Article published in:Translation in times of technocapitalism
Edited by Stefan Baumgarten and Jordi Cornellà-Detrell
[Target 29:2] 2017
► pp. 244–263
Translation and hegemonic knowledge under advanced capitalism
Translation occurs in a context of power asymmetries. Using two English translations of Adorno’s seminal Ästhetische Theorie as an example, this paper elaborates an eclectic phenomenology of power structured alongside three symbolic images: the street market, the assembly line, and a technological gadget. By aligning some key concepts of critical theory with the evolutionary stages of capitalism, it will be argued that recontextualisations of Adornian thought in English may reflect the well-known antagonism between Adorno’s philosophical thought and the dominant scientistic mindset of mid-20th century American social science. Ultimately, this paper contemplates the extent to which Adorno’s Anglophone mirror image has been refracted through a positivist and neoliberal order of discourse that is at odds with the ideological, or utopian, convictions of German critical theory.
Keywords: translation and philosophy, critical theory, capitalism, power asymmetries, ideology, domination, hegemony
Published online: 29 June 2017
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