Translating Creolization Symposium (TCS2) - May 18-19, 2017

Dr. Simona Bertacco
Simona Bertacco 
Simona Bertacco is Associate Professor of Postcolonial Studies and Director of the Humanities Ph.D. at the University of Louisville, and worked previously as a “ricercatrice” at the University of Milan, in Italy. Her research focuses on issues in postcolonialism, gender studies and translation studies. Her most recent publications include: Language and Translation in Postcolonial Literatures: Multilingual Contexts, Translational Texts (Routledge, 2014); Between Virtuosity and Despair: Formal Experimentation in Diaspora Tales” (Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 2014)); and the special issue of The New Centennial Review: Translation and the Global Humanities (16:1, 2016). She is currently working on a book on Translation and Migration.
Creole, Creolité, Creolization: A Caribbean Theory of Translation
When we talk about translation, we very often refer to it instrumentally, as a necessary interface. Even when discussing a translation of a literary work, we often ask what account it gives of an author or a work, without asking what it contributes to the field of translation itself. But if we see translation not as an occasional specialist service, but as an ordinary experience and as a way to understand and write that experience, that is, potentially a mode of writing in which we all might participate, then we need urgently to know what kind of knowledge we invest in translation and derive from it, how it affects our being-in-the-world, and how it relates us to our environment.
In postcolonial studies, we have done relatively little to examine translation as a linguistic experience, as a mode of perception and of consciousness. And I would dare to say that this statement holds true when we consider the work done in the burgeoning field of Translation Studies, despite its inner diversity and theoretical richness.
As a way to begin facing this challenge, in this lecture I propose to consider the unique contribution that Caribbean writers and thinkers have given to the fields of postcolonial literary studies and of Translation Studies. Linking together the concepts of ‘creole’, ‘creolité’ and creolization‘ to show how translation permeates the act of writing for many Caribbean writers, I will argue that translation is and should be unavoidable also in the act of reading. It is my contention that a Caribbean theory of translation is already in place and that Translation Studies as a field has much to learn from it.


Faculty of Humanities and Education
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