Out of the Wings

Professor Lawrence Venuti, Queen’s University Belfast 8–9 March 2010

Professor Lawrence Venuti, Queen’s University Belfast 8–9 March 2010

The Queen’s Research Forum for Translation and Cultural Encounter is hosting two seminars by Lawrence Venuti. Lawrence Venuti is Professor of English at Temple University. He is also a translator and has written and edited a number of books on translation theory. The following two seminars will take place on 8 and 9 March 2010.

All are welcome to attend.

Monday 8 March, 7.00p.m.

Queen’s University Belfast. Seminar Room, Postgraduate Centre, 18 College Green. This seminar will be followed by a wine reception.

Genealogies of Translation Theory: Jerome

This lecture offers an historical examination and ideological critique of Jerome’s famous Letter to Pammachius (395CE), exploring its relation to Roman imperial culture, on the one hand, and to an emerging Christian culture, on the other. Jerome’s letter is the most influential statement of what can be called the instrumental model of translation, the notion that translation is the reproduction or imitation of an invariant contained in or caused by the source text. Jerome’s effort to sketch a Christian translation tradition is considered as a means of legitimizing his own translation practices, but attention is also given to modern developments like Eugene Nida’s concept of dynamic equivalence. The aim is to formulate and argue for the comprehensiveness and ethical value of a hermeneutic model, the notion that translation is a variable interpretation that is culturally and historically contingent. The ethics of translation to be proposed here will draw on the work of Alain Badiou, specifically his concept of a truth‐based ethics that challenges institutionalized knowledges and communitarian interests. The instrumental model as formulated and applied by Jerome is affiliated with a Roman Christian elite whose interests are masked by its translation theory and practice.

Tuesday 9 March, 5.00p.m.

Queen’s University Belfast. Lanyon Building, Room G09

Ekphrasis, Translation, Critique

Translation theory enables a rigorous critical methodology that can advance thinking about ekphrasis, the verbal representation of visual art. The relation between such a second‐order work and its source material is not instrumental, not a reproduction or transfer of a formal or semantic invariant, but rather hermeneutic, an interpretation that varies source form and meaning through the application of an interpretant. The hermeneutic relation must be viewed as transformative because a key aspect of any interpretant is its relation to cultural traditions and social situations that differ from those of the source material. As a result, the hermeneutic relation can be treated not only as interpretive, a variable attempt to fix source form and meaning, but as interrogative, exposing the cultural and social conditions of the source material and of the second‐order work that has processed it. The critic in turn applies an interpretant, whether a critical methodology or specific interpretation, to formulate the hermeneutic relation and its interrogative effects. The lecture will review the literature on ekphrasis from the vantage point of translation theory and then develop a translation‐oriented method for reading ekphrastic texts. The case study is Rosanna Warren’s 1984 poem, “Renoir,” which is based on Renoir’s painting, Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881).

For further information contact Professor David Johnston at d.johnston@qub.ac.uk

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Out of the Wings

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