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Wednesday, 27 January 2016 11:32

Under Surveillance. Ideology and censorship in the translation of popular fiction

Popular texts are often the object of radical manipulations when translated. While the low cultural status attributed to popular genres may in many instances be deemed responsible for such practices, it is also true that popular fiction has often been under a regime of ‘surveillance’, supposedly aimed at protecting the ‘masses’ from “corrupting and degenerate” material.

The perception of popular texts as innately dangerous may lead to different forms of social constraint, ranging from the banning and failure to translate texts regarded as offensive to self-censorship aimed at cleansing texts of ‘unsuitable’ elements. Textual control may be applied in translation in multiple and diluted ways: one crucial problem in relation to popular texts is that since popular fiction is represented both as aesthetically inferior and non-educational, censorious interventions may be camouflaged as operations of textual improvement.

These and other key issues will be debated during the workshop which brings together a group of researchers interested in the translation of popular culture, and more specifically in the translation of popular narrative genres such as crime fiction, science fiction, romance, horror, western, etc., whether instantiated in written texts or in other media.

Further information, programme and abstracts available at

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