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

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General programme, activity sheet

Tuesday 28 June, 2016 16:15 to 16:35 Oral Communication
Translation, Universalism, and Postcolonialism: translation as a counter-imperialist tool in the writings of Étienne Balibar, Judith Butler, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o
Speaker: Gabriel Dols Gallardo, Universitat de les Illes Balears

Authors: Gabriel Dols Gallardo

Since the late 1970s, translation scholars have been progressively broadening the scope of their field of study, from research based solely on the linguistic or poetic level to an understanding of translation as a bridge between entire cultures, where ideology and power relations play a key role. At the same time, intellectuals from other disciplines have begun to devote attention to translation as a decisive factor for establishing, but also resisting, imperialist power structures. While the rise of poststructuralist theory has submitted humanist discourses and so-called ‘grand narratives’ to a heavy scrutiny, some thinkers from the Left have found precisely in cultural translation—in a more or less broad understanding of the term—the solution to the apparent incompatibility between poststructuralism and a global emancipatory political project. After reviewing part of the literature dealing with that dichotomy, this study will focus on the ideas of three specific thinkers: Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Étienne Balibar, and Judith Butler. Even though they come from very different backgrounds, these three intellectuals share a progressive stance in radical opposition to imperialism that has found in cultural translation the only true universal language: a viable space for the articulation of a transnational, emancipatory discourse. The aim of this paper is to explore their respective theories—and their potential to be combined into a single, coherent approach—and to review them through the prism of the latest developments in translation studies. A second goal will be to draw the implications of their views for the actual practice of translation as is usually understood, taking as a starting point the professional and philosophical choices of our authors.

Gabriel Dols is an associate lecturer in Literary Translation and English Language at the UIB. He has also been a professional book translator for over 15 years. He has translated into Spanish, mostly from English, more than 55 novels and essays. He holds a graduate degree in Literary Translation from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and another in Translation and Technologies from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. His research fields include the translation of African anglophone postcolonial literature and the interaction between translation and censorship, specifically in the translation of pop lyrics.
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Submited paper (14 KB)

Session G2
Place: Room 4

Other activities in Session G2
16:55 h. to 17:15 h.Oral Communication

Markets, Power and the Political Economy of Translation

Speaker: Stefan Baumgarten, Bangor University
16:35 h. to 16:55 h.Oral Communication

Traducción de la ideología: el caso de la retórica del discurso político en la traducción oral

Speaker: Elisabet García Oya, Universidade de Vigo
17:15 h. to 17:30 h.Discussion


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