Norma Bouchard


Nation(s) and Translations

In recent years, Translation Studies have been reformulated to encompass not only the technicalities associated with communicative processes across languages and semiotic systems, but also a broad range of geo-cultural and geo-political issues.  With this paper, I seek to explore the fundamental role played by discourses and practices of translation in the shaping of national, post-national and trans-national communities and identities in an Italian cultural context.  While my focus will be primarily on contemporary bi-lingual texts of the second post-war Republic (e.g., Aziz, Niemen, Bekkar, Scego, Sibhatu, and Lourdes de Jesus, I begin this presentation by revisiting earlier practices of ‘translatio’ in Italy pre-national past before touching upon the role of translation in imagining as well as questioning the nations of the Risorgimento, the Liberal State, and Fascism.


Norma Bouchard is Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at San Diego State and Professor of European Studies.  She also holds an appointment as Graduate faculty in Italian and Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut.  Her research interests include Mediterranean Studies, Italian American Studies, 19th and 20th century Italian Culture, Modernism and Postmodernism, Critical Theory, Theories of Nationalism, Migrant and Postcolonial Writings in Italy, and Film.  Among her book-length publications are The Politics of Culture and the Ambiguities of Interpretation: Umberto Eco’s Alternative (1998), Céline, Gadda, Beckett: Experimental Writers of the 1930s (2000), Risorgimento in Modern Italian Culture: Revisiting the 19th century Past in History, Narrative, and Cinema (2005), Reading and Writing the Mediterranean: Essays by Consolo (2006), Italian Cultural Studies: Negotiating Regional, National and Global Identities, Annali d’Italianistica 24 (2006), Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean (with V. Ferme, 2011), Italy and the Mediterranean: Words, Sounds, and Images of the Post-Cold War Era (with V. Ferme, 2013), Italy @ 150: National Discourse at the Sesquicentennial 1861-2011 (2012), and From Otium and Occupatio to Work and Labor (with V. Ferme, 2014).