Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1932-2798
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2700
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article critiques methodological nationalism and binaries in theoretical discussions of literary translation. The naturalization of the national story of translation is traced from the Renaissance up to its uncritical adoption when the discipline of translation studies was established. Borrowing from critiques of methodological nationalism in other disciplines, it is argued that a thorough revision of certain vocabularies is still needed to definitively break with lingering national and binary tropes. Venuti’s foreignization is challenged due to its most problematic but previously overlooked aspect: its reliance on national paradigms and circumscribed domestic and foreign groups. To eschew the image of literary translation as transfer from culture A to culture B, an alternative empirical approach to networks of intersectionally-positioned readers in transnational localities is proposed. This critique is necessary given the messiness of subjectivity and the need for new solidarities in our transforming transnational world.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi
    2009 “The danger of a single story.” TED. July 2009 www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story. Last accessed15 January 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Appadurai, Arjun
    1996Modernity at Large. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Baer, Brian James
    2006 “Literary translation and the construction of a Soviet Intelligentsia.” The Massachusetts Review47 (3): 537–61.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. 2014 “Translated literature and the role of the reader.” InA Companion to Translation Studies, ed. bySandra Bermann and Catherine Porter, 333–45. Chichester: Wiley. 10.1002/9781118613504.ch25
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118613504.ch25 [Google Scholar]
  5. Baker, Mona
    2007 “Reframing conflict in translation.” Social Semiotics17 (2): 151–69. 10.1080/10350330701311454
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330701311454 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bandia, Paul
    2008Translation as Reparation: Writing and Translation in Postcolonial Africa. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Bauman, Zygmunt
    1996 “From pilgrim to tourist – or a short history of identity.” InQuestions of Cultural Identity, ed. byStuart Hall and Paul Du Gay, 18–36. London: Sage Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Beck, Ulrich
    2003 “Toward a new critical theory with a cosmopolitan intent.” Constellations10 (4): 453–68. 10.1046/j.1351‑0487.2003.00347.x
    https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1351-0487.2003.00347.x [Google Scholar]
  9. 2007 “The cosmopolitan condition.” Theory, Culture & Society24 (7–8): 286–90. 10.1177/02632764070240072505
    https://doi.org/10.1177/02632764070240072505 [Google Scholar]
  10. Bielsa, Esperança
    2010 “Cosmopolitanism, translation and the experience of the foreign.” Across Languages and Cultures11 (2): 161–74. 10.1556/Acr.11.2010.2.2
    https://doi.org/10.1556/Acr.11.2010.2.2 [Google Scholar]
  11. 2014 “Cosmopolitanism as translation.” Cultural Sociology8 (4): 392–406. 10.1177/1749975514546235
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1749975514546235 [Google Scholar]
  12. 2018 “Cosmopolitanism beyond the monolingual vision.” International Political Sociology0: 1–13. 10.1093/ips/oly014
    https://doi.org/10.1093/ips/oly014 [Google Scholar]
  13. Bielsa, Esperanza and Antonio Aguilera
    2017 “Cosmopolitismo y política de la traducción” [Cosmopolitanism and the politics of translation]. Revista Internacional de Sociología75 (2). doi:  10.3989/ris.2017.
    https://doi.org/10.3989/ris.2017. [Google Scholar]
  14. Carter, Ellen
    2014 “Imagining place: An empirical study of how cultural outsiders and insiders receive fictional representations of place in Caryl Férey’s Utu.” Imaginations5 (1): 67–80. 10.17742/IMAGE.periph.5‑1.5
    https://doi.org/10.17742/IMAGE.periph.5-1.5 [Google Scholar]
  15. Castro, Olga and Emek Ergun
    (eds) 2017Feminist Translation Studies: Local and Transnational Perspectives. New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315679624
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315679624 [Google Scholar]
  16. Chesnokova, Anna, et al
    2017 “Cross-cultural reader response to original and translated poetry: An empirical study in four languages.” Comparative Literature Studies54 (4): 824–49. 10.5325/complitstudies.54.4.0824
    https://doi.org/10.5325/complitstudies.54.4.0824 [Google Scholar]
  17. Cronin, Michael
    2006Translation and Identity. Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203015698
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203015698 [Google Scholar]
  18. Cussel, Mattea
    2018 “In conversation: Naoki Sakai.” Asymptote. 21June. www.asymptotejournal.com/blog/2018/06/21/in-conversation-naoki-sakai/. Last accessed20 January 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. D’Egidio, Angela
    2015 “How readers perceive translated literary works: An analysis of reader reception.” Lingue e Linguaggi14: 69–82.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Damrosch, David
    2009How to Read World Literature. Chichester: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Díaz, Junot
    1996Drown. New York: Riverhead Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 1997Negocios, trans.Eduardo Lago. New York: Vintage Español.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Fine, Robert
    2007Cosmopolitanism. Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203087282
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203087282 [Google Scholar]
  24. Gentzler, Edwin
    2008Translation and Identity in the Americas. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. 2012 “Translation without borders.” Translation: A Transdisciplinary Journal. translation.fusp.it/articles/translation-without-borders
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Göpferich, Susanne
    2007 “Translation studies and transfer studies: A plea for widening the scope of Translation Studies.” InDoubts and Directions in Translation Studies, ed. byYves Gambier, Miriam Shlesinger, and Radegundis Stolze, 27–39. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.72.06gop
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.72.06gop [Google Scholar]
  27. Gruesz, Kirsten Silva
    2002Ambassadors of Culture: The Transamerican Origins of Latino Writing. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 10.1515/9780691221304
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9780691221304 [Google Scholar]
  28. Hermans, Theo
    1999Translation in Systems. Descriptive and System-Oriented Approaches Explained. Manchester: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Inghilleri, Moira
    2017Translation and Migration. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Lambert, José
    2006Functional Approaches to Culture and Translation: Selected Papers by José Lambert. Ed. byDirk Delabastita, Lieven D’hulst, and Reine Meylaerts. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Lefevere, André
    1977Translating Literature: The German Tradition from Luther to Rosenzweig. Assen: Van Gorcum & Comp. B.V.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. ed. 1990Translation/History/Culture: A Sourcebook. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. 1992 “Translation: the Categories. Lifelines, noses, legs, handles: the Lysistrata of Aristophanes.” InTranslation, Rewriting, and the Manipulation of Literary Frame, 41–58. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Leppihalme, Ritva
    1997Culture Bumps: An Empirical Approach to the Translation of Allusions Topics in Translation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Moll, Yasmin
    2017 “Subtitling Islam: Translation, mediation, critique.” Public Culture29 (2): 333–61. 10.1215/08992363‑3749093
    https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-3749093 [Google Scholar]
  36. Obejas, Achy
    2001Days of Awe. New York: The Ballantine Publishing Group.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Osifo Osaze, Ola
    . “Native tongue.” Aster(ix) Journal. 10October 2018https://asterixjournal.com/native-tongue/. Last accessed20 January 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Pratt, Mary Louise, Birgit Wagner, Ovidi Carbonell i Cortés, Andrew Chesterman, and Maria Tymoczko
    2010 “Translation studies forum: Cultural translation: Response.” Translation Studies3 (1): 103–6. 10.1080/14781700903338706
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14781700903338706 [Google Scholar]
  39. Pym, Anthony
    1996 “Venuti’s visibility.” Target8 (1): 165–77. 10.1075/target.8.1.12pym
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.8.1.12pym [Google Scholar]
  40. 1995 “Schleiermacher and the problem of Blendlinge.” Translation and Literature4 (1): 1–21. 10.3366/tal.1995.4.1.5
    https://doi.org/10.3366/tal.1995.4.1.5 [Google Scholar]
  41. Sakai, Naoki
    1997Translation and Subjectivity: On Japan and Cultural Nationalism. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. 2010 “Translation and the figure of border: Toward the apprehension of translation as a social action.” Profession10: 24–34. 10.1632/prof.2010.2010.1.25
    https://doi.org/10.1632/prof.2010.2010.1.25 [Google Scholar]
  43. Sakai, Naoki and Sandro Mezzadra
    2014 “Introduction.” Translation: A Transdisciplinary Journal4: 9–29.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Silverstone, Roger
    2007Media and Morality: On the Rise of the Mediapolis. Cambridge: John Wiley & Sons.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Simon, Sherry
    1996Gender in Translation: Cultural Identity and the Politics of Transmission. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. 2002 “Germaine de Stael and Gayatri Spivak: Culture brokers.” InTranslation and Power, ed. byTymoczko Maria; Gentzler ‎Edwin, 122–40. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. 2011Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Suojanen, Tytti, Kaisa Koskinen, and Tiina Tuominen
    2014User-Centered Translation. Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315753508
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315753508 [Google Scholar]
  49. Tymoczko, Maria
    2007Enlarging Translation, Empowering Translators. Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. ed. 2010Translation, Resistance, Activism. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Venuti, Lawrence
    1998The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203269701
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203269701 [Google Scholar]
  52. 2000 “Translation, community, utopia.” InThe Translation Studies Reader, ed. byLawrence Venuti, 468–88. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203446621
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203446621 [Google Scholar]
  53. 2008The Translator’s Invisibility (2nd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Vertovec, Steven
    2009Transnationalism. Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203927083
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203927083 [Google Scholar]
  55. Walkowitz, Rebecca L.
    2015Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature. New York: Columbia University Press. 10.7312/walk16594
    https://doi.org/10.7312/walk16594 [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error