The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Great Moments in Translation

July 6, 2005

Patrick Jackson and Peter Mandaville co-authored a terrific chapter for Iver Neumann’s and my edited book on “Harry Potter and International Relations.”

Okay, you can stop laughing at us now. We all had fun writing the volume and it does, actually, have some academic merit.

Anyway, the point I was going to make is this:

Patrick and Peter have some very interesting things to say about the politics of translation involved in the Harry Potter books, both in the literal sense – how one translates, for example, an English-language book into Arabic – and in the cultural sense- how one localizes a piece of popular culture.

Google, apparently, is not the way to go. As if translating Japanese in the “cultural sense” isn’t hard enough…

Thanks to Sadly, No! for making me laugh today.

Oh, and if anyone has any good title ideas, we’re still looking.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.