Introduction or Why Should Historians of Modern Latin America Take Translation Seriously?

Goldfajn Tal, Ori Preuss, Rosalie Sitman

Abstract


The present special issue is the result of the encounter between two historians and a translation scholar from Tel Aviv University who have worked together on several translation projects from Spanish and Portuguese into Hebrew [3] and who are intrigued by the complex relationship between translation and history in Latin America in general, and, more specifically, by the way in which translation has been approached by historians of modern Latin America. We wondered, for instance, why it is that historians most often disregard translation despite its marked constitutive role in the region's history, and the obvious fact that historians not only work with translated material but may, likewise, act as translators themselves. Our initial aim in this volume, therefore, was to bring together scholars from the field of translation studies with historians specializing in Latin America, in the hope of providing a possible context for a dialogue between these two fields. However, as the project progressed, the first became more dominant and the location of the encounter between the disciplines moved mainly to the texts themselves, where the traductólogos clearly engage with issues and concerns more typically associated with the craft of the historian. Focusing on diverse cases across time and place in the region's history, and emphasizing different methodological and theoretical approaches, these essays provide a window on the advances of the field, at the same time as they raise important questions and possibly point to new avenues for future research for both historians of Latin America and translation scholars.

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