Transgender Translation Studies

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 9.24.44 PMTranslationista is a blog about literary translation, not translation studies per se, which is why you don’t find as many announcements of academic events here as of readings etc., but this call for papers by the Transgender Studies Quarterly caught my attention, so I’m passing it along. I’ve been hearing more and more lately about projects to “queer” both translation studies and translations themselves. For example there was a great panel at this year’s AWP conference on the subject of Queer Translation, featuring Joyelle McSweeney, Johannes Goransson, Don Mee Choi, Lucas DeLima and Jeffrey Angles (the first two of whom had previously collaborated on a book project that explored new ways of imagining/writing about translation). This was their AWP panel description:

As translators, artists, scholars, and performers, we’ll consider how ‘queer translation’ might host a queer interaction or strange meeting; how it might undermine nationalist demarcations of the body, including binaries separating male and female, able and disabled, human and inhuman, whole and partial bodies; the force of translation as a ‘political uncanny’; and whether translation itself might figure a queer or middle body, an activist body, a political resource.

And now TSQ is upping the ante with a translation themed issue entitled Translating Transgender, edited by David Gramling and Aniruddha Dutta, and I’m glad to see it in the works. It was only a matter of time before these two trans fields crossed paths, particularly as both of them place so much emphasis on transitional states and forms of crossing over. Even just the call for papers contains information I didn’t have before, like this: “transgender, gender variant, and gender non-conforming people have often been exiles, translators, language mediators, and multilinguals in greater numbers and intensities historically than their cisgender counterparts have.” Didn’t realize that’s what the statistics were. I definitely want to read more about this, and there’s a very strong list of suggested topic categories, so I’m looking forward to Issue 3.3 (great number!) of the TSQ. If you work in this field, or want to, check out the call for papers here. Naturally, papers will be accepted in whatever language you write in, not just English. Submission deadline March 1, 2015.


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