What Do We Really Mean By Cultural Translation?


5:00 PM - 6:00 PM



  • Time: 5:00-6:00PM
  • Date: Wednesday, 10 November 2021
  • Venue: HS436 & Zhumu (Please contact Yangyang.Long@xjtlu.edu.cn for Zhumu details)


Translation is not a subject that can be conceived in any traditional way. It is a way of interpreting and representing the products and processes of the world around us. Accordingly, this talk is concerned with the conceptualisation of cultural translation and how it goes beyond the use of it as a metaphor to refer to efforts to translate a foreign cultural community for a domestic audience in Anthropology, and to describe the effect that immigrants have when they entered a different national community in Postcolonialism. Moving past the Anthropology/Postcolonialism dichotomy, this talk discusses the ethics of translation and how the anxieties of translation as an intellectual method and writing practice can be used to question ways of representation, whether textual, visual, scientific or ideological.


Professor David Johnston is Musgrave Chair Professor at Queen’s University Belfast and Adjunct Professor in Translation Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. He has published widely on the relationship between translation theory and practice, and is frequently invited to speak at international conferences and universities throughout the world on this aspect of his work in general and on the relationship between translation and performance in particular. He is a multi-award-winning translator for performance whose practical and theoretical work emphasises the translator as creative agent and translation itself as deriving from the sort of choices that characterise first-order writing. His scholarly reputation led to his election to the Academia Europaea. He is currently co-editing (with Prof. Susan Bassnett) Debates in Translation Studies for Routledge.

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