SEIS Academic Forum Series （No.739）
Forum on Translation Studies
The Birth of Translation Studies: A Recent Story?
主讲人：Professor José Lambert
Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature, Literary Studies and Translation Studies at KU Leuven
It has been told that the birth of Translation Studies (TS) was a success story. The question is now to what extent the new challenges of the globalizing world from the 21st century will find responses in the new discipline. Questions about the origins of disciplines have chances to be relevant from the moment they go beyond picturesque stories or pictures (but we have them!). In fact it is not unknown that translation is as old as the Garden of Eden, whereas Translation Studies (TS) is very young as an Academic Discipline (as stressed by Daniel Gile). James Holmes’ text on The Name and Nature of TS (Holmes 1972) as well as Toury 1980 or Hermans’ The Manipulation of Literature (Hermans 1985) need to be contextualized, e.g. in their dissatisfaction with many translation theories from the recent past, or with the unawareness of any translation conceptualization in everyday Academia. While many innovative initiatives developed from 1990 on, the impact of the networking around Holmes and others remains strong in the institutionalization of Target (https://benjamins.com/catalog/target), Cetra (https://www.arts.kuleuven.be/cetra ), in the sudden boom of scholarly publications, etc. The growing interdisciplinarity and the recent globalization trends on five continents may look spectacular, but fragmentation, a well-known feature of academic traditions, is threatening also in TS.
About the speaker:
José LAMBERT (1941) is a Professor Emeritus at KULEUVEN (BELGIUM), where he taught Comparative Literature, Literary Studies and Translation Studies (1970 – 2006); he specialized more and more in Translation Studies, but without abandoning Comparative Literature, the area of his PhD (1972). He was a visiting professor at Amsterdam, Paris-Sorbonne, Namur, Philadelphia (Univ. of Pennsylvania), New York (NYU), Edmonton, Göttingen, in South-Africa (1985-1987), then in Brazil (Florianópolis, Fortaleza). He was the European Secretary of ICLA and FILLM (1985-1991) and also the Founding Vice-President of the Société Belge de Littérature Générale et Comparée. Besides his publications in Comparative Literature, he is mainly known as one of the pioneers of Translation Studies as a new discipline, particularly as the organizer of the historical Leuven Conference Literature and Translation (1976). (- Leuven 1976 is supposed to have been the starting point of Translation Studies, around James Holmes, Gideon Toury, Itamar Even-Zohar, André Lefevere, Susan Bassnett, Raymond Van den Broeck, Efim Etkind, etc.; - Leuven 1976 was also the background of a new generation: Theo Hermans, Lieven D’hulst, Kitty van Leuven, etc.).
With Gideon Toury (Tel-Aviv), Lambert was the founding co-editor of the leading journal Target (John Benjamins, 1989 - ), which generated Benjamins Translation Library (1994) and the Translation Studies Bibliography (Benjamins, 2004 - ).
Lambert’s main merit is probably to have initiated the tradition of research training in Translation Studies by creating CETRA, also in 1989 ( https://agenda.kuleuven.be/en/content/cetra-research-summer-school-2019 ), where a long list of established scholars have been teaching (Toury, Vermeer, Snell-Hornby, Gile, Neubert, Bassnett, Gambier, Pym, Pöchhacker, Shlesinger, Schäffner, etc.) and where an international staff of experienced scholars are yearly in charge of a selection of young scholars from five continents.
It can be said that Lambert’s activities have oriented the training of scholars in Translation Studies and in research on the dynamics of culture.
See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGq5uJtu_qA (EST; Daniel Gile, Yves Gambier, etc.)