The fifth annual conference of the SPP 2130 ‘Early Modern Translation Cultures’ will take place in person at the Burkardushaus in Würzburg on 13–15 September 2023. For cases of illness or similar, it is possible to listen to some of the lectures via Zoom. Interested parties are cordially invited to register in good time with Annkathrin Koppers (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Updated 14 Sept. 2023, 8 am
Public Panel: Translating Diversity (in German)
Translators are not bodyless and historyless beings. They inscribe themselves and their own subjective understandings as well as culturally dominant social and sexual norms into their translations, which they moreover gear towards specific target groups consisting of persons with certain identity markers. The philological utopia of a ‘faithful’ translation – that is, the reproduction of the source text without deviation in meaning – long distorted our perception of the hierarchizing and gender-normalizing practices of translation. This went hand in hand with the marginalization of translators, whose work, if it was perceived at all, was belittled as secondary, receptive, and passive.
The conference turns the spotlight on gender and diversity and inquires into the relationship between translation and gender in the Early Modern period: To what extent did culturally formed identity concepts and group affiliations influence the work of translation and vice versa? How did Early Modern translations contribute to the establishment of social values and gender-specific ideals? Contrary practices of translation are equally conceivable – practices that counteracted and undermined social norms through references to recognized authorities as well as through normativity-critical interpretations of the source text. In keeping with Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble (1990) and her theory of the performativity of gender, translation can be understood as a process in which gender-normative acts can be reproduced, stabilized, but also criticized by way of “translating gender”.