The RAT Trap? The politics of translating Iberia

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Buffery, Helena
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Peter Lang
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The latter decades of the twentieth century saw the role of translation within Hispanic Studies come under scrutiny. In part, this resulted from the reframing of approaches to language learning across the modern languages, which led to increasing emphasis on the development of generic and transferable skills. However, parallel developments in Translation Studies also made their mark on the reconfiguration of the discipline, through the incorporation of insights into the role of translation in the development of culture, in particular the formation of national literatures, and through strategic engagement with the metaphorics of translation in order to address and account for different instances and patterns of cultural contact. Whilst both translation practice and translation research remain important within Hispanic Studies, they have been assigned very different values, drawing attention to the effective divisions between research and practice in the institution. Here I will attempt to re-engage the relationship between translation practice and translation research, by exploring the presence and effects of translation within the field. Focusing on the notion of Iberia, I will trace the different processes of translation that have contributed to its configuration, whilst drawing attention to the problematic transparency of the translation process as it is currently formulated within the discipline. This will be followed by the staging of a mode of reading-as- translation that might begin to attend to the politics of translating Iberia in the current context.
Culture , Politics , Translation practice , Translation research
Buffery, H. (2007) 'The RAT Trap? The politics of translating Iberia', in Reading Iberia: Theory/History/Identity. Bern : Peter Lang, pp. 23-42