Talk by Susanna Braund, Classical, Near Eastern, & Religious Studies
UBC's mission is 'education for global citizenship'. There can be no activity more central to global citizenship than translation. Whether we realize it or not, we all engage in multiple acts of 'translation' every day. Translation extends beyond words and texts; it involves values and ideologies. We cannot expect to become global citizens without understanding other cultures, and that entails understanding how acts of translation work. We need to know what gets lost, found, suppressed, enhanced and changed in translation. Translation is closely bound up with authority. Any translation transaction involves two languages or cultures, usually in a hierarchical relationship, whether this is implicit or explicit. Yet we often invest translations with enormous authority, with little reflection on modes of production or the impact of the hierarchies of languages, cultures, values or ideas. For example, we expect that the foreign films we view are properly subtitled and provide us with an experience as close as possible to the original. But should we? Subtitles have often been the site of censorship, as in the case of the Thai rewriting of subtitles of The Da Vinci Code. In other words, translation is usually a political act.
Lunch and talk 12 to 1:30 pm, but welcome 11:45 to 2:00 pm.