The Body in Translation – Translation, the Human body and Early Modern Demarcations of Knowledge
This project examines how different kinds of human bodies were constituted through translation in medical, ethnographic and religious discourses in the early modern global world.
The project aims to historicize present notions of translation by analysing a test case at the interstices of nature and culture. It examines how different kinds of human bodies were constituted through translation in medical, ethnographic and religious discourses in the early modern global world. It is concerned with conceptual and physical dimensions of the human body, and how these intersect with translation as a practice and a concept. Translation will be viewed as a part of historical processes – not simply a word with a history, but an epistemological and colonial practice having to do with the transfer of knowledge and power.
The main objectives are:
- to examine the entanglement of translation and early modern and emergent modern notions of the human body as a cultural, spiritual and biological entity, and demonstrate the vast differences of the translated body and its epistemic, ontological and cultural value in different discourses;
- to use this ‘laboratory’ of early modern difference, also conventionally construed as the ‘origin’ of modernity (‘early modern’), to mediate between divergent notions of translation in current theory and to develop new approaches to translation within cultural history, the history of science and medicine.