Palma (Mallorca) from 27 to 29 June 2016
I International Conference:
The (politics of) translation (of politics)

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Tuesday 28 June, 2016 09:50 to 10:10 Oral Communication
U.S.-American socialist authors in Eastern German translation – friends or foes?
Speaker: Hanna Blum, University of Graz

Authors: Hanna Blum

After the reunification of Germany and the opening of GDR archives, translation scholars have mainly concentrated their research on the study of print permit files to demonstrate institutionalized censorship in the GDR (see Thomson-Wohlgemuth 2009). However, non-translations and anthologies as translations in the GDR are still an understudied aspect of censorship. Since literature played an important role in forming a “new man” (Ulbricht 1950:149f.) in the GDR, censorship was an omnipresent part of the publishing process of translations which did not only happen in the form of textual manipulation but began with the selection of works as prior censorship (Merkle 2010:15). Many foreign authors and their works were at least partly excluded from the publication in the GDR; this did not only apply to authors and works not compliant with socialist ideology but also to authors who were outspoken socialists and expressed their political opinion in their texts such as U.S.-American naturalist authors. A small case study will look at the corpus of these U.S.-American naturalist authors to see which writers and works were published in the GDR and in which form. The results will be analyzed against the background of the Eastern German cultural policy and the respective print permit files to find possible reasons for non-translations despite the ideological conformity. Another important aim will be to reveal the role of translators concerning (non-)translations and the creation of anthologies. The study’s outcomes will be compared and contrasted to shed more light on the governmental influence on the publishing process and literary field of the GDR which will help to grasp the phenomenon of censorship in the GDR in a more detailed way.

Hanna Blum holds an MA degree in translation and education for English. She studied at the University of Graz where she is currently employed as a research assistant at the Department of Translation Studies and is working on her PhD thesis on the topic of U.S.-American socialist authors in the GDR. Her main research areas are translation and ideology, history of translation and postcolonialism in translation studies.
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Session D1
Place: Room 5

Other activities in Session D1
09:30 h. to 09:50 h.Oral Communication

Traveling Theories in German and Soviet Translation Studies

Speaker: Anastasia Shakhova, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
10:10 h. to 10:20 h.Discussion


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