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Affect in/and Literary Translation

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Organizer: Sofia Monzon

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The wealth of scholarship on the topic of affect and emotions within Cultural Studies is bound to impact the field of Translation Studies. Inspired by Kaisa Koskinen’s Deleuzian approach to translation in Affect and Translation: Essays on Sticky Affects and Translational Affective Labour' (2020), this seminar seeks to understand how “affect” is a key factor that operates and conditions translation processes and literary exchanges between systems, translation norms, actors, and their networks. Taking “affect” as a starting point to not only consider the materiality of a translation in regard to its construction and reception but also the role and positioning of the translators and other actors involved (i.e., intercultural mediators), this seminar welcomes proposals that take into consideration the emotional and affective side of literary translation as both process and product.

Even though the very definition of “affect” varies depending on the field and theoretical approach employed, Koskinen’s understands it as a “body-mind complex that directs a person towards a desired state of affairs through a process of change” (13). This means that affect is “bodily grounded. We can only be affected by what our sensory systems register, and this is constrained by both our bodily capacities and our material location” (179). Translation can thus be understood as an activity in which affect plays an important role during its various stages. Building on Koskinen’s approach, this seminar explores the links between the individual and the social by paying attention to the emotional and physiological aspects involved in translation as process and product.

This seminar welcomes topics that may include but are not limited to:
  • Theoretical approaches to affect and emotion in literary translation

  • The role of affect and the value of affect theory in Translation Studies and Comparative Literature

  • Relations and theoretical paradigms emerging from an affect-oriented approach to translation

  • The limitations and downfalls of employing affect theory in Translation Studies

  • Relational and processual approaches to translation

  • Sociological approaches to translated literature, its transfers and exchanges

  • Translators’ agency through the lens of affect theory

  • “Rhizome” and translation

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