Open Panel: Translation and Invisible Violence in the Human Sciences

An international conference hosted by the
Centre for Translation and the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies,
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

In collaboration with the
Genealogies of Knowledge Project, University of Manchester, UK

7-9 April 2020



Translation and Invisible Violence in the Human Sciences

Convenors: René Lemieux, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada and Joshua Price, Binghamton University, US

Translation in the human sciences is often associated with extending, even emancipating knowledge. In the liberal humanist tradition at its best, knowledge production disavows chauvinism. Yet scholarly translations are sometimes enlisted in projects of knowledge production that lead to the expansion of cultural hegemony, are at the service of nationalism, or contribute to furthering linguistic domination. Thus, the transnational dimension of scholarly translation is not always necessarily driven by a spirit of peaceful internationalism. Indeed, it is sometimes a site of conflict and invisible violence. Epistemicide, or the destruction of knowledge, as the word suggests, can also be a product of the involvement of translation in such knowledge production projects (Sousa Santos 2014).

Themes to be explored in this panel, which focuses on the domains of philosophy and the human sciences, include but are not limited to the following:

  • Methodologies that facilitate the study of global exchanges of knowledge when power is at stake
  • The limits and possibilities of ‘epistemicide’ as an analytic device to describe and interpret knowledge exchange processes and translation projects
  • The role that ‘linguistic equivalence’ through translation plays in the perpetuation of epistemic violence
  • Common patterns, techniques or strategies used in projects of cultural domination that are enacted through translation
  • The impact of nationalisms realized through translation projects on subaltern cultures or traditions.



de Sousa Santos, Boaventura (2014) Epistemologies of the South: Justice against Epistemicide, Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.


Panel Convenors

René Lemieux is Assistant Professor of translation at the Université de Sherbrooke, Canada. He was awarded a PhD in semiology (UQAM, Canada) with a dissertation exploring the reception and translation of the philosopher Jacques Derrida in America. He is currently completing a Master’s degree in law at the University of Ottawa, Canada, which focuses on the translational relationships between Canadian state law and Indigenous legal orders. His research interests include translation and reception theories, contemporary French philosophy and Indigenous issues, including translation of concepts from and into Indigenous languages. He has published in Translation Studies, TTR and Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Trahir.

Joshua Price is Professor in the Translation Research and Instruction Program (TRIP) and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Binghamton University in New York. His writings on translation have been published in Target, Translation Perspectives, TTR and Mutatis Mutandis. His translation (with María Constanza Guzmán) of Heidegger´s Shadow by José Pablo Feinmann was published in 2016 (Texas Tech). He also translated (with María Lugones) Indigenous and Popular Thinking in América by Rodolfo Kusch (Duke 2010). He is the author of several books on race, gender and institutional violence. His next book is tentatively entitled Translation and Epistemicide.


Submission of Paper Proposals

Submissions should be sent to the panel convenor (René Lemieux, and Joshua Price, by 30 September 2019.

Submissions should consist of:

(1) Abstract (300-400 words, including up to 5 bibliographic references).

(2) Contributor’s 150-word (maximum) biodata written in the third person. See examples from a previous event here:

(3) Full affiliation(s)

Notification of acceptance will be sent by 30 October 2019.