This module focuses on translation, society and the societal factors that influence the formation of the final product of translation. It aims to provide students with a coherent and structural framework encapsulating the society-oriented parameters at work in translation theories proposed by contemporary scholars such as Kwame Anthony Appiah, Lawrence Venuti and Emily Apter. It also elaborates societal-related factors elaborated by past giants like George Steiner, Walter Benjamin and Antoine Berman. Drawing insights from cutting-edge cultural and global studies concepts and approaches where the cultural turn of translation studies has emerged, this module intends to develop students’ advanced skills in critical thinking in societal aspects exerting impact on translation products such as ideology, power, publishers, market and industry. In doing so it encourages students to have a sound grasp of knowledge of key societal contexts in order to hone skills in textual and contextual analysis informed by critical and global perspectives.
A Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which translation is both rooted in society and engineers processes of cultural encounter in society; B Apply appropriate translational apparatus to discuss the ethical implications of such societal and cultural encounters; C Assess the extent to which the translator can or should consider him or herself as a (un)neutral agent in society; D Argue in length and in detail about a major aspect of societal factors influencing translation products such as ideology, power, publishers, market and industry, supporting the argument with evidence from primary sources and with opinions from secondary literature; E Bring together key elements of translation as a social product: namely, the ethical value of difference, the visibility of the translator in the final product of the translation process, the positioning, self-expression and subjectivity of the translator, and translation for a purpose.
The teaching consists of lectures and seminars. Lectures aim to facilitate conceptualisation of theoretical frameworks of translation and society. Seminars provide a space for students to review and evaluate case studies so as to explore the relationship between translation and society, and to apply appropriate critical approaches to the issues under analysis and present their arguments in a group or individually. To produce this effect students will normally be asked to prepare a text before each seminar.