Translation and theatre: From performance to performativity
The last two decades have seen an increasing interest from different quarters in exploring the territory that exists between translation and theatre. Examining discussions of the nature of drama and theatre—that see them as performative rather than representative entities (Worthen 2003; Schechner 2002)—this article argues for a rethinking of the interdisciplinary relations between translation and theatre in the context of wider debates over the value of interdisciplinarity in translation studies (Pym 1998; Chesterman 2010; Bassnett 2012). Drawing on the contributions to this special issue, the social dimension of translation and the performative nature of culture are brought to the fore as productive new ways of studying translation in the theatre as a performative and social as well as a linguistic practice.
One of the most exciting aspects of working in an interdisciplinary field like translation studies is the freedom it affords to venture into new territories and give voice to innovative ideas that would otherwise remain undiscovered. This openness to other subjects has been crucial to the establishment of translation studies as an independent discipline (Holmes 1972; Snell Hornby 2006) but also to its growth and development as an “interdiscipline” (Pym 1998) which now encompasses a range of topics, themes and theoretical approaches unrivalled by most traditional fields of study.
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