Sometimes it takes a while until a conference gets translated into a published book. It took particularly long for the conference „The Transnational Study of Culture: Lost or found in Translation?„, which I co-organised together with Doris Bachmann-Medick, Ansgar Nünning and my wife Kirsten in 2009.
In the concept for the conference, we wrote:
Presently we find a diversity of approaches in (Western) academe going by the name of „Cultural Studies“, „Sciences Humaines“ or „Kulturwissenschaft(en)“. For a long time already, all of these approaches have faced the challenge of inter- and transdisciplinarity. Until today, however, they have too seldom (and too vaguely) examined ways to expand their own transnational and transcultural horizon. On further exploring their transnational scope, the category of translation opens up highly promising perspectives since cooperation between different research cultures increasingly takes place under the influence of the study of culture which is becoming more international. Translation can thus become a useful model to negotiate between – and link together – different traditions within the study of culture in joint transnational endeavors.
Doris Bachmann-Medick has succeeded in translating an inspiring, yet rather diverse conference into a readable book which can tell the reader a lot about the translatability and untranslatability of culturally oriented academic approaches such as Cultural Studies and German Kulturwissenschaft(en).