Remembering and Translating Violent Pasts: Literary Translations as Media of Transcultural Memory (Institutionalisiertes Forschungsprojekt)

Allgemeine Angaben

Dienstag, 01. Oktober 2024
Donnerstag, 30. September 2027
Weiterführender Link
Thematik nach Sprachen
Französisch, Spanisch, Sprachübergreifend
Literaturwissenschaft, Medien-/Kulturwissenschaft
Translation Studies, memory studies, contemporary literature

Aktiv beteiligte Person(en)

(z.B. Kooperation, Mitarbeiter, Fellows)

Claudia Jünke


The project has two central objectives: First, it sets out to investigate the role of literary translations as media of transcultural memory, i.e. their impact on the transnational remediation, transmission and circulation of memories of past violence. Second, it aims at mapping the role of translation in literary memory studies in order to counteract the oblivion of translation in this academic field. It is grounded on the idea that literary translations are important media of transcultural memory which negotiate between the source and the target culture, guarantee the “afterlife” (W. Benjamin) of texts in other contexts and contribute to memories’ migrations and transformations across the borders of book markets, languages and cultural spheres. “Translation” is both understood as interlingual transfer (“translation proper” in R. Jakobson’s terms) and – in a broader perspective – as transmission and relocation across different kinds of spatial, temporal and cultural borders.

The investigation is centred on memories of violent pasts in contemporary novels in the source languages French and Spanish and in the target languages German, French and Spanish. It consists of two case studies that will be analysed in three project areas: 1) French and Algerian novels on the Algerian War of Independence written in French and their translations into German and Spanish; 2) Argentinian and Chilean novels on the last military dictatorships written in Spanish and their translations into German and French. The method builds on insights from literary studies, memory studies and translation studies and distinguishes between the poetics of memory and translation (focus on textual aspects of the novels and their translations: literary construction of memories, translational features, translation strategies, translational paratexts) and the cultures and politics of memory and translation (focus on contextual aspects of the novels and their translations: the text’s reception and embedding in the source and target memory cultures, ethical aspects, different agents and institutions involved (translators, publishers, book markets, literary prizes etc.)).

Generally speaking, the project explores the transcultural migration and transformation of literary memories of the Algerian War of Independence and the last dictatorships in the Southern Cone in different transcultural, transnational and interlingual constellations; it outlines a new research design that results from an opening up of literary memory studies towards the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of translation studies and the “translational turn” in the humanities; it examines what translations “do” when they are “doing memory” and maps the role of translation in literary memory studies, particularly in the research on transcultural, transnational and “multidirectional” (M. Rothberg) memory.


FWF-Principal Investigator Project (Austrian Science Fund), Grant DOI: 10.55776/PAT4123723

Ersteller des Eintrags
Claudia Jünke
Montag, 08. April 2024, 17:25 Uhr
Letzte Änderung
Dienstag, 23. April 2024, 13:43 Uhr