Welcome to HIST1257, Translation and Empire in the Early Modern World!
This graduate seminar introduces students to the emerging field of historical translation studies, situates it in the context of growing historiographical interest in transnational and trans-imperial entanglements, and surveys the historiography on translators and interpreters as significant social actors in the formation of early modern and modern polities. Topics include medieval and early modern theories and practices of translation, language ideologies, the roles of interpreters in missionary and colonial contexts, and translation as a dimension of state-formation and imperial governance. Our sample of case studies will be broad, ranging from the Mediterranean and Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. We will pay close attention to the intersections between History, Anthropology, Translation Studies, and Postcolonial Studies (among others), and will ask what is at stake in repurposing and recalibrating conceptual frameworks and methodological tools across time, space, and disciplinary divides.
This website is a work in progress whose development will depend largely on students' active contributions and evolving interests. In the meantime, you may find here the syllabus and some basic instructions on the use of the Open Source program Zotero, which we will use intensively throughout the semester to manage, curate, and annotate the course's reading list.
Finally, please note that any content posted to this course website is accessible only to members of the seminar, unless you explicitly mark it as public. Please respect your colleagues and do not circulate, repost, cite, or reuse their work in any other way without first asking for their permission.
Welcome, everyone, and I look forward to an exciting semester together,