Translation as Actor-Networking
Actors, Agencies, and Networks in the Making of Arthur Waley’s English Translation of the Chinese 'Journey to the West'
This book employs actor-network theory (ANT) to explore the making of the English translation of a work of Chinese canonical fiction, Journey to the West, demonstrating how ANT, as applied to Translation Studies, can contribute to a richer understanding of the translation process.
The volume builds on previous research to apply ANT theory to translation studies by looking in-depth at a single work, highlighting the unique factors underpinning the making of Monkey, Arthur Waley’s English translation of the Chinese classic Journey to the West, which make the work an ideal candidate for showing ANT theory in practice in translation. Luo uses an in-depth exploration of the work to examine the ways in which both human and nonhuman translation actors and agents interact in different ways in the publication of this translation, showcasing them as dynamic, changing, and active participants whose roles shifted over the course of the translation process, rather than as fixed entities as traditionally categorized in existing research. The book moves beyond a descriptive account of an ANT-based case study toward offering a systematic theoretical and methodological framework of ANT-based translation studies, using the conclusions drawn from its application to a single work to suggest a way forward for applying ANT in translation production on a wider scale.
This book will be of interest to scholars in translation studies, sociology, and comparative literature, particularly those interested in actor-network theory or network studies and their application to related disciplinary fields.
Wenyan Luo received her PhD in 2019 from Durham University, UK. Her research interests lie in text analysis in translation, history of translation between English and Chinese, translation ethics, translator studies, and sociology of translation, in particular Actor-network Theory-approached translation studies.