The LLC Galician Forum runs MLA panels related to Galician Studies.

204. Translation, Bilingualism, Glocalization: New Linguistic Approaches in Galician Studies – ABSTRACTS

Abstracts for Panel 204: Translation, Bilingualism, Glocalization: New Linguistic Approaches in Galician Studies

Friday, 8 January || 8:30–9:45 a.m.

“A Segunda Lingua: Viewing Identity through Self-Translation in Contemporary Galician Poetry”

Brandon Rigby, Univ. of Oregon

In her recent bilingual, self-translated poetry collection A segunda lingua/La segunda lengua, Yolanda Castaño examines the interaction of languages, while reflecting on their role as the filter through which we connect with our world and others, marking us in the process. She argues that as languages shape our perception of the world, they also define us while also connecting us with the Other. In this paper, I will use this poetry collection as well as three of Castaño’s previous bilingual collections, examined through the lenses of postcolonial studies and sociolinguistics, to articulate the linguistic power-differentials between Castilian and Galician. The bilingual format and use of self-translation can be viewed as a microcosm for the poet’s life: as a speaker of a co-official yet minoritized language, negotiating the challenges of living in translation is a daily occurrence. Thus, an examination of self-translation is an insight into the process of identity formation for Castaño. Additionally, according to Benjamin, translation strives to “incorporate the original’s mode of signification,” rendering both source text and target text “recognizable as fragments of a greater language,” and it is only through translation that we can approximate what an author desires to communicate as translation reveals the interliminal space between languages. Self-translation highlights this interliminality, establishing a “third space” of communication that transcends the incomplete communicative area of each of the two languages. I argue that engaging this Galician poetry from the interliminal space between languages provides insight into the status and direction of Galician culture and literature.


“Galician Children’s Literature and Kalandraka Publisher: A Case of Success and Glocalization” 

Miriam Sanchez Moreiras, Regis Univ.

In my presentation “Galician Children’s Literature and Kalandraka Publisher: A Case of Success and Glocalization”, I will address the current prosperity that children and youth’s literature in the Galician language is experiencing.  I will start by reviewing the keys of its success from the analysis made by some of the most representative voices of Literary Criticism in Galician Children’s literature (Blanca-Ana Roig Rechou, 2008). Set up in this more general framework, I will focus on the case of the publisher Kalandraka, and its remarkable success, which I will consider as an example of the so-called phenomenon of  “glocalization”, understood as the double movement toward the local, on one hand, and the global on the other, in the socioeconomic and cultural relation of the contemporary world (Roland Robertson, 1995). Next to the glocalization concept, I will consider Garcia Canclini’s formulation of “hybridity” (1990). I will review the notions of “prestige”, “validation”, “territory”, and the politics of affections connected to the concept of the local (the place of affective identity), as well as the market and the “post-nationality” (Monica Heller, 2011) characteristics of the global. The coexistence of both realities, local and global, apparently in contradiction, and the interdependent link established between them, fundaments of the glocalization notion, make this last one a highly operative tool to address the situation of the minority languages nowadays.  Between the dichotomies connected to the glocalization (affects vs market rules; particular vs universal; identity vs homogeneity, etc.) I will especially emphasize the couple of tropes pride vs profit used by Alexandre Duchêne and Monica Heller in their work Language in Late Capitalism (2011) to explain the emergence of the new discourse which links language and identity and which so well can be applied to the way that the children’s literature publishing industry works in Galicia, confirming the status of Galician as the language of a territory considered as a political unit where the loco-global exchanges take place.    


“Transnational Feminism and the Politics of Translation in the Twenty-First Century: The Galician Canon”

Olga Castro, Aston Univ.

As a key element of intercultural communication, translation is a powerful mediating force in the current context of globalization. If translation is considered a crucial activity for understanding contemporary cultures and societies, literary translation plays a major role in the internationalisation of cultural and publishing markets (Fouces González 2011). Indeed, not only does it influence the development of any literary system and the construction of any literary canon but it also constitutes a marker of status in the economic global system, as it determines the range of circulation of texts and, therefore, their span of reception. Literary capital, as Pascale Casanova (2007) argues, has a powerful role in giving value and legitimacy to nations in their incessant struggle for international recognition. The importance of literary translation in today’s globalized world can be measured in numerical terms: according to the Index Translationum, the Unesco’s World Bibliography of Translation, over 2 million books were translated and published in around one hundred countries since 1979. Investigating the “literary world maps”, in José Lambert’s terms (1999), seems therefore a major task for both translation researchers and for actors in the cultural field more broadly. This is precisely the starting point of my paper, in which I will examine the routes of women-authored literature translated into Galician in the 21st century. My purpose is to assess the political role of translation in the construction of cultural and gender identities from a feminist and postcolonial approach. If, as stated by Even-Zohar (1990), for peripheral or non-State literatures (of which Galician can be considered a paradigmatic example), translated literature is a powerful resource to provide alternatives, my analysis is intended to become a critical tool to help reveal what are the criteria currently followed in the construction of the literary canon in Galicia: What women authors are translated into Galician? What literary traditions do these women authors represent? What are the source systems they are coming from? In what historical period are they literary productions framed? And finally, does the selection of these women authors go in line with current debates in Transnational Feminist Studies and its claims for an activist solidarity/sorority among women coming from peripheral/marginalised contexts?

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