Bio: Paul F. Bandia is a professor of French and Translation Studies in the Department of French at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. He is an Associate Fellow of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is currently the President of the Association for Translation Studies in Africa (ATSA) and a member of the Executive Council of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS). Professor Bandia is the author of Translation as Reparation: Writing and Translation in Postcolonial Africa (Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing, 2008), editor of Orality and Translation, special issue, Translation Studies, vol. 8, no. 2 (London & NY: Routledge, 2015), Writing and Translating Francophone Discourses: Africa, the Caribbean, Diaspora. Studies in Comparative Literature 78 (Amsterdam: Rodopi/Brill Publishers, 2014); co-editor of Charting the Future of Translation History (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2006), Agents of Translation(Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2009), and Rencontres Est-Ouest/East-West Encounters, TTR (Traduction, Terminologie, Rédaction : Études sur le texte et ses transformations), vol. 1 (2010).
Abstract: It is my intention in this lecture to trace the brief but exciting journey of translation research on Africa through the prism of European-language literature following the key historical and defining epochs of the continent. Translation has been instrumental in the representation of Africanity whether at the intersection of orality and modernity or in relation to discourses of anticolonialism, postcolonialism, and globalization. The African text has evolved in different ways at various moments of history with the concept of translation underlying these transmutations. It is therefore interesting to elucidate the importance of translation in relation to the historical milestones of the continent and its peoples and cultures from colonization, postcolonialism, neocolonialism to globalization. Translation discourse in/on Africa is located in the contexts of the colony, the postcolony, as well as the diaspora. It seems quite timely to account for this fascinating journey at this juncture, given the growing awareness of the importance of translation scholarship in interdisciplinary research or across disciplines.