Between sociology and history: Method in context and in practice

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The recent emergence of a sociological outlook in translation studies seems to have been the result of a convergence of factors. It developed both in translation studies proper, in the wake of the DTS model of inquiry and also, in sociological circles, on account of a new interest for the space occupied by translations in the literary field. At the same time, this configuration of interests has taken place without much attention being paid to the uneasy relationships between sociologists and historians since the end of the nineteenth century. The first part of this paper is an attempt to locate the interdisciplinary space where a sociotranslation studies could establish itself. The second section outlines a historical case study in which sociological concepts contribute a particular interpretation of a typically subaltern figure in the history of translations in Europe: the first complete play by Shakespeare translated in Italian, <i>Giulio Cesare </i>(1756), by Domenico Valentini. Together, the two sections will allow some insights about the issue of method in socio-historical case studies.


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