1st Edition

The Cultural Turn in Translation Studies

By Wang Ning Copyright 2024

    Applying the latest Western translation theories to the situation in China, this book redefines translation from an interdisciplinary and intercultural perspective, bringing intercultural semiotic translation into the sight of translation researchers.

    This book systematically expounds on the cultural turn in translation studies and contributes to the escape of translation studies from the "cage of language". It focuses on discussing the deconstructive, postmodernist, and cultural translation theories that have motivated and promoted the cultural turn, especially Benjamin’s translation theory, Derrida’s deconstructive view of translation, and postcolonial translation theory. It also discusses in detail the theories of major international translation theorists, including Hillis Miller, Wolfgang Iser, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, André Lefevere, Susan Bassnett, and Lawrence Venuti. These theories are mostly based on examples from Western or English-language texts, leaving a wide gap in the discourse of the field. This book seeks to fill that gap. For example, intercultural semiotic translation is defined and explained through the successful experiences of the Chinese translator Fu Lei. The role of translation during the Chinese revolution and the relocation of Chinese culture in the global cultural landscape through translation are also discussed.

    This book will be an essential read to students and scholars of translation studies and Chinese studies. It will also be a useful resource for translators and researchers of comparative literature and cultural studies.

    1. Introduction: The cultural turn in translation studies and the turn to translation studies in cultural studies 2. Theorizing translation studies: An interdisciplinary perspective 3 .The cultural turn of deconstruction: Benjamin and Derrida 4. Deconstruction and cultural criticism: Domestication and foreignization in translation 5. The theory and practice of postcolonial translation 6. The intervention of comparative literature and cultural studies 7. Intersemiotic translation and the “visual turn” in cultural studies 8. Translation and the relocation of cultures 9. The role of translation in the Chinese revolution 10. The future of translation studies in the age of globalization


    Professor Wang Ning is currently Dean of the School of Humanities and Distinguished University Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. He has been a Changjiang Distinguished Professor in the Foreign Languages and Literature Department of Tsinghua University, China, where he was also a member of the Academic Committee of the University and Head of the Academic Committee of the Department. His academic titles also include past President of the Chinese Comparative Literature Association, Vice President of the Chinese Association of Chinese and Foreign Literary Theory, and Vice President of the Chinese Association for Theory of Literature and Art. Professor Wang is the author of more than 20 books in Chinese, and 3 in English, including After Postmodernism (2023) by Routledge.

    "This book critically examines the complex interplay between translation studies, comparative literature, and cultural studies, fostering intercultural dialogue in a globalized world. It highlights the central role of cultural translation, offers valuable insights, and contributes significantly to our understanding of the inextricable link between translation and cultural studies."

    Yifeng SunChair Professor of Translation Studies, University of Macau


    "In The Cultural Turn in Translation Studies, Prof. Wang Ning masterfully decenters some of the concepts that have attracted the attention of comparatists and translation scholars for decades, infusing them with a welcome Asian perspective that comes not only from his distinguished academic career, but also from his work as a translator of Western literary and scholarly works."

    Roberto A. Valdeón, Full Professor in English Studies, Universidad de Oviedo


    "This book contributes significantly to establishing Translation Studies as an independent and important discipline by expanding its objects of study and methodology. It is a must-read for all scholars of translation and cultural studies seeking to understand what is heading at this moment in these two fields."

    Zou Li, Managing Editor of Culture as Text