TSJ VOLUME 4(1) - 2015
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2015
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: APRIL 15, 2015
For a collection of articles for the 2015 volume, we are inviting scholars and translators from diverse disciplines and perspectives to reflect on the following issues, and specifically on the basic notion ofappropriationthat often shape the translations we read and produce.
Is appropriation into the target culture inevitable? If so, is it a negative, homogenizing force, or a positive world gain? Are there viable examples of alternative modes of translation?
Even when translation involves appropriation of the source text, does this lead to an enrichment of world literature, or to a global homogenization? What are, then, the ethical stakes involved? Are they different than they were a thousand years ago? Ultimately, we expect to see practices or studies of translations that convey all three of these points of view.
In particular, we anticipate stimulating results from the integration of the historical perspective with contemporary views on appropriation in literary translation.
If you would like to submit a paper to be considered for publication in this volume, please have a look at the submission guidelines in the left hand side column and contact the Managing Editors Viola G. Miglio (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Katie Jan (email@example.com) directly.
We expect that most of the articles collected in this volume will be taken from the conference on Literature and Global Culture taking place at University of California, Santa Barbara on January 23-24, 2015, the rationale for the chosen topic is expounded in the text below. A list of participating speakers follows after the text.
Literature and Global Culture: The Voice of the Translator
How do translators seek to preserve or displace their source texts? To what extent do translators adapt their work for their new target audience and, in the process, perhaps overwrite the original culture expressed by and through the source text? To what extent does a translation always implicate some amount of appropriation? Our conference seeks to address current debates surrounding untranslatability and the implications of this claim within the postcolonial context of globalization.
In 2003, David Damrosch defined world literature as, among other things, “a writing that gains in translation,” thus supporting the view that works of world literature are those that “take on a new life” when they appear in another language or move across national borders. When editors and translators participate in this process conscientiously, translation is largely a positive phenomenon that may lead to increased consumption of the original works, cross-cultural understanding, and a general enrichment of world literature itself.
InAgainst World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability(2013), Emily Apter argues against the translation of works of literature in such a manner that effectively combines them into one world literature accessible and understandable to all. For Apter, this misconception originates in a largely capitalistic system, which, while claiming to increase cross-cultural understanding under the guise of “world literature,” in reality homogenizes non-Western texts, appropriating other cultures for Western readers. Apter is not saying anything significantly new; Susan Bassnett, inTranslation Studies(Routledge), for example, has noted that European and especially Anglo-American traditions of translation, since at least the 19th century, have been about translation as appropriation and conquest.
Within the contexts of classical and medieval translation, Rita Copeland has addressed the pitfalls of translation that Damrosch addresses and that Apter examines in detail. Copeland’s exploration of translation practices extends as far back as the Romans, when translators used Greek texts not to try to preserve their original forms and meanings but to enrich Roman culture and prestige. As Damrosch noted in 2003, “our sophisticated critical methods and refined cultural sensitivity have not yet sufficed to keep us from falling into errors and abuses that were common a hundred and even a thousand years ago.”
But is translation as appropriation an “error” and “abuse,” or is it merely an inevitable element of the transfer of textual knowledge from one culture to another? Do we have different responsibilities as global citizens than Cicero did as a Roman? Are our responsibilities located within the political realm, as Apter asserts, or the literary one, as Damrosch foregrounds? Is the very concept of literary style bound to change as the novel goes global?
We have invited scholars and translators from diverse disciplines and perspectives to reflect on the basic notions of appropriation that often shape the translations we read and produce. Is appropriation into the target culture inevitable? If so, is it a negative, homogenizing force, or a positive world gain? Are there viable examples of alternative modes of translation? Even when translation involves appropriation of the source text, does this lead to an enrichment of world literature, or to a global homogenization? What are, then, the ethical stakes involved? Are they different than they were a thousand years ago? Ultimately, we expect to see practices or studies of translations that convey all three of these points of view, which is precisely the interest of a conference of this kind; the unification of multiple perspectives leads to a fruitful dialogue. In particular, we anticipate stimulating results from the integration of the historical perspective with contemporary views.
University of California, Santa Barbara
Literature and Global Culture: The Voice of the Translator
Friday January 23 and Saturday January 24, 2015 HSSB 6020
Béatrice Muesli Bennett (University of Southern California) Guy Bennett (Otis College of Art and Design) Peter Roland Bush (Oxford, UK) Olga Castro (Aston University) Chunyan Chen (Zhongkai University of Agriculture and Engineering) Odile Cisneros, (University of Alberta) Nicole Côté (University of Sherbrooke) Jody Enders (UCSB) Ástráður Eysteinsson (University of Iceland) Amaia Gabantxo (University of Chicago) Rainier Grutman (University of Ottawa School of Translation and Interpretation) Dominique Jullien (UCSB) Sona Haroutyunian (University of Venice) Yunte Huang (UCSB) Suzanne Jill Levine (UCSB) Alfred MacAdam (Barnard College) Cristina Messineo (University of Buenos Aires) Peggy McCracken (University of Michigan) Viola G. Miglio (UCSB) Amanda Powell (University of Oregon) Rose Réjouis (The New School) Sima Sharifi (University of Ottawa School of Translation and Interpretation) Ngugi Wa Thiong'o (University of California, Irvine) Dennis Tedlock (The State University of New York at Buffalo) Val Vinokur (The New School) Dongfeng Wang (Sun Yatsen University) Jie Zhang (Anhui Normal University)
Sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the Graduate Center for Literary Research, the Translation Studies PhD Emphasis, the Graduate Division, the College of Creative Studies, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, the Department of French and Italian, the Department of Global Studies, the Department of Linguistics, Barandiaran Chair of Basque Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.