Keynote Speaker

Jens Loenhoff (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Translation and Differentiation. Towards a Sociology of Translation

In one of his lectures, Vermeer states that communication and translation are “catalysts for the formation or dissolution of groups and societies”. This suggestion can be read as an outline of the object of a Sociology of Translation which would have to be more than the one-sided fixation on Bourdieu’s praxeology and its concept of habitus. Especially the second part of the sentence describing translation as contributing to the dissolution of groups and societies indicates a relationship which seems to be a blind spot in a discourse on translation spurred by emphatic notions of understanding and reconciliation. Hence, two points are worth considering: in what sense does translation not only support processes of functional differentiation but potentially also lead to the recognition or constitution of borders and the manifestation of differences? And how can this be thought of in the context of a Sociology of Translation inspired by a theory of society?

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jens Loenhoff
Institute for Communication Studies
Faculty of Humanities
University Duisburg-Essen