Methodological nationalism in translation studies
This article critiques methodological nationalism and binaries in theoretical discussions of literary translation. The naturalization of the national story of translation is traced from the Renaissance up to its uncritical adoption when the discipline of translation studies was established. Borrowing from critiques of methodological nationalism in other disciplines, it is argued that a thorough revision of certain vocabularies is still needed to definitively break with lingering national and binary tropes. Venuti’s foreignization is challenged due to its most problematic but previously overlooked aspect: its reliance on national paradigms and circumscribed domestic and foreign groups. To eschew the image of literary translation as transfer from culture A to culture B, an alternative empirical approach to networks of intersectionally-positioned readers in transnational localities is proposed. This critique is necessary given the messiness of subjectivity and the need for new solidarities in our transforming transnational world.
Keywords: methodological nationalism, binaries, foreignization, reader reception, transnationalism
Published online: 11 March 2020
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