[2016-11-15] CUHK Translation Lecture Series 2016-17: Professor Peter Burke

Public Lecture
Professor Peter Burke
Emeritus Professor of Cultural History & Life Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
Translating the Past
Date: 15 November 2016 (Tuesday)
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 pm
Venue: LT 103, Y.C. Liang Hall, CUHK
Language: English
The Speaker
Prof. Peter Burke is an Emeritus Professor of Cultural History and Life Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge. He describes himself as a cultural historian and his expertise spreads from cultural and social history of early modern Europe to the modern time. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to history, namely anthropological, sociological and linguistic, his research fields include social histories of language and knowledge. His works amount to twenty-six books which have so far been translated into thirty-one languages.
The Abstract
This lecture is concerned with comparisons, contrasts and connections between different forms of translation – the translation of texts, images, gods, cultures and so on, noting that translations between languages offer the most explicit evidence of translations between cultures. A discussion of the history, practice and problems of cultural translation will take as a case-study the writing of history. If ‘the past is a foreign country’, then the task of historians is to make that foreignness intelligible to the present, in other words to translate it. In so doing, historians face the dilemma of rejecting or accepting a certain degree of anachronism, a dilemma that has much in common with those faced by translators between languages.
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