Theories on the Move

Translation’s Role in the Travels of Literary Theories


Within translation studies books on translating conceptually dense texts, such as philosophical or theoretical writings, are remarkably few. Although the translation of literature has been a favourite topic for many decades, the translation of theories on literature has been neglected. The phrase ‘theories of translation’ is everywhere, but ‘translation of theories’ is a rare sight.
On the other hand, the term ‘translation’ has become a commonplace in literary and cultural studies – yet usually as a rhetorical figure describing the fate of those who struggle between two worlds and two languages, such as migrants or women. Not much attention has been paid to the role of ‘translation proper’ in contemporary circulation of ideas.
The book addresses these gaps in translation studies and in literary studies for the first time by examining two specific cases where translation strategies and patterns crucially influenced the reception of imported schools of thought. By examining the importation of structuralism and semiotics into Turkish and of French feminism into English, it invites the readers to think about the impact of translation on the transmission of ideas across linguistic-cultural borders and power differentials. It is, therefore, of particular interest to the scholars working in translation studies, in literary and cultural theory, and in gender studies.

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Founded by James S. Holmes
Developed by Ton Naaijkens, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Edited by:
Karen Bennett, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal,
Leo Tak-hung Chan, Lingnan University, Hong Kong,
Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi,
Hephzibah Israel, University of Edinburgh, UK,
Gabriela Saldanha, University of Birmingham, UK,
Tom Toremans, KU Leuven, Belgium,
Michaela Wolf, Universität Graz, Austria
"All in all, this is an admirably well-written book which puts forward a wealth of innovative arguments for the discipline through the clear and thorough explanation of two relevant, original case studies." – in: Translation Studies 1/2 (July 2008)
"…an impressive, stimulating and provocative study, indeed essential reading. It thoroughly meets its explicit objective to challenge and enhance both descriptive and postcolonial approaches to translation ‘from within’." – in: The Translator 45/1 (2009)
1. Travelling theory translated
2. Structuralism and semiotics in Turkey and French feminism in Anglo-America
3. Tropes in the travels of theory
4. Image formation: ‘Turkish Barthes’ and ‘Anglo-American Cixous’
5. Multiple-entry visa to travelling theory
6. Translating theory into politics
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