Representing Others: Translation, Ethnography and Museum, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Representing Others

Translation, Ethnography and Museum, 1st Edition

By Kate Sturge


198 pages

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Paperback: 9781905763016
pub: 2007-07-24
Hardback: 9781138139190
pub: 2016-02-01
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pub: 2014-06-03
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Cultural anthropology has always been dependent on translation as a textual practice, and it has often used 'translation' as a metaphor to describe ethnography's processes of interpretation and cross-cultural comparison. Questions of intelligibility and representation are central to both translation studies and ethnographic writing - as are the dilemmas of cultural distance or proximity, exoticism or appropriation. Similarly, recent work in museum studies discusses problems of representation that are raised by ethnographic museums as multimedia 'translations'. However, as yet there has been remarkably little interdisciplinary exchange: neither has translation studies kept up with the sophistication of anthropology's investigations of meaning, representation and 'culture' itself, nor have anthropology and museum studies often looked to translation studies for analyses of language difference or concrete methods of tracing translation practices.

This book opens up an exciting field of study to translation scholars and suggests possible avenues of cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Translation as metaphor, translation as practice

The translation of culture

Culture as translation

Translation without language difference?

3. The translatability of cultures

Translatability, untranslatability and relativism

Alterity and familiarity in ethnographic translations

4. Historical perspectives

Colonialism and the rise of British anthropology

Translation practices in 'classical' ethnography

E.E. Evans-Pritchard's The Nuer

5. Critical innovations in ethnography

Confession and the translator's preface

Dialogical ethnography


Thick translation

Ethnography at home

Ruth Behar's Translated Woman

6. Ethnographic translations of verbal art

Early twentieth-century collectors

The performance dimension

The use of layers


Translating into target-language canons

7. Museum representations

The museum as translation

Shifting contexts

Ideologies of arrangement: the Pitt Rivers Museum

Faithfulness and authenticity

Verbal interpretation in the museum

Museums as contact zones

8. Ethical Perspectives

Ownership and authority

Dialogue and difference

9. Conclusion

About the Series

Translation Theories Explored

Translation Theories Explored is a series designed to engage with the range and diversity of contemporary translation studies. Translation itself is as vital and as charged as ever. If anything, it has become more plural, more varied and more complex in today\'s world. The study of translation has responded to these challenges with vigour. In recent decades the field has gained in depth, its scope continues to expand and it is increasingly interacting with other disciplines. The series sets out to reflect and foster these developments. It aims to keep track of theoretical developments, to explore new areas, approaches and issues, and generally to extend and enrich the intellectual horizon of translation studies. Special attention is paid to innovative ideas that may not as yet be widely known but deserve wider currency.

Individual volumes explain and assess particular approaches. Each volume combines an overview of the relevant approach with case studies and critical reflection, placing its subject in a broad intellectual and historical context, illustrating the key ideas with examples, summarizing the main debates, accounting for specific methodologies, achievements and blind spots, and opening up new perspectives for the future. Authors are selected not only on their close familiarity and personal affinity with a particular approach but also on their capacity for lucid exposition, critical assessment and imaginative thought. The series is aimed at researchers and graduate students who wish to learn about new approaches to translation in a comprehensive but accessible way.

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