Lisbeth Matzer (a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School/University Cologne), February 8 2018, 4.30pm
11. October 2017 – 13. October 2017
The Dark Side of Translation
We tend to consider translation as a cultural activity that enables communication and, in this sense, as something useful, good, virtuous and bright. Translation, however, can also be an instrument of concealment, silencing and misdirection – something that darkens and obscures. Postcolonial scholars have broadly shown this, but the dark side of translation is not limited to imperialism. Propaganda, misinformation, narratives of trauma and imagery of the enemy – to mention just a few of the gloomy phenomena that shape our lives – show communication patterns by which translation either works as a weapon or constitutes a space of conflict.
So what does this dark side of translation look like? How does it operate? What are the shades and nuances that we can identify and study? What does the “dark” colonial practice of translation have in common, for example, with the obscurity that pervades the uncanny dimension of translation? The 2017 annual conference of the IKT will explore these issues, reuniting international scholars from a range of disciplines including philosophy, translation studies, literary theory, ecocriticism, game studies, history and political science. If we want to understand the forces that steer and shape communication, it is also crucial to try to fathom translation in its most unpleasant and murky configurations.
Concept: Federico Italiano
program (pdf download)