STRONG AS A TYPHOON: AFFECT, TRANSLATION AND GENDER PEDAGOGY IN WALT DISNEY’S MULAN
Keywords:Mulan, queer linguistics, translation and activism, macho pedagogy, Disney
This article revisits the movie Mulan (Disney, 1998), by comparing the translation of the song I’ll make a man out of you in German (Sei ein Mann), French (Comme um homme), and Portuguese (Homem ser). Such comparison makes it possible to think about meaning equivalences. The translations converged around the convention of masculinity and the social construction of what it meant to be a man, supported by signs that refer to nature. This paper compares the ways in which versions of the song translated a warlike Chinese ideal of masculinity that made pedagogy of an American ideal of masculinity and success. The context is ideal for gender pedagogy because, in the Confucian Chinese culture, bringing honor to the family was achieved only through impeccable performance of the gender roles. The methodology used in the analysis mixes affective triggers of discourse, queer linguistics, and activist criticism. Among the findings is the presence of bellicose signs and nature in the construction of an idealized masculinity. Also notable is the narrative maintenance of a gendered destiny despite the constitutive flaws of the course. Ultimately, this politically engaged analysis (BAKER, 2013; BALDO, 2020) envisions denouncing the silencing of queer understandings of success as well as the inconsistencies constitutive of gender systems and their cultural translatability that are Disney’s institutional project.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Gleiton Matheus Bonfante
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