Translations are by their very nature a space of transcultural encounter, yet they are simultaneously also a practice of frontier-breaching. The purpose of our TransUnit is to visualize, contextualize, and interpret processes of translations through an interactive world-map, where the material and spatial dimensions of translation practices are linked to interregional encounters through a visual representation. Rather than narrowing the discussion to a political entity, such as a state or an empire with national borders, we suggest focusing on the spatial depiction of routes, practices, and actors of translations that crossed administrative boundaries. The idea is to highlight the dynamic transcultural, cross-regional, and inter-religious nature of translation processes as well as to explore the geographic dimensions of translation practices and interregional encounters.
With the help of IT experts our TransUnit will develop categories (persons, places, objects etc.) and an easy-to-use interface. This technical tool will also be available to other SPP members, who can then feed the data of their projects into the system, and thus display their findings. We would like to integrate this map as part of the homepage of the SPP and simultaneously connect it with similar websites. The project is also an exercise in digital humanities aimed to utilize Geographic Information System (GIS) digital mapping. ‘Mapping Translation’ will thus take clues from established programs such as the Imperiia: Mapping the Russian Empire at Harvard University.
The final objective is to incorporate the findings of the SPP into a digital map, which in turn will offer the individual as well as the overall projects an additional layer of spatial interpretation of the Early Modern translation cultures.
Irena Fliter, Project Manager of the project ‘Camondo Family’
Avi Siluk, Research Assitant of the project ‘Pietist Mission’
Diego Stefanelli, Research Assistant of the project ‘Scientific translations’
Alberto Tiburcio, Research Assistant of the project ‘Knowledge in the Sea’