Boris Buden

1 June 2022

Translation: Using the concept in society, culture, knowledge and art production?

There is no doubt about what has brought the concept of translation into the focus of social researchers, cultural theorists, scientists and, not least, artists – the globalization and the rising complexity of the world in which we live today. Centuries old picture of the world as a cluster of sovereign nation states and different cultures; the concept of knowledge meticulously divided into various disciplines and distributed among separate communities of peers; the idea of art enclosed into its own autonomous sphere, are crumbling before our eyes. The talk will explore what has made translation – usually understood as an auxiliary form of a proper linguistic practice – a conceptual remedy for the growing chaos in our minds and lives.

Required Reading:

Boris Buden, “Cultural Translation: Why it is important and where to start with it”

Boris Buden, “The Return of Sonafabitches. On Vernaculars, Properties, Translations and the Language of the Future”

Structure and Dynamics of the World System of Translation UNESCO, International Symposium ‘Translation and Cultural Mediation’, February 22-23, 2010

Guardian: “At risk of digital extinction: Europe’s smaller languages fight to survive”

– “At Least 21 European Languages in Danger of Digital Extinction”

Nicholas Ostler, The Last Lingua Franca

Nicholas Ostler: “Why should we protect endangered languages?” (Video)

Boris Buden is a writer, cultural theorist and translator. Born in the former Yugoslavia,  he studied philosophy in Zagreb and cultural theory at Humboldt University in Berlin. Since the beginning of the 1980s he has published essays and books on critical and cultural theory, psychoanalysis, politics and contemporary art in Croatian, German and English. He teaches at Universities in Europe and lectures worldwide. Buden is a permanent fellow at the European Institute of Progressive Cultural Policies in Vienna and currently lives in Berlin.