'Translation Policy & the Politics of Translation', 2nd annual conference (16-18 Sept. 20), SPP 2130 'Early Modern Translation Cultures'

Annkathrin Koppers's picture
September 16, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Humanities, Research and Methodology, Communication


SPP 2130 ‚Early Modern Translation Cultures‘

2. Jahreskonferenz / 2nd annual conference

Sept. 16–18, 2020

Übersetzungspolitiken / Translation Policy and the Politics of Translation

The conference will address the question of what conditions are responsible for whether translation happens at all and if it does, in what form. Or put another way: Why are certain texts, images and sign systems translated while others remain – and indeed must remain – untranslated? A further question is: Which factors influence the form a translation takes, in the sense of a process of conveying words, images or signs from one semiotic and cultural system into another? All of these questions concern both translation policy, in the sense of the socio-cultural, economic and intercultural factors that influence translation processes, and the politics of translation in the more specific context of political negotiation processes.

Common to both aspects is the fact that translations are always closely connected with power structures of various kinds, and translation is therefore not a neutral operation. This has been highlighted by post-colonial thinkers in particular (Spivak 1993). In this context, power can make itself felt in many different ways. Translations can, for instance, be used as an instrument of subjugation, or in specific cases be regulated “from above”; at its most extreme, a translation policy may actually prohibit certain forms of translation (Burke/Hsia 2007). Political power relationships are also expressed in cultural and linguistic systems and hence likewise structure translations and translatability (Venuti 2008). Translations reflect hegemonic discursive patterns, so that the boundaries of what may be said become the boundaries of what may be translated. Euro-centric modes of interpretation as well as translation filters are especially relevant in this context and must be viewed critically. In addition, translation policy and politics have both actor-centred and structural dimensions. How these interact, especially in regard of aspects such as cultural filters, calculation and diplomacy will be the central focus of the annual conference.


Antje Flüchter (Bielefeld)
Andreas Gipper (Mainz)
Susanne Greilich (Regensburg)
Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink (Saarbrücken)


The conference will be held in hybrid form. All interested parties are invited to participate via Webex. Please contact Nadine Lordick (sekretariat-spp2130@tu-braunschweig.de) by 13 September 2020 for access data.



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Regina Toepfer: Welcome
Andreas Gipper, Susanne Greilich: Opening Remarks


1st Section: Calculation between politics and policy

Moderator: Antje Flüchter

Helge Perplies (Heidelberg)
Die Verleger de Bry als Übersetzer von Übersetzungen: Postkoloniale Perspektiven auf die India Occidentalis-Sammlung und ihr Publikum
Commentator: Jennifer Hagedorn

Martina Schrader-Kniffki, Yannic Klamp, Malte Kneifel (Mainz)
Translationspolitik und Politik durch Translation in Neu-Spanien. Komplexität, Verschränkungen, Verwicklungen
Commentator: Rebekka Voß (Frankfurt aM)

15.30–16.00       Break

Moderator: Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink

Caroline Mannweiler (Mainz)
Übersetzung als Medium nationaler Selbstbehauptung – am Beispiel deutsch-französischer Wissenschaftsübersetzungen im 17./18. Jahrhundert
Commentator: Julia Amslinger (Göttingen)

Wei Jiang (Florence)
Which Confucius? Politics and Translation of Kongzi’s Biographies by Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans during the 17th Century
Commentator: Diego Stefanelli (Mainz)

18.00–18.30       Break

Key note
Naoki Sakai (Cornell University, NY)
The Individuality of Language – Translation and Internationality


Thursday, September 17, 2020

2nd Section: Cultural filters

Moderator: Andreas Gipper

Elena Parina (Marburg)
The ʻGlamorgan school of translationʼ: a no politics phenomenon?
Commentator: Sonja Brentjes (Berlin)

Regina Toepfer (Braunschweig)
Von Heroinen und Hausfrauen. Genderspezifische Translationspolitik im 16. Jahrhundert
Commentator: Dirk Werle (Heidelberg)

11.00–11.30      Break

Alberto Tiburcio (Berlin)
Between copy-paste and Creativity: The use of al-Idrisi's (d. c. 1165) geographical œuvre in the extant products of the mapmaking workshops of the Sharafi family in Sfax and Qayrawan during the 16th century
Commentator: Irina Saladin (Tübingen)

12.30–14.00      Lunchbreak

Moderator: Susanne Greilich

Giulia Nardini (Bielefeld)
The translucence of the missionary translation process in the 17th century South India: cultural filters, translation policies, textual and conceptual grids
Commentator: Sofia Derer (Heidelberg)

Katja Triplett (Leipzig)
Japanische Jesuiten-Drucke (16. Jh.) zwischen Japan, Macau, Indien und Deutschland
Commentator: Avi Siluk (Frankfurt aM)

16.00–16.30      Break


3rd Section: Diplomacy and power structures

Moderator: Jörg Wesche

Vera Dorofeeva-Lichtmann (Paris)
Drawing Translation-Oriented Maps for State Authorities. The Case of Maps of Japan by Daikokuya Kōdayū 大黒屋光太夫 (1751–1828)
Commentator: Renate Dürr

Mark Häberlein, Paula Manstetten (Bamberg)
Gab es eine Übersetzungspolitik protestantischer Missionsgesellschaften im frühen 18. Jahrhundert? Akteure und Initiativen der Glauchaschen Anstalten und der ‘Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge’
Commentator: Astrid Dröse (Tübingen)

Friday, September 18, 2020

Moderator: Peter Burschel

Irena Fliter (Göttingen)
Translating Devolution: The Leverage of Family Fortunes between the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires at the End of the 18th Century
Commentator: Lukas Maier (Erlangen)

10.00–11.00      Christina Strunck (Erlangen)
Antonio Verrios Wandbild für das Royal Hospital at Chelsea. Ein Monument der politischen und kulturellen Konkurrenz zwischen England und Frank¬reich in der Spätphase der Stuart-Herrschaft (1688/89)
Commentator: Erich Poppe (Marburg)

Antje Flüchter, Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink: Closing Comments & Discussion

11.30–12.00       Break

12.00–13.30      Members assembly (SPP-intern)
Regina Toepfer, Annkathrin Koppers (Braunschweig)



Contact Info: 

Technische Universität Braunschweig

SPP 2130 ‚Übersetzungskulturen der Frühen Neuzeit‘ / 'Early Modern Translation Cultures (1450-1800)'

Geschäftsstelle / Office

Bienroder Weg 80

38106 Braunschweig


Prof. Dr. Regina Toepfer (Sprecherin/ Spokesperson)

Annkathrin Koppers, M.A. (Wiss. Mitarbeiterin/ Coordinator)


Marianne Muths (Sekretariat/ Secretary)


Tel. +49 (0) 531 391-8633