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Translating literature, translating culture (Seminar)

Dozent/in: Emer O'Sullivan

wöchentlich | Dienstag | 14:15 - 15:45 | 16.10.2023 - 02.02.2024 | C 5.310 Seminarraum

Inhalt: The act of translation is regarded as being at the centre of most acts of cultural transfer, and the study of translation – especially literary translation – has developed in many countries since the 1970s to become a separate and specialised field of research. The idea of "cultural translation", introduced by Homi Bhaba in the 1990s to denote a set of discourses that enact hybridity by crossing cultural borders, with a focus on the intermediary positions of translators, can be understood as a process in which there is no source text and often no fixed target text. The focus is on cultural processes rather than products, on the movement of people rather than the movement of texts. The new, wider forms of translation studies draws, for instance, on ideas of translation from social anthropology, where it is the job of the ethnographer to describe the foreign culture, to notions from postcolonial theory on dominance and resistance. In this seminar, we will look at and analyse different examples of translated texts, and examine the theories and methodology of (text based) translation studies. We will move beyond the text to look at issues such as gender and translation, book translation as a cultural word system, identity and survival of minority cultures, or how language mediates experience across cultures with regard to travel. Most, but not all, of the translations we will be examining in the text-based part of the seminar will be from German into English or vice versa. Students who wish to give a presentation or write a term paper on translations from or into other languages are very welcome.