“How do I apply narrative theory?”: Socio-narrative theory in translation studies

Sue-Ann Harding
Translation and Interpreting Institute Hamad Bin Khalita University

Since the publication of Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account (Baker 2006), there has been a growing interest in applying socio-narrative theory to Translation Studies, with Baker’s ideas extended and applied to several different areas of inquiry. This article gives a brief overview of these projects, and discusses in more depth the example of my own application and development of narrative theory. This includes a revised typology of narratives, the combination of narratological and sociological approaches, an intratextual model of analysis, and a new emphasis on the importance of narrators and temporary narrators in the (re)configuration of narratives. The article ends with a brief discussion on further topics within Translation and Interpreting Studies to which narrative theory might be applied.

Table of contents

The use of narrative as a tool for academic investigation beyond the confines of fiction and literature has steadily gained ground over the twentieth, and now into the twenty-first, century. From the narrative form of the case study developed in medicine, psychology and psychoanalysis, to a shift towards narrative in fields such as history, anthropology, law, biology, physics, education, philosophy, theology, gender studies, and political science, and the use of narrative in the study of contemporary topics such as gaming, street art, and urban geography, scholars from a wide range of disciplines and inter-disciplines have critically and fruitfully engaged with narrative.

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