Translation and Politics
University of Liege, 7-9 May 2015
The words ‘translation’ and ‘politics’ are so frequently used in a metaphorical sense that it can be safely claimed both that everything depends on translation and that everything is involved in politics. It is clear, however, that from the beginning the two fields, as indeed language and power, are closely related. Translation is about understanding the other and being understood, or better about conveying a message which will often be reshaped to fit a purpose, whether it be marketing, negotiations, projected expectations of a target audience, when not straightforward propaganda. The relation between translation and politics will be examined in the selection and processing of texts (including deliberate or unconscious censorship or shifts in meaning) as well as in the kinds of publication that is favoured. Two areas of studies should prove particularly stimulating, namely gender and postcolonialism, which may remind us of the unequal weight of languages. The part played by translation in international institutions and in multilingual countries can also be examined. Case studies of the impact of translation on conflict situations will be taken into consideration.
Invited Speakers: Mona Baker, Michael Cronin, Christina Schaeffner