Workshop: “Translation Theory and Practice: Instrumental vs. Hermeneutic Models”

On Friday, April 1st, 2016 Lawrence Venuti (Temple University) will be holding a workshop for graduate students titled “Translation Theory and Practice: Instrumental vs. Hermeneutic Models”. The workshop will take place at the Peter Wall Institute (Seminar Room) from 9:00 to 11:00am, and will be closely related to Venuti’s lecture “Translation, Intertextuality, Interpretation” (5:00-6:30pm, April 1st, Green College – Coach House).


Although the history of translation theory and practice has been distinguished by a range of concepts and strategies, two approaches have recurred so frequently as to be considered dominant models. The first can be called instrumental, treating translation as the reproduction or transfer of an invariant contained in or caused by the source text, whether its form, its meaning, or its effect. The second can be called hermeneutic, treating translation as the inscription of an interpretation, one among varying and even conflicting possibilities, so that the source text is seen as variable in form, meaning, and effect. This seminar will explore the continuing pertinence of these models for the study and practice of translation by examining the work of various theorists and commentators, including Jerome, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Eugene Nida, Gideon Toury, Antoine Berman, and Jacques Derrida. The discussions will be grounded in analyses of translations into and out of English from a variety of humanistic genres and text types, including the lyric poem, prose fiction, the screenplay, and philosophy. Attention will be given to various theoretical concepts, including equivalence, norms, and ethics, as well as the fundamental relationship between theory and practice.


If you are interested in attending the workshop, please contact:
Elisa Segnini at before February 26th.