Translation, in Gramsci and Benjamin, functions as a point of condensation and exemplification of their other aesthetic, philosophical, historical and political interests.
Translation is a central theme for both Antonio Gramsci and Walter Benjamin. This lecture will explore both the ways in which their understandings of translation share presuppositions that distinguish them from the theories of translation that were dominant in the twentieth century, while also emphasizing the significant differences that separate Benjamin’s conception of the task (Aufgabe) of the translator from Gramsci’s understanding of constitutive translatability (traducibilità).
Peter D. Thomas is a historian of political thought, a historian of philosophy and a political theorist at the Brunel University London. He has studied and worked at the University of Queensland, Freie Universität Berlin, L’Università “Federico II”, Naples, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Vienna. He has been a member in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a research fellow at the University of Helsinki, and the Jan van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, and a recipient of Australian, British, German, Italian and Dutch research fellowships.
Publications: Hegemony and the Modern Prince. Emancipatory Politics for a New Millennium (under review by Oxford University Press); “Against Ion’s Chain. Translatability in Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks”, in: Gavin Arnall and Katie Chenoweth (eds.), Theory, Translation, Universality: Contemporary Debates, New York 2019; The Gramscian Moment. Philosophy, Hegemony and Marxism, Leiden 2009 (Hb.)/Chicago 2011 (Pb.).
This Guest Lecture is the Keynote speech of the conference “Passagen: Walter Benjamin und Antonio Gramsci“ at the Institut für Romanistik der Universität Wien, in cooperation with the Arbeitskreis Kulturanalyse (aka):
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