Sketching landscapes in translation studies: A bibliographic study
Federico Zanettina*, Gabriela Saldanhab & Sue-Ann Hardingc
- Received: 1 Jul 2014
- Accepted: 14 Jan 2015
- Published online: 10 Apr 2015
This paper investigates how subfields within translation studies have been defined and how research interests and foci have shifted over the years, using data from the Translation Studies Abstracts (TSA) online database. We draw on the notions of ‘landscape’ and ‘sketch maps’ in an attempt to reflect on the role that TSA editors, as well as writers of papers and abstracts, have had on the dynamics of the field. We start by offering an overview of the contents of the database, and reflect on how bibliographical tools ultimately represent partial views of a disciplinary landscape. We look at how different bibliographies devise categories for describing topics of research and thus create maps to navigate that landscape. However, maps are static devices, unable to represent how the landscape was shaped historically. Thus, we also use a TSA corpus to observe how classifications and the frequencies of keywords have changed at different points in time, while reflecting on how, as inhabitants of this landscape, editors of bibliographies affect the extent to which the data is both representative of and informed by the field, and as colonizers, they impose their order upon it.