I travel to Prato, Italy, this week to talk with colleagues from the #Transcollaborate working group about the ins and outs of collaborative translating in 2017. My talk description is below.
Seven Stadia Long:
On the Disorderly Social Sojourn of TransCollaboration
This talk takes a wide-angle look at the politics, political economy, ethics, linguistics, historical grounds and contemporary worldviews that compel us in 2017 to recommit to the ancient norm of translating and translanguaging collaboratively—particularly in times of for-profit war, linguaphobia, social death, reactionary monolingualism, and the radical acceleration of the “translation machine of global credit-debt” (Lezra 2015: 175). Drawing on various traditions of theory within and without of Translation Studies, this talk however focuses ultimately on the practical and social experience of collaborating subjects, in an era when automated, individuated, algorithmic, and crowd-sourced cross-linguistic big-data management platforms are presumed to ensure optimal reliability. In this light, collaborative translation is re-envisioned as a counter-practice of resistance, one in which new tools for mutual recognition, social defamiliarization, historical kinship, and metalinguistic reflection may be seen to dwell. Accordingly, the talk offers some initial recommendations for practitioners on how to get ready for translingual collaboration, both for those who already love “group work” and for those who may treasure the solitary journey most.