1st Edition

The Sociology of Translation and the Politics of Sustainability Explorations Across Cultures and Natures

    240 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book uses sustainability to explore the interfaces between translation studies, the cultural history of knowledge, and Science and Technology studies (STS).


    The volume examines various material, cultural and epistemic translation practices where sustainability serves as a boundary object between natural and cultural inquiry. By turning to the intellectual traditions that influenced but were left behind by STS and actor-network theory (ANT), we aim to challenge and expand the Sociology of Translation developed in ANT. Concepts such as ‘inscription’ (Derrida), ‘actant’, ‘narrative’ (Greimas), and ‘world/worlding’ (Heidegger, Spivak) were reemployed – translated – in the canonical STS-texts. What networks of meaning were left behind in this reemployment? The book showcases a combination of cultural and knowledge historical perspectives on the construction of the Sociology of Translation and practical experiments across the registers of nature and culture is novel. There have been brilliant individual attempts to realign the Sociology of Translation with narratives and modes of enunciation, but none has related the Sociology of Translation to the networks and traditions which enabled it but to which it erased its relations and debts.


    This innovative work will appeal to scholars in translation studies, cultural studies, environmental humanities, medical humanities, and Science and Technology studies.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at http://www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.

    List of Contributors


    Introduction: The Sociology of Translation and the Politics of Sustainability

    John Ødemark and Clemet Askheim


    Part I



    1. Symmetry, Inscriptions, and the Epistemological Residue of Writing – a Deconstructive Reading of Laboratory Life

    Eivind Engebretsen, Trine Krigsvoll Haagensen and John Ødemark

    2. These images will not save us – Cosmology and the Visual Genealogy of Our Common Future

    Trine Krigsvoll Haagensen


    Part II

    Narrative Agency


    3. Narrating Non-Human Agency – The ‘ANT-Account’ and the Literary Prehistory of the Actant

    Åmund Norum Resløkken and John Ødemark

    4. Nature Spirits and Nonhumans: Symmetry and Translations of Genres in New Animism

    Åmund Norum Resløkken

    5. On Becoming Microbes and People with Texts: Moving Academic Writing Towards Responsible Agency

    Carolina Rau Steuernagel, Åmund Norum Resløkken and Ida Lillehagen


    Part III

    Worlding Culture and Politics


    6. Another Story is Possible – The Politics of Form in the ANT Account

    Clemet Askheim

    7. From Global Health to Planetary Health: Translating Registers of Human Health

    Tony Sandset and Stian Brynildsen

    8. Indigenous Eschatology and Global Sustainability – Translating a Juruna Tale from Xingu

    John Ødemark




    John Ødemark is Professor of Cultural History and Museology at the University of Oslo, Norway.


    Åmund Resløkken is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo, Norway.


    Ida Lillehagen is Researcher at the Health Science Education Center at the University of Oslo, Norway.


    Eivind Engebretsen is Vice-Dean for Postgraduate Studies at the Faculty of Medicine and Professor of interdisciplinary health science at the University of Oslo, Norway.