Katherine Heller

Thesis title: Fan Culture and Retranslation: The 'Sailor Moon' Franchise


Katherine is currently in the second year of her PhD in Translation Studies. Her previous studies were also undertaken in Edinburgh; an undergraduate degree in Japanese and an MSc in Translation Studies.

She has also worked as a freelance translator in areas such as anime subtitling, tourism and marketing. Katherine currently tutors in Japanese-English translation on the Japanese Language Lower Intermediate course.

Her research interests lie in the areas of comics translation, audiovisual translation, publishing, reception, and fan studies.


  • PhD Translation Studies, University of Edinburgh, 2021-present
  • MSC Translation Studies, University of Edinburgh, 2018-2019
  • MA Japanese, University of Edinburgh, 2014-2018

Responsibilities & affiliations

Student representative for PhD Translation Studies

Research summary

Katherine works in the language pairing of Japanese-English and her PhD project is explores the impact that fan communities can have on commercial manga and anime (re)translation, focusing specifically on the case of the 'Sailor Moon' franchise.

Her research research aims to examine (1) how the expansion of fan audiences and the creation of fan translations has influenced the strategies used in professional translations, (2) what today’s fan audiences want from a retranslation of a ‘classic’ title, and (3) how different (re)translations align with different fan communities’ definitions of ‘authenticity’.

Katherine's PhD is funded by the University of Edinburgh College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science Research Award for Literatures, Languages and Cultures.


Co-organiser of the University of Edinburgh Translation Studies Research Seminar Series 2022-present