Post-colonial literatures and translation

Paul F. Bandia
Concordia University
Table of contents

It is now generally acknowledged that the “cultural turn” in the social sciences and the humanities that occurred in the 1990s changed Translation Studies (TS) forever. Culture had come to take center stage in translation analyses and discourses, rather than language viewed mainly in term of a system of linguistic exchange and communication. Language became subordinate to culture, both intertwined and often fused together in any serious discussion or analysis of translation. The ramifications were numerous for Translation Studies, as age-old notions and concepts such as equivalency, pure or standard language, distinctive binarisms and their implied hierarchy (original/translation; source-text/target text; word-for-word/sense-for-sense, etc.) were thrown into disarray. The study of post-colonial literatures is one of the fundamental areas through which the “cultural turn” made inroads into Translation Studies. By the very nature of this literature, written in colonial languages by post-colonial subjects, a host of issues often overlooked in the past, namely gender, ethnicity, sociology, linguistic alterity, identity, politics and ideology became prominent in translation research.

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price.


Ashcroft, Bill, Griffiths, Gareth & Tiffin, Helen
1989The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Postcolonial Literatures. London & New York: Routledge DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Bandia, Paul F
2008Translation as Reparation: Writing and Translation in Postcolonial Africa. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Mehrez, Samia
1992“Translation and the Postcolonial Experience: The Francophone North African Text.” In Rethinking Translation, Lawrence Venuti (ed.), 120–138. London & New York: Routledge.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Niranjana, Tejaswini
1992Siting Translation: History, Post-Structuralism, and the Colonial Context. Berkeley: University of California Press.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Rushdie, Salman
1991Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticisms, 1981–1991. London: Granta.Google Scholar
Shamma, Tarek
2009“Postcolonial Studies and Translation Theory.” MonTI 1: 183–196 DOI logo  TSBGoogle Scholar
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty
1993“The Politics of Translation.” In Outside in the Teaching Machine, 179–200. London & New York: Routledge.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Tymoczko, Maria
1999a“Post-Colonial Writing and Literary Translation.” In Post-Colonial Translation: Theory and Practice, Susan Bassnett & Harish Trivedi (eds), 19–40. London & New York: Routledge.  TSBGoogle Scholar
1999bTranslation in a Post-Colonial Context: Early Irish Literature in English Translation. Manchester, UK: St. Jerome Publishing.  TSBGoogle Scholar
2000“Translations of Themselves: the Contours of Postcolonial Fiction.” In Changing the Terms: Translating in the Postcolonial Era. Sherry Simon & Paul St-Pierre (eds), 147–163. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Zabus, Chantal
1991The African Palimpsest: Indigenization of Language in the West African Europhone Novel. Amsterdam & Atlanta: Rodopi.Google Scholar

Further reading

Bassnett, Susan & Harish Trivedi
(eds) 1999Post-colonial Translation. Theory and practice. London & New York: Routledge DOI logo  BoPGoogle Scholar
Cheyfitz, Eric
1991The Poetics of Imperialism. Translation and Colonization from The Tempest to Tarzan. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Rafael, Vicente L
1988/1993Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society under Early Spanish Rule. Rev. ed. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.  TSBGoogle Scholar
Simon, Sherry & Paul St-Pierre
(eds) 2000Changing the Terms: Translating in the Postcolonial Era. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.  TSBGoogle Scholar