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Translation and Transcultural Studies Research Seminar with Dr Emek Ergun (UNC)

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University of Warwick

Translation and Transcultural Studies Research Seminars


Monday 15 March 2021, 5-6pm


Feminist Translation as a Critical Praxis of Transnational Feminism

Emek Ergun


In her talk, Ergun will investigate the political potential of feminist translation to facilitate cross-border mobilities of feminist texts, enable local feminist interventions into heteropatriarchal regimes of truth, connect feminist activists across differences, and help forge transnational solidarities of resistance against violence against women. In order to explore this potential of translation, Ergun draws on a case study that analyzes her Turkish translation of Hanne Blank’s Virgin (2007/2008) – a popular western history book presenting a demedicalizing account of virginity and demystifying its “man-made” history – and the receptions of the translated book among a group of feminist readers in Turkey. 

Comparing the US and Turkey, two unevenly positioned cultures with different configurations of virginity and feminist legacies, Ergun will discuss how a western book was mobilized to unsettle Turkey’s virginity codes and what kinds of transgressive effects it generated among feminist readers. This discussion aims to reveal important political lessons on how to build transnational solidarities in a world organized around mutually sustaining oppositionalities


Emek Ergun is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the US. She is the co-editor of Feminist Translation Studies: Local and Transnational Perspectives (Routledge, 2017) and the 5th edition of Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives (Routledge, 2020). She is also an activist feminist translator and her most recent translation is of Octavia E. Butler’s classic novel, Kindred, published in Turkey in 2019.

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