Despite the fact that Africa is home to at least 1300 languages, that most if not allAfrican countries are linguistically diverse and that translation should thus be an everyday phenomenon, the field of translation studies in Africa is small, relative to other continents. At tertiary level, most of the energy is put into training translators/interpreters, and relatively little is done at the level of research into processes and products of translation. When one pages through discipline-related encyclopedias, bibliographies and readers, this trend becomes increasingly evident.
IATIS, in collaboration with the Summer School for Translation Studies in Africa, is hosting a two-day regional workshop at the University of Zambia in August 2014 to focus on translation in the postcolony – and beyond the postcolony. With this focus, the intention is to question the effectiveness of postcolonial translation studies in Africa to address issues of the postcolony. Deliberations will also include a candid look into the failures of postcolonial approaches to translation studies and the question: Should we move beyond postcolonial studies, and if so, how?
One of the questions one could ask of postcolonial studies is whether or not it is embroiled in power analyses and the building of utopias without due consideration to the material reality of life. In translation studies, this relates to the question why, for example, in a continent where up to 60% of economic activity takes place in the informal economy, most of translation studies still focuses on the formal economy, eschewing the particular material conditions under which translation happens.
The organisers invite proposals for papers on any of the following sub-themes:
- Postcolonial translation theorizing for the African context
- Translation and development
- Sociological approaches to translation
- Translation and power
- Translation and the African Renaissance
- Writing, orality and translation
- African literatures in translation
- Language and identity: Translating belonging and displacement
- Translation and politics in conflict zones
Keynote speaker: Paul Bandia, Concordia University, author of Translation as Reparation: Writing and Translating in Postcolonial Africa (2008)
Registration for the workshop will open in March 2014 and close at the end of April 2014.