Douglas  Robinson Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Douglas Robinson

Chair Professor of English
Hong Kong Baptist University

I am a theorist of the somatics and performativity of social regulation, in translation, rhetoric, literature, and other communication channels. I'm interested in icosis and ecosis as socioaffective ecologies of human organization.


When I first arrived in Finland as a YFU exchange student, at the age of 16, in 1972, I said to myself: "I will never need Finnish, but I think I'll learn it anyway." And I set myself the modest goal of learning it so well during the 13 months I'd be on exchange there that when I left no one could tell I wasn't a Finn. I didn't quite make it, but almost: before I left a Finn I'd just met asked me how long I'd lived in the US--obviously thinking I was a Finn whose Finnish was slightly Americanized by living there. I then returned to Finland two years later and ended up staying 14 years, getting married and having kids there, becoming a Finnish>English translator, and eventually an Associate Professor of Finnish>English Translation Theory and Practice at the University of Tampere, where I wrote The Translator's Turn. I was wrong about never needing it: that decision to learn Finnish changed my life.


    Ph.D. in English, University of Washington, Seattle, 1983
    Ph.L. in English, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, 1980

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    Translation theory, rhetorical theory, literary theory, language theory
    Somaticity, performativity, icosis/ecosis
    Mengzi, Laozi, Aristotle
    Peirce, Bakhtin, Burke
    Philosophy of mind/body/language



Featured Title
 Featured Title - BECOMING A TRANSLATOR - 1st Edition book cover


 Parallèles 26 (2014): 38-52.

“Embodied Translation: Henri Meschonnic on Translating For/Through the Ear and t

Published: Jun 07, 2016 by Parallèles 26 (2014): 38-52.
Authors: Douglas Robinson

And the Mouth. This form doesn't like long titles!

International Journal of Society, Culture, and Language 2.2 (Fall 2014): 25-40.

“The Inscience of Translation.”

Published: Jun 07, 2016 by International Journal of Society, Culture, and Language 2.2 (Fall 2014): 25-40.
Authors: Douglas Robinson

More riffing on Henri Meschonnic on translation.

Global Media Journal—Canadian Edition 5.1 (2012): 75-94.

“Rhythm as Knowledge-Translation, Knowledge as Rhythm-Translation”

Published: Jun 07, 2016 by Global Media Journal—Canadian Edition 5.1 (2012): 75-94.
Authors: Douglas Robinson

Translational thoughts on knowledge-transfer: translation AS knowledge-transfer, thought through Henri Meschonnic's embodied (rhythm-based) theory of translation.

Minerva 14 (2010): 66-106.

“Liar Paradox Monism: A Wildean Solution to the Explanatory Gap between Material

Published: Jun 07, 2016 by Minerva 14 (2010): 66-106.
Authors: Douglas Robinson

Between Materialism and Qualia. A philosophical reading of Oscar Wilde's "The Decay of Lying" that proposes a paradoxical solution to the explanatory gap between materialism (which traditionally says that qualia can't exist) and qualia.


The Pushing Hands of Translation and its Theory published

By: Douglas Robinson

In 2012 Martha Cheung published an article proposing a pushing-hands (tuishou) approach to the study of translation history:

Cheung, Martha P.Y. (張佩瑤). 2012. “The Mediated Nature of Knowledge and the Pushing-hands Approach to Research on Translation History.” Translation Studies 5.2: 156-171. 

The approach she proposed was so innovative and exciting that it inspired a strong response, and she planned to write a book-length study of it--but unfortunately she died of cancer just a year later, at the young age of 60. This volume offers the next best thing to the book she would have written: a collection of ten scholars' applications of her model to various historical and theoretical problems in Translation Studies (and also her original article).