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Feminist Translation Practices: Historical Perspectives - Hilary Brown

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BCLT Research Seminar - Feminist Translation Practices: Historical Perspectives - Hilary Brown

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This talk will consider feminist translation practices present, past and future. It will begin in the present, looking briefly at some examples of feminist literary translation over recent decades from countries including Canada and Spain. We shall then head back into the past to re-visit the ‘origin story’ of feminist translation, namely women translators in the English Renaissance who are held up as beacons of the feminist tradition for their supposedly bold, interventionist approaches to their source texts. The talk will argue that it is time to interrogate the foundations of this origin story: it is much more difficult to label and judge the methods of early women translators than many accounts assume. Finally, we shall think about the implications of revising the feminist narrative, and discuss whether insights from historical study are likely to have any significant bearing on the practice and analysis of translation in the future.

Hilary Brown is Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham. Prior to joining the University of Birmingham, she was Lecturer in German at Swansea University (2005-2011). Dr Brown has published widely on the cultural history of translation in the period 1500-1800, including a monograph on the neglected translations of Germany’s first prominent woman of letters, Luise Gottsched the Translator (Camden House, 2012). Her next book, on Women and Early Modern Cultures of Translation: Beyond the Female Tradition, was funded by a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Till the end of January 2022 she is a Mercator Fellow on the DFG Priority Programme Übersetzungskulturen der frühen Neuzeit/Early Modern Translation Cultures (1450-1800).

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Organiser British Centre for Literary Translation

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Britain’s leading centre for the study and support of literary translation.

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