the speaker including the gendered pronouns (He, she) along with the anthropomorphic adjectives and verbs. The present study proposes a workable solution to the identified problem through the concept of ‘Ecosophy’ by suggesting the idea of creating a harmonious relationship between humans and the natural world. It further underscores the significance of the conservation of wildlife for a healthy and prosperous environment with a better future for the silenced and marginalized non-human entities in a man-driven world.
Audiovisual Translation from English Into Urdu in Pakistan: A Functional Equivalence Perspective
The aim of present research was to investigate a range of translation problems related to the accuracy of Dubbing and Subtitling from English into Urdu in which 10 different dubbed and subtitled videos were selected for the Analysis. The contribution of this study is as follows: the researcher selected 10 dubbed and subtitled documentaries from English into Urdu based on the translation problems to fill the research gap of the present research. The researcher adopts functional equivalence theory of translation and Tripartite Theory of Glosseme (semantic, pragmatic and grammatical perspectives) to establish a theoretical framework which provides a flexible way of analyzing translation and enables the original meanings of words to be analyzed through various perspectives, especially for Urdu and English translation.
This study demonstrated that the majority of translation problems gathered from the selected dubbed and subtitled documentaries were found at the 3 preliminary level and in the content word class which have much practical relevance and research value for the pedagogical purpose of Audiovisual Translation. Furthermore, when AV translation is being done from English into Urdu, problems such as selection of suitable words and meaning becomes a challenge for translators. Words with different connotations are translated identically that causes problem in Urdu dubbing and subtitling. There are also pragmatic problems in Urdu dubbing and subtitling that refers to context such as using the meaning of the same word that varies in different contexts which create confusion among viewers. An audiovisual translation which is not in accordance with the context such as Pakistani context creates inappropriate translations. During translating process, some of the translation problems occur at grammatical level too. With the increasing interaction between Pakistan and other countries in global contexts such as culture, economics and commerce, there is a great need to expand research regarding all areas and issues within audiovisual translation in order to overcome the difficulties.
A Multimodal Comparative Analysis of Covid-19 Pandemic Posters
This qualitative study aims to explore the semiotic resources used in the posters disseminating information about Covid-19. The three objectives of this study are to analyze semiotic resources used in the cautionary posters spreading information about Covid-19, to know the importance of text in the posters carrying information about Covid-19, and to compare the posters designed by WHO and Pakistani locals in order to see the difference in the semiotic resources used in and the overall framing. Using content analysis as the research methodology, it analyzes 25 cautionary posters designed by the World Health Organization and 25 Pakistani local posters and attempts to discover the textual resources used in the posters and their role in meaning making. The theoretical framework for this study is based on Kress and Leeuwen (2006) semiotic model. The three accounts of the theory deal with the object and its relationship with the outside representational world, the relationship between the sign makers and its receivers and the combination of all of the semiotic resources in visuals to make a meaningful whole. The findings of the study reveal that various semiotic resources have been used in the design of these posters which include isolated images, modality markers, color saturation, highlighted text, foregrounding of specific information, narrative and conceptual processes, eye contact with the viewers and development of intimate and public relationship with the viewers through the use of close and long shots. Keeping in view the second objective, this study shows that text plays a key role in meaning making and its comprehension. The comparative analysis of the data suggests that the posters designed by the World Health Organization are more comprehensive and diverse as compared to those designed by Pakistani local institutes. Pakistani local cautionary posters are relatively simple, have limited semiotic resources and have certain similarities with WHO posters. The study recommends the future researchers to explore the Covid-19 pandemic posters from the perspectives of the designers of the posters and the audience while interviewing them about the role of semiotic resources in making meaning of the message spread in the posters to them.
Voicing and Silencing in Translation: A Study of the Urdu Dubbing of the English Documentary-Home
The study focuses on the instances/elements of “silencing” and “voicing” in the documentary “Home”, dubbed in Urdu as “Humara Ghar”. Silencing and voicing are generally common in every act of translation, the translators varyingly seek to suppress certain elements and voice other entities to bring about a narrative, coherence and verbal fluency in target texts. The research uses a tailored model, which takes insights from Antoine Berman’s deforming tendencies, Venuti’s notion of domestication and Vermeer’s (1996) notion of skopos theory. In this model, “silencing” is premised upon the ideas of Berman and Venuti’s ideas; whereas, “voicing” is premised on Vermeer’s(1996) notions of a skopos theory. As skopos theory is taken from the functionalist criterion of translation, the researcher has taken a functional view of voicing here in this research. The researcher highlights the instances of silencing, linking to the semantics and the syntax of a source text, which refers to the purpose of the translation. It has five principles that are used to evaluate the voicing in the target text. Most of the silencings are deformations, which are caused by the techniques for domestication are categorized as inclusions, exclusions, rationalizations, etc. In the evaluation of the translation, skopos serves an important role as a communicative pivot of a source text. The instances fulfilling the principles of skopos theory refer to voicing, while the excerpts from the target text lacking the skopos refer to silencing of an original text. The researcher targets the close textual analysis in an interlingual manner. The presented evidence demonstrates that there are cultural and linguistic precisions. In the selected instances, dubbing turns out to be considerably deformed and domesticated, the argument demonstrates the incidents of mistranslation, and the research concludes on the perspective of further inquiry in the field of Audio-Visual Translation.
Lexical Borrowing and Semantic Change in Pakistani Weblogs: A Study of English-Urdu Inter-lingual Effects
For a long time, researchers have studied the link between English and Urdu, two languages that belong to two distinct ethnolinguistic groups. The primary focus of this research is to discover English terms in Urdu and vice versa that have either shifted meaning or veered away from their interpretations in the donor language, analyzing the language of weblogs. The descriptive-qualitative technique was used in this work along with quantitative data analysis to gauge the extent of core borrowings from English in the Urdu language. The data was obtained from 50 Urdu blogs and 50 English blogs to analyse lexical borrowing and semantic change along with data from a questionnaire with 200 respondents to analyse core borrowings. The data gathered was then analysed to determine semantically altered English and Urdu borrowed lexicon and the type of semantic change undergone. According to the discourse, there is a significant prevalence of English origin terms in Urdu and a considerable Urdu or South Asian Origin words in English, which are a result of borrowing. The findings of the study suggest that Urdu language takes more loan words from English which also portray semantic change. More studies can be carried out to determine the degree of lexical changes in everyday vocabulary outside of weblogs and the digital realm.
Subverting Rape Culture: A Study Of #Metoo in Rebecca Solnit's and Roxane Gay’s Works
The current phenomenological research rationalizes Feminism’s struggle to subvert rape culture after the re-emergence of the voyeuristic Young Adult stories in the twenty-first century’s American literature and the popularity of #MeToo. The American women’s role in subverting sexual violence, as their refusal to accept being inherently rapeable and being raped by White men, has been critically evaluated in the memoirs of Rebecca Solnit and Roxane Gay. For this purpose, Erin Wunker’s and Sara Ahmed’s intersectional concepts about Feminist Killjoys’ Willfulness have been used to underpin the argument, employing Belsey’s and Mary Evan’s auto/biographical textual method. Solnit and Gay share their lived experiences of sexual violence, and the transition in their choices of dresses and body-size in the American rape culture, with the problematic ‘I’, ‘We’ and ‘Me’ to end the toxic silence. In this manner, their sympathy towards the incapacitated rape victims, through the craftiness of #MeToo moment, transform their willfulness into a movement. The purpose of the research is to critically investigate the rape culture, problematic androcentric societal values, customs, and beliefs as supportive towards rape culture and the resultant feminist killjoy’s snap while subverting rape culture and asserting women’s credibility. Feminists’ willfulness has been assessed and justified in the research as their effort to undermine androcentric peer support for offenders that garners gendered and sexual abuse. Feminist killjoys’ defiance against the patriarchy- assisted sexual violence becomes more problematic when they share their personal stories on digital media with the global audience through #MeToo networking. It has been understood that by substantiating Wunker’s guerilla tactics of refusal, Solnit’s and Gay’s tactics of armouring the body with fat, steel armour, gun, or pepper spray, wearing men’s dresses, and digital means of synoptic surveillance and Dataveillance of #MeToo on digital media, provide women the ephemeral security, and effective evidence for testification to end self-blaming and normalize #MeToo. Supporting victims through feminist friendships on digital platforms, creates anti-race, anti-rape, and anti-gendered-crimes society to create space for all victims in America. The outcome of such activism becomes the joy-killing experience for patriarchy, making feminists the problematic willful body against the status-quo.
An Analysis of the Urdu Translation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the Ideological Perspective
In the modern age, the field of translation studies is progressing steadily and new developments are taking place. However, this study argues that translation is not just a linguistic tool but is taken as a tool for the manipulation of ideology, too. The present study focuses on the changes that occur when the source text which is an international legal document, i.e., the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is translated into the target text. The declaration first written in English was translated into Urdu. Primarily inspired by the theoretical framework presented by Hatim and Mason (1990, 1991 & 1997) and for scrutinizing and evaluating translated texts, the researcher analyzed the target text by taking into account the set of constraints related to text, genre and discourse through which the ideology is expressed. To identify the translator’s ideological tendencies, the research emphasizes primarily the textual features, viz., modality shift, transitivity shift and nominalization, with the selection of lexical items signifying domestication along with a handful of the recurrence of certain words. The results show that the translator has deliberately or unintentionally made significant changes in choosing syntactic structures and lexical items in comparison to those used in the original text. The results of the study also demonstrate that many alterations or changes between the source and the target text were not only arbitrary, but were laden ideologically with particular aims and purposes. The analysis of the selected data shows despite the general assumption that legal translations are literal, legal documents can be translated in a different way depending on their context and reason. The study concludes that significant differences in purposes and goals of translation may bring significant differences in the communicated ideologies between the source and the target text.
Tracing Cultural Trauma: A Study of Selected Kashmiri Fictional Narratives
Cultural Trauma is a socially mediated process that occurs when a group of people endures horrific events affecting their group consciousness and identity. Cultural sociologists believe that events are not intrinsically traumatic, rather it is the representation of horrendous events by carrier groups that shapes the perception of audience and determines which events qualify as Cultural Trauma. This concept of Cultural Trauma was introduced and discussed in detail by Jeffrey C. Alexander, Ron Eyerman, and various other cultural sociologists in their collaboratively authored seminal book Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity (2004). Using Jeffrey C. Alexander’s theoretical lens which underscores the necessity of highlighting the terrifying injuries of the most defenseless segments of the world’s population i.e. non-Western regions, this research examines the selected fictional narratives by Kashmiri writers, The Half Mother (2014) by Shahnaz Bashir and Lost in Terror (2016) by Nayeema Mahjoor. Through textual analysis, the study foregrounds how these fictional narratives grapple for meaning to demonstrate the permeating impact of Kashmir’s incessant sufferings and contribute to its construction as Cultural Trauma. Moreover, tracing the trauma process in the context of the occupied Kashmir, this study shows how authors of the selected narratives, as cultural agents, craft traumatizing social reality of Kashmir into trauma claims, and determines if it qualifies to be constructed as a Cultural Trauma. Also, analysis of the selected narratives helps to investigate various possibilities and identify constraints embedded in the mediation of such cultural trauma narratives in different institutional arenas which are working under the direct or indirect influence of stratificational hierarchies in Kashmir. This study concludes that Cultural Trauma has not been fully established for Kashmiris because trauma claims are subdued by the oppressors. The illegitimate control of the Indian state machinery in Kashmir subjugates the victims, whitewashes the evils done by perpetrators, and confounds the world by deliberately keeping the real contours of Kashmir conflict hidden from the world at large. By problematizing the necessity of establishing Cultural Trauma for Kashmiris, this study illuminates a crucial social responsibility and political action to be taken by perpetrators of trauma and a wider audience which can only be materialized after successfully establishing Cultural Trauma of Kashmiris.
Language of Social Taboos: English Used for Euphemism in Pakistani Films
Language use is dependent upon the speaker, situation and society whereas use of language is also effected by the taboos that prevail with a society. Every speaker has to avoid taboos present in the society to retain a positive face, which differ from one society to another and from one context to other as well. Pakistan is a Muslim majority country that is why many taboos other than the Anglophone world exist, such as talking about love and marriage between an unmarried man or woman, having a heterosexual relationship and using high tone words and talking about practices that are against the norms of the society. Every speaker wishes to maintain the positive face in the society, and for that purpose speakers use euphemized language. The researcher has collected the taboo words and utterances spoken by the characters of the movies released in 2018. Taboo words and utterances are transcribed and put under different categories. Taboo language is offensive language and the researcher used the theory of Battistella (2005) who categorized offensive language, as epithets, profanity, vulgarity and obscenity. For the present study, 128 taboo instances, which fall under different categories, were found in the movies and along with the types of taboo words used in movies, functions of taboo words are also explained according to the context. Transcriptions technique by Powers (2005) was used to transcribe the data. The researcher found that the most discussed topic in the movies is “love” while other related words like “bitch ( کتیہ، کینہ ور یا بد فطرت عورت )”, “asshole (چوتڑ )”, “one sided love( یک طرفہ
پیار )”, “life partner( جیون ساتھی )”, “love marriage ( محبت کی شادی )”, “lesbian ( ہم جنس پرست
عورت )”, “bastard ( حرامی )”, “honeymoon (ماہِ عُسل )”, boyfriend ( رفیق. چاہنے والا )”, “girlfriend ( ساتھ گھومنے والی عورت یا لڑکی )”, and “hell(دوزخ )” were also found which are uttered by the characters of the movies. The findings show that the speakers in Urdu movies of Pakistan partially or completely switched to English language for mentioning taboo topics and objects. They showed a sound recognition and knowledge about the taboos within the Pakistani society, which helped them euphemize those topics by using English language.
Language and Gender in Children’s Picture Books in Pakistan: A Multimodal Analysis
Gender as a social and cultural phenomenon, rather than a biological one, is instituted in children in early stages and children’s picture books play an imperative role in shaping up such gender related views and attitudes. Following these lines, the focus area of this study is gender depiction in children picture books written by Pakistani authors. Reading being one of the most frequent activities done by children plays a significant role in teaching them appropriate values and attitudes. Children who are unable to read by themselves observe illustrations in picture books and imbibe what is presented to them. Hence, the current study attempts to look at the use of language and the portrayal of gender in the selected children’s picture books written by Pakistani authors. For this purpose, qualitative descriptive approach was adopted and textual analysis of six selected picture books was conducted to identify and analyze the gender depiction through the use of linguistic and non-linguistic areas of text. For linguistics analysis the study is based on Dale Spender Dominance approach to language (1980). To investigate the adjectives used to describe characters of different genders the study is based on Turner Bowker (1996) and Alsagoff (2009) categorization of adjectives. Using Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (2006) Representational meaning as a focus the illustrations were analyzed to identify gender biases in images of children's picture books. The findings of the study reveal that male and female characters were assigned gender-oriented tasks confirming them to traditional and stereotypical gender roles. Male characters are described as active, arrogant and proud while females are described as beautiful, clumsy and scared showing females as submissive and subservient. Most females are in the role of daughter, mother and sister; even if women are shown in the public domain, they are assigned tasks which require nurturing and caring abilities. On the other hand, male is shown in the position of authority. This study is imperative for parents, teachers, peers and authors of children's books to select gender neutral books for children to help children develop a positive self-image of themselves and others.