Sneak Peek 28: Gleb Dmitrienko

Major and Minor Cultures in Translation: the Ambiguities of Soviet “Domestic” Translation Projects

Gleb Dmitrienko

Université de Montréal

Abstract: By a remarkable coincidence the first major works to introduce postcolonialism to Translation Studies (Cheyfitz 1991, Niranjana 1992) were published at the very time when the last known world empire – the Soviet Union – collapsed. However, Russian imperial project has somehow faded from view of Western postcolonial scholars making it important to revisit the relations between the Russian majority and ethnic minorities from a postcolonial perspective.

In our presentation, we will focus on the peculiarities of the Soviet imperial project of territorial and cultural expansion in the first half of the XXth century. Starting with a historical survey of the political and ideological context shaping and forging the Soviet State in 1918-1950s, we will then outline the main features of the Soviet “culture planning” policy (Witt 2011). From that perspective, we will discuss the role played by translation in the creation of an all-Soviet supra-national identity as well as in the preservation of the cultural heritage of minor Soviet nations.

Bio: A translator and interpreter, a PhD in Linguistics (Russia), an MA in Translation (UdeM) and a PhD student in Translation at the Université de Montréal, I am majorly interested in history of translation in general and different translation and interpretation theories in particular. I am also inspired by translation pedagogy and didactics. Besides that, I find my interest in the research of translation under different types of constraints.