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The Politics of Translation Metaphors: Shaping Translation Studies, Situating the Translator

Researcher: Angela Kölling
Funding: CERGU/Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Period: 2013-2016

Drawing on past metaphorical representations and insights from recent studies in metaphor theory, I investigate how metaphors may arrest or transform translation studies and position translators in European local, national, and global cooperative networks. Such metaphors as the translator as mediator, traitor or agent of empire significantly shape the way in which we understand translation; they aid in the training of translators and theorists and foreground aspects of translation to be studied. Most practitioners and theorists of translation are familiar with or even produce their own metaphors for translation: which perceptions and inferences follow from them, what actions do they sanction in a globalised world that depends on dialectical, possibly uneven and developmental intercultural cooperation?

In particular, I am interested in the way metaphors may affect the role of translations and translators at international book fairs, which are ideal study sites because they act as reference points for current global and local economic, cultural and literary developments. Here, the rubber of world literature and translation theory meets the road.

My research cuts across the fields of comparative literature studies, translation studies, creative writing, cultural studies, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and education. Consequently, my study makes use of historical studies, analyses current coverage in the trade journals, periodicals and public medial; draws on conversations with organisers, exhibitors, visitors and representatives of publishers and booksellers associations, statistics released by the selected book fairs, as well as my own experience and observations, and targeted interviews with translators involved in the bookfair networks.

Page Manager: Annika Andersson|Last update: 3/1/2017
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