1st Edition

Experiencing Translationality Material and Metaphorical Journeys

By Piotr Blumczynski Copyright 2023
    222 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This innovative book takes the concept of translation beyond its traditional boundaries, adding to the growing body of literature which challenges the idea of translation as a primarily linguistic transfer.

    To gain a fresh perspective on the work of translation in the complex processes of meaning-making across physical, social and cultural domains (conceptualized as translationality), Piotr Blumczynski revisits one of the earliest and most fundamental senses of translation: corporeal transfer. His study of translated religious officials and translated relics reframes our understanding of translation as a process creating a sense of connection with another time, place, object or person. He argues that a promise of translationality animates a broad spectrum of cultural, artistic and commercial endeavours: it is invoked, for example, in museum exhibitions, art galleries, celebrity endorsements, and the manufacturing of musical instruments. Translationality offers a way to reimagine the dynamic entanglements of matter and meaning, space and time, past and present.

    This book will be of interest to students and scholars in translation studies as well as related disciplines such as the history of religion, anthropology of art, and material culture.

    Table of contents

    List of figures



    1. What does translation do?

    2. Squaring the circle: episcopal translations

    3. Holy bones: translations of relics

    4. From gift shops to the Custom Shop: translationality for sale

    5. The experience of translationality




    Piotr Blumczynski is Senior Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting at Queen’s University Belfast. He is the author of Ubiquitous Translation (2016), co-editor of The Languages of COVID-19 (2023) and editor-in-chief of the journal Translation Studies.