Inaugural lecture by professor Luc van Doorslaer on translation studies

On Wednesday, 16 May at 16:15, the University of Tartu Professor of Translation Studies Luc van Doorslaer delivers his inaugural lecture “The Inbetweenness of Translation Studies” in the university assembly hall.

Despite his relative invisibility, the ‘in between’ position of the translator is generally acknowledged. A translator is a mediator, the essence of his activity is crossing borders, necessarily lingering in cultural and linguistic contact zones. It is exactly this characteristic that makes the translator and translation modern and fascinating research objects for the humanities, especially in an era where inbetweenness has become a popular trope. The time when translation was considered a mere linguistic operation is well behind us. In the activity zone of the translator, in his interculture, every transfer is re-negotiated, re-located and re-mediated.

This lecture will scrutinise the extent to which the modernity of translation is (or can be) reflected in the institutional situation of the (inter)discipline known as translation studies. Academic disciplines have their own traditions and methods. Even though interdisciplinarity is widely stimulated, it also conflicts with the existing mapping, categorisations and pigeonholing. Would fuzziness and inbetweenness be a quality or rather a burden for the development of a disciplinary identity in our academic world?

Luc van Doorslaer has worked at the universities of Duisburg (Germany), Antwerp and Leuven (both Belgium). He is the director of CETRA, the Centre for Translation Studies at KU Leuven. In 2018, he has been Scholar in Residence at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. As a Research Associate he is affiliated with Stellenbosch University (South Africa), and since 2016 he is the Vice President of EST, the European Society for Translation Studies. Together with Yves Gambier, he is the editor of the online Translation Studies Bibliography (14th release 2017) and the four volumes of the Handbook of Translation Studies (2010–13). Other recent books edited include Eurocentrism in Translation Studies (2013), The Known Unknowns of Translation Studies (2014), Interconnecting Translation Studies and Imagology (2016) and Border Crossings. Translation Studies and other Disciplines (2016). His main research interests are: journalism and translation, ideology and translation, imagology and translation, institutionalisation of Translation Studies.

Professor Luc van Doorslaer’s work in Tartu is supported by the University of Tartu ASTRA project PER ASPERA, which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Additional information: Luc van Doorslaer,

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