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Tailored Translations – Translating and Transporting Cosplay Costumes

journal contribution
posted on 2021-01-15, 03:53 authored by Emerald King
This article proposes that each of the cosplay costumes constructed by entrants in the WCS, as well as those made by fan costumiers globally, can be read as texts, and as such are effectively fan made, multimedia translations that cross cultural, social, and linguistic boundaries. For the purpose of this article, ‘cosplay’ will be used as an umbrella term to denote not only the act of constructing and wearing a cosplay (costume play) costume, but also the related activities of creating photo shoots, music videos, and competition skits, and the resulting products (soft and hard copy images, short films, YouTube videos, music videos, et cetera) which are often shared amongst cosplayers and cosplay fans via the internet. Rather than examining the fandom activity of dressing as a favourite character (which, despite cosplay studies’ status as a fairly new area of serious investigation, has been admirably examined by Craig Norris and Justin Bainbridge (2009, 2013), Nicolle Lamerichs (2011), and Theresa Winge (2006), for example) the focus of this piece will be on the most visually significant aspect of cosplay—the very costumes that fan practitioners construct as a part of their hobby.


Publication Date



Signata: Annales des sémiotiques/Annals of Semiotics






16p. (p. 361-376)


Presses universitaires de Liège (PULg)



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