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 16:15 to 16:35 Oral Communication
The politics of translation and translation of politics in post-revolutionary Iran
Speaker: Shabnam Saadat, University of Manchester

Authors: Shabnam Saadat

Textual practices, including translation, have been controlled, banned or exploited by hegemonic groups throughout history, from the early times when Persian kings forced non-conformist writers to lick off ink from the pages of their writings (Milani 1985) to present day, when dominant groups resort to (non)translation to block incongruent ideas and to promulgate hegemonic norms and values. With a sociological perspective in mind, in this paper I shift the focus from the texts to contextual factors. Framing translation as an instantiation of structure/agency interplay, I draw on structuration theory (Giddens 1984) to investigate how translation activity in post-revolutionary Iran is conditioned by socio-political determinants and how (non)translation is instrumentalised to perpetuate hegemonic discourse. In doing so, the data was collected from quantitative and qualitative sources. The catalogues of books published in post-revolutionary Iran, particularly in the domain of children’s and adolescents’ literature, were consulted to delineate how publication flows were conditioned and directed toward the ideological priorities set by the political institutions controlling the publishing industry. To further investigation in a smaller frame, the official and prosumer translations of A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin were textually and paratextually analysed. Reproducing and thus reinforcing the values ideologically sanctioned, translation within Iranian official circles is implicated in the structures of domination and legitimation to conform to the poetics deemed appropriate by the agents representing the state monitoring system. However, the emergence of prosumer translations circulating in cyberspace can be perceived as an attempt to take control of discourse and to resist the state rules, which use translation as a locale to disseminate hegemonic norms and values.

Shabnam Saadat has recently passed her PhD viva and waits for her official graduation from the University of Manchester. Her research focuses on sociology of translation, censorship, and the interplay between top-down interventions and bottom-up agency in literary scenes. She is also a literary translator and has published 12 translations so far.
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Submited paper (124 KB)

Session G1
Place: Room 5

Other activities in Session G1
16:35 h. to 16:55 h.Oral Communication

Translation, an instrument of hate? The representation of migrants in Spanish and English translations

Speaker: Esther Monzó Nebot, Universitat Jaume I
16:55 h. to 17:15 h.Oral Communication

Explorando el papel de lo político en la enseñanza de la traducción: Activismo, compromiso social y deconstrucción

Speaker: Raquel Pacheco Aguilar, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
17:15 h. to 17:30 h.Discussion


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