Why Do We Need Feminist Translation?

In this talk, Dr Peter Auger explores what we want in translations, what feminist translation is, and why we need it. It does so by looking back four centuries to the earliest Englishwomen to have a poetry collection printed under her name. Isabella Whitney’s A Sweet Nosegay (1573) versifies moral sayings that her male contemporary Hugh Plat had gathered as Flowers of Philosophy (1572) in a way that seems to reflect the vicissitudes of her harsh life. Whitney’s verses illustrate how gendered expectations shaped what and how individuals translated. They show how feminist translation can be a natural corrective to the male-dominated history of translation into English.

Dr Auger argues that we need new translations that reflect a wider range of human experience, so that our shared stories can keep growing through time.

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