Publication details [#13353]

Wolf, Michaela. 2005. The creation of a 'room of one's own': feminist translators as mediators between cultures and genders. In Santaemilia, José, ed. Gender, sex and translation: the manipulation of identities. Manchester: St. Jerome. pp. 15–25.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


In the course of the 18th century, an increasing number of women tried to create their own space both through the formation of a specific literary discourse and the formation of a new professional group, the female writer. This paper discusses the way in which female translators – in a historical as well as contemporary context – can 'gender' their social and intellectual environment, thus contributing to the formation of female individuality through translation. Within the broader context of women's constitution of a 'female image' in the period of the Enlightenment, and drawing on the biographies of two German translators, Luise Gottsched and Therese Huber, the paper illustrates the ways in which these two translators subverted contemporary men-made translation practices and translation theories. In the second part of the paper it is shown that to a certain extent, even though under obviously different conditions, women are still struggling for a 'room of one's own' in the translational domain. This is highlighted by the presentation of the results of a research project which was carried out in Austria and which focused on a comprehensive record of the state of the art of feminist translation in the various fields of research, teaching and practice in German-speaking countries. The emphasis of the project was on a theoretical survey of the fields of feminist translation and feminist translation studies, detailed surveys conducted in publishing houses concerning their 'policies' in relation to feminist translation, enquiries into guidelines for non-sexist language use in national and international institutions dealing with translation as well as in translation agencies, and interviews with feminist translators focusing on their working conditions.
Source : Publisher information