Translation and Empire: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Translation and Empire

1st Edition

By Douglas Robinson


132 pages

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Paperback: 9781900650083
pub: 1997-11-01
Hardback: 9781138146587
pub: 2016-05-11
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315760476
pub: 2014-04-08
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Arising from cultural anthropology in the late 1980s and early 1990s, postcolonial translation theory is based on the observation that translation has often served as an important channel of empire. Douglas Robinson begins with a general presentation of postcolonial theory, examines current theories of the power differentials that control what gets translated and how, and traces the historical development of postcolonial thought about translation. He also explores the negative and positive impact of translation in the postcolonial context, reviewing various critiques of postcolonial translation theory and providing a glossary of key words. The result is a clear and useful guide to some of the most complex and critical issues in contemporary translation studies.

Table of Contents

1. Postcolonial Studies, Translation Studies

Translation and empire

What does postcolonial mean?

The rise of postcolonial theory

Hegemony, subjectification and interpellation

Language, place and self

Beyond nationalism: migrant and border cultures

2. Power Differentials

Translating across power differentials

Disproportionate translations

'Inscrutable' texts


Writing for translation

Theorizing across power differentials

3. Translation as Empire: The Theoretical Record

Emperors and displaced populations

The sublimation of empire: Cicero and Horace

Translatio Imperii et Studii

Taking the original captive

Translation and empire

4. Translation and the Impact of Colonialism

Eric Cheyfitz and the colonization of the New World

Repression and hierarch


Eloquence and dialogue


Centre and periphery

Niranjana and the British interpellation of India

Rafael and the Spanish conversion of the Tagalogs

The hierarch of languages


5. Resistance, Redirection, and Retranslation

Tejaswini Niranjana and retranslation

Vicente Rafael and mistranslation

Samia Mehrez and métissés

6. Criticisms

About the Originator

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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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General