Pedro Lemebel inaugura la escena escritural chilena con una boca llena. Boca abierta con una lengua que no se detiene, que se suelta y despliega para posarse, lamer, enroscarse, penetrar y libar la posibilidad de crear mundos a partir de escrituras-lecturas conectadas a referentes en movimiento; se encarama, se sube al “trapecio” en la creación, la invención, la acción, la intervención en/con las palabras-cuerpo, signos significantes, sonoridades y materialidades densas, llenas de ecos y resonancias múltiples siempre.
Pedro Lemebel opens up the Chilean writing scene with a full mouth, a mouth that is open with a tongue that does not delay, that breaks free and scatters—alighting, licking, curling up, penetrating, and sipping at the possibility of creating worlds through writings-readings connected to referents in motion; it extolls, it climbs to the trapeze of creation, invention, action, intervention in/with words, body, signifying marks, dense sonorities and materialities, always full of multiple echoes and resonances.
—Gilda Luongo, “Háblame de Pedro . . . ”
The cover image for this special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly reminds us of the dilemma of translating, of being-in-relation, of a moving copresence. Here, one embodied language does not replace another but befriends it, critiques it, touches it, transfuses it. Chilean travesti author Pedro Lemebel poses in a moment of multiple transfusions with her artistic collaborator Francisco Casas. We are to wonder: What is being projected on whom? Whose blood is in the tube? How many figures are there, and what is the ground upon which those figures become (in)dividual? Who are we to them, anyway? Is there a clear directionality at work, or a viscous simultaneity? Are they translations of one another? Are we? If so, must we be first disconnected, then individual, then countable, then substitutable? Pedro Lemebel (1952–2015) sits next to the Chilean poet Francisco Casas, doubling him, doubling Frida Kahlo, covered in oil paint and wearing a heart on her skin. Kahlo's painting from 1939 is projected upon their bodies sixty years later. Where is the translation? Whose blood is being transfused to whom? Such ambivalences, however, have no place within the technocratic social orders of monolingualism, reactionary multilingualism, and the GILT industry (globalization, internationalization, localization, and translation), which together aspire to translate fixity, monetizable singularity, and political authentication.1 The image, Las dos Fridas (The Two Fridas; 1989), slows and scatters such ideologies of orderly, pure, translatable languages—replacing them with language that—as the Chilean scholar Gilda Luongo says of Lemebel's work—is always “alighting, licking, curling up, penetrating, and sipping at the possibility of creating worlds” (Navarrete Higuera and Luongo 2015).
But, as Anthony Pym reminds us in his volume on Method in Translation History, “most histories of cultures find little place for uprooted intermediaries, who flicker around the chapter divisions as momentary and isolated figures. Intermediaries are accorded little history of their own. . . . To say that intermediaries, like translators, have culture, or even have a special kind of culture—would perhaps be to contradict etymology” (1998: 18). Indeed, the contributions to this special issue, “Translating Transgender,” demonstrate just how—in historical and contemporary contexts alike—transgender and translational narratives “flicker around the . . . divisions” of language, the body, law, and the state, in ways that confound disciplinary methods and orderly linguistic categories.2 Translations are often obligated to serve primarily as pragmatic substitutions for one another, while the tactile, mutable, precarious relation between the translation and the translated is made to recede into secondary relevance, into its “production history.” When this sort of suppression does not occur, when a translation and its prior or prospective instances are permitted to dwell alongside one another for a moment, such a relationality most often summons trouble, equivocation, a break in the charismatic and orderly disclosure of meaning. When we have occasion or courage to summon various unperfected drafts in various language(s) to account for themselves as an ensemble, we moderns—habituated to the world-language system—ask: What went wrong? What is amiss? How can we mitigate as quickly as possible the awkward simultaneity before us, which undermines the grandeur and authority of the singular? Medieval and early modern speakers, such as the seventeenth-century transgender memoirists discussed by Emily Rose in this issue, had no technocratic world-language system upon which to ground such concerns of linguistic propriety, writing as they did prior to the large-scale modern invention of monolingualism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
This special issue emerged in part from a workshop at the University of Arizona in January 2015, where an international group of scholars and artists met to share their insights and experiences around the question of translating transgender.3 From the outset, it was not clear what relation this pairing intended: Was transgender in this formulation a noun—that is, a domain or experience to be translated? Was transgender here an adverb, characterizing the practice of translation, along the lines of “translating while, or by virtue of being, transgender”? Or was the emphasis rather on translating along or across an axis of gender, in which gender is itself the domain of translational practice? Such are three distinct ways of reading the title of this special issue. These vicissitudes of meaning became all the more salient when we asked for colleagues’ help in translating the call for papers for this special issue of TSQ into various languages they knew, including Arabic, Korean, Polish, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew, and Greek.4
Selecting an image for the cover of this special issue was no easy endeavor. It is notoriously difficult to drum up visual representations of translation, interpreting, and multilingualism that do not either (1) reinforce easy, hegemonic myths about what these practices are and whose purposes and symbolic orders they serve, or (2) allegorize them into bleary meaninglessness. A quick online image search for these keywords indeed brings us, without ado, directly into the most intransigent core of language ideology—which holds that languages are unified, countable, stable, orderly, well-bordered systems, and that human speakers use language(s) for discrete and instrumental communicative aims to represent their ideas. This is a conceit that the Danish linguist Sune Vork Steffensen refers to as the “3I model” of language: the substantialist-behaviorist notion that language is fundamentally instrumental, internal, and individual to persons (2015: 106). In contrast, Steffensen envisions a post-3I linguistics that views languages (and their translation) as only ever embodied, extended, ecological, and enacted, a paradigm that he calls a “4E-linguistics” (105). Indeed, the ethnographic and philological studies in this special issue underscore and elaborate on Steffensen's revision of the legacy of structuralist linguistics, a legacy from which contemporary orthodoxies about translation tend to derive.
Kindred interventions come from Global-South applied linguists who find fault with the very notion that language(s) are singular or plural, that they can be enumerable just as other by-products of empire are enumerable and countable. In their 2006 volume, Alastair Pennycook and Sinfree Makoni, for instance, suggest it is the responsibility of scholarship, translation, and art alike to “disinvent and reconstitute languages” along new lines of inquiry that do not merely line up with received humanistic orthodoxies about communication and community cohesion, orthodoxies that ultimately underwrite a cultural politics of monolingualism (Makoni and Pennycook 2006). Though monolingualism, like cisgender, often remains a normative, unmarked category of practice and analysis, it is also a historically hard-won and contingent structure of the modern era. Drawing on the indigenous sociolinguistic landscape of early colonial Peru, Mary Louise Pratt (2012), for instance, joins other recent scholarly attempts to provincialize Ferdinand de Saussure's epoch-making 1915 tableau of the circuit de la parole (“circuit of speech,” the normative image of speech between two equally enfranchised, bodiless, liberal, cisgender speakers of a single language). Pratt contrasts Saussure's image with the seventeenth-century bilingual Quechua critic Felipe Guaman Poma's drawings of linguistic encounter, between missionary priests and Andean women. It is worth quoting Pratt's analysis at length:
From the standpoint of liberalism, Guaman Poma's drawing depicts everything Saussure's seeks to dispel. We see “two individuals” joined in multi-faceted relations of radical hierarchy, inequality, passion, and violence. They differ by gender, race, age, status, education, livelihood, and emotional state. The drawing marks all of these differences on their bodies. An institutional setting is present. The point of commonality that brings them together here is Catholicism, which is also the arbiter of their differences. The speech act involved, confession, is predicated on an asymmetry of power: one has the power to give or withhold absolution. The other has the power to ask or beg for it. There is no reciprocity or reversibility here. There is despair, rage, lust, rape, mala fe—and multilingualism. The two are native speakers of different, wholly unrelated languages. The acoustic signals passing between them will not be identical. They will be marked by their social and historical differences. Three languages are in play, likely distributed as follows: the priest is a native speaker of Spanish and is literate in it as well as in Latin. He may have sufficient mastery of Quechua to preach and receive confession, as the Spanish church encouraged. The woman is a native speaker of Quechua who may know some Spanish or none, and she is not literate. Her access to the doctrines that bind her body and soul runs through the priest, who does not administer them in her interest. But she also inhabits an Andean history, cosmology, and social world to which he has little access. Both probably understand a good deal more of the other's language than they speak. ( 2015: 20)
Given the disparity Pratt illustrates between these two scenarios—Saussure's dehistoricized, statutorily equal, genderless, power-agnostic, rights-bearing citizen-communicators and Guaman Poma's embodied, hierarchically multilingual, colonizer-supplicants—the figures depicted in the Andean drawing exert an illocutionary force across colonial history, toward Saussure's high-modern normative image of human speech. This constellation of ethical and historical call-and-response is what Mikhail Bakhtin describes as “answerability” ( 1990). That is, Saussure's heuristic vision of equality and communication in language practice may indeed be a latter-day monolingualized technocratic fable, purchased upon the sedimented colonial history of adverse multilingualism that the seventeenth-century Guaman Poma documented in situ. Together, the composite figural story emerging among these two juxtaposed models (Saussure and Guaman Poma) is a story of the making of monolanguages—discrete, isomorphic, panfunctional, and indivisible (Gramling 2016: 15–17).
If the modern and contingent construct of cisgender and the equally modern and contingent construct of monolingualism have been hard-won over the course of industrial modernity, there is no reason to presume that either is now in a period of devolution or decline, merely because we have been able to identify and hail them for critique. In fact, what we might consider “cislingualism”—the compulsion to perform on the normatively “here” side of language(s), rather than in the “there” of wayward, unhygienic, excessive, translingual, or disorderly speech—may indeed be on the rise in the twenty-first century, as technocratic models for the management of multilingual subjectivity are honed and celebrated in Europe and beyond. Machine translation has long since left the bounds of rules-based protocols and is now progressing by way of “fuzzy crosslinguistic algorithms” that create “synsets” of synonymous meaning from one well-ordered world language to the next (Gramling 2016: 76). In such a technocratic matrix, translingual practices—those of Pedro Lemebel, Wilson Bueno, Anxélica Risko, the khunthas, the androginos, the mujercitos, the vestidas, the locas, the transsukupuolinen, the hijras—fall further and further from the global aperture of translatable intelligibility.
Since its French-language publication in 2004, Barbara Cassin et al.’s mammoth and complex undertaking, titled European Vocabulary of Philosophies: Dictionary of Untranslatables, has sparked new discussions about the notion of untranslatability in scholarly and political life. Cassin's project and its partner endeavors in the United States, headed up by the comparatist Emily Apter, have taken pains to chart how ontological monolingualism and methodological nationalism have exerted a structuring effect on the course of interdisciplinary scholarly discussions—which often benefit from the presumptive conceptual auspices of hybridity, transnationality, or cosmopolitanism. The 1,350 pages of the dictionary (in English translation) are dedicated to four hundred entries drawn from more than twelve languages, a compendium that in its composite multidirectionality urges scholars to take up anew the question of intralingual traffic in the constitution and reconstitution of their disciplines. Cassin is explicit that the project claims to account not for concepts that are untranslatable as such but, rather, for concepts that are so productive in translation—whether compulsively, equivocally, or aesthetically productive—that one cannot cease translating them.
As it traveled across the Atlantic into English, the dictionary lost its designation “European,” being rendered simply in English as Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon. The disappearance of “European” and the reversal of the title and subtitle from French to English suggest some of the ways the marketing of the volume in translation clash with its own stated philosophical goals in the source text. Namely, what was first designated as a project oriented around Europe and around philosophy has been exported as a universal conceptual project, unburdened of the specific production context and limited presumption of epistemic scope of its prior French-language text. The project itself has registered as one of the most laborious and impressive events of academic collaboration in recent memory, and it has inspired and provoked scholars from varying fields in the human sciences to contribute their own resources, paradigms, and points of departure for an inquiry into the political and epistemic relevance of a concept such as “untranslatability.” The Cassin-Apter collaboration has attracted a great deal of admiration throughout the human sciences and a few scathing rebuffs (see, for instance, Venuti 2016). While many veteran scholars in translation studies express some ambivalence—noting that these sorts of questions are and have been the bread and butter of their discipline since the mid-1960s—other scholars in comparative literature note that the grandeur and scope of Cassin's project finds predecessors in philological research from the early eighteenth century, when work amid the intransigent complexity of multiple languages formed the core of the empirical project.
Indeed, Cassin et al.’s project and the wave of inquiry it both epitomized and induced served as catalysts for this special issue of TSQ. We noticed in reading the dictionary that, while twelve languages are several, they are indeed not many, and we were eager to hear what nonelite, vernacular meanings in transgender communities might reveal about the axiomatic orientations of the Cassin project. The majority of its elucidations on translatability still revolved around German, French, English, Russian, Spanish, classical Greek, Latin, and Italian. Meanwhile, Portuguese, Mandarin, Hebrew, and other—still major—philological languages occupied a much smaller portion of the discourse. With the emergence and intensification of scholarly inquiry in transgender studies, the paradigm of untranslatability promises to offer opportunities and problems that range far beyond mere additive “language coverage.” The Cassin project, for instance, handles gender and sex thematically, rather than as domains for translation and translatability in themselves. The concept of gender itself appears in the dictionary primarily in the sense of the grammatical declension of nouns and adjectives, rather than the subjectivity of persons.
But the broader issue that prompted a reconsideration of the project from the perspective of transgender studies was in some senses a matter of scale. A more political way of putting this is that the concepts, particularities, and “corposubjectivities” (Alba Pons Rabasa, this issue) that animate transgender lives and inquiries will routinely tend to elide the attention of grand narratives of philosophical discourse—discourses that, as the dictionary's entry on subjectivity notes, gave us our cisnormative conceptions of gender in the first place. This special issue is thus not so much meant as a minoritizing complement to the Dictionary of Untranslatables, focused on the discrete domain of transgender inquiry, as it is a majoritizing project, designed to review and adjust some of the principles that guided Cassin's endeavor from the start. What do transgender subjectivities—in and around language—contribute to our knowledge of translation practice? How do inquiries based in transgender lives help us to question the heuristic sturdiness of such well-loved categories as domesticating versus foreignizing translation, source versus target literature, authenticity and fealty, the “afterlife” of a text in translation, and related concepts (Venuti 1995; Benjamin  1996)? Where can the political and institutional circumstances of transgender activism and advocacy reveal gaps in the politics of translation or the ideal of a “right to untranslatability” (Apter 2013)? What do monolingualism and cisgender positionality have to do with one another, structurally and politically? How can transgender notions of what a text is—in relation to such concepts as texture, tissue, body, face, and the like—yield new sensibilities about the age-old “task of the translator” (Benjamin  1996)?
While the pursuit of multilinguality within the field of transgender studies, beyond the mere “pluralization of monolingualisms” (Pennycook 2010: 12), seemed important to us, we also had to take cognizance of the inherent geopolitical and structural inequalities that deeply skew the terrain of translational practice and underlie hierarchies of labor within the political economy of translation. In the aftermath of many centuries of colonialism and amid both persistent and new forms of inequality within contemporary globalization and transnational capitalism, the need or requirement to translate, or conversely the ability to escape the imperative of translation, is deeply dependent on geopolitical and linguistic location. If, as Pym reminds us, intermediaries and translators are already accorded little acknowledgment of their role in culture or history, there are further hierarchical elisions among translators, with the labor of translation being more invisibilized even as it is normatively mandated or expected in the case of people in disadvantageous geopolitical and sociolinguistic locations.5 In particular, the rise and hegemonic consolidation of English as a default lingua franca of transnationalism means that translation both to and from anglophone discourses has become an imperative that structures daily life as well as academic and activist practice in many postcolonies.
For instance, Dalit (lower or oppressed caste) activists and scholars in South Asia have pointed out how linguistic hierarchies intersect with and compound other axes of social hierarchy, with English (in this particular case) being used as an instrument of control to which, and from which, dominated groups must compulsorily translate: “English dominates higher education and research in India, steadily weeding out all Indian languages except sanskritised Hindi out of its ‘modern’ institutions, in the last sixty-five years. There wouldn't be many milestones, roads, railway stations, airports etc., in India where you wouldn't find signs in English, or any forms at any government office/institution which do not accept English, or any laws or bills or orders or ordinances or regulations or documents or reports or any other literature published by the state which do not have English versions” (Kuffir 2014). This structure and relationality of power perpetuates a political economy of translation wherein translation to (neo)imperial languages like English (and, to a lesser extent, other languages with similar histories and functions such as Spanish or Portuguese) becomes compulsory to overcoming linguistic subalternity, to not only “speak” but also “be heard” within the institutions that matter (Spivak 1988). At the same time, this skewed political economy of translation ensures that linguistic elites are able to increasingly consolidate their access to knowledges produced in various locations, as well as exert their ideological and discursive influence, without having to undertake the concrete labor of translation themselves.
This affects queer and transgender discourse in concrete ways—for example, LGBT activist spaces and networks at both transnational and postcolonial national levels often mandate English or similar power languages as the compulsory medium of communication; indeed, as one of us (Aniruddha) has observed during fieldwork in India, communication in any other language may be forbidden in online LGBT groups or made conditional upon the provision of a simultaneous translation into English, expected to be made by the authors themselves without the help of interlocutors or group administrators. However, translation into any other language—positioned as “regional” or “vernacular” irrespective of how widely they may be used among the target demographic—is typically never mandated for posts or comments in English. International activist and academic conferences will also often, for ostensibly pragmatic reasons, accept abstracts and papers only in English, with only sporadic and uneven concessions. (For example, the Twelfth International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, held in March 2016 in Bangladesh, permitted abstract submissions in Bengali in addition to English—a deviation from its standard practice of English-only submissions in previous years.) This political economy of translation has also meant that terms like transgender have acquired a degree of compulsory usage and an aspirational universal legibility among gender-variant communities transnationally, positioning other terms as more “regional” or culturally constrained, and even as less respectful or ontologically accurate (Dutta and Roy 2014; see also Helen Hok-Sze Leung, this issue). In this context, allowing transgender studies to be as multilingual, as multidirectional and linguistically centrifugal, and as untranslatable as methodologically possible seemed an important aspect of the development of the field, even as we must acknowledge the structural limitations of such an endeavor within the Anglo-American academic and publishing circuit. Despite the inherent limitations of our location, the studies in this special issue demonstrate a number of reasons why raising these questions remains important and potentially serves to interrogate and perhaps disrupt the anglonormativity of transnational transgender and queer activism and scholarship.
To take a case problematized in this issue, as Jyl Josephson and Þorgerður Einarsdóttir indicate in their survey of Icelandic politics around the word transgender, the anglocentric prefix trans exacerbates political conflicts around its transposition into Icelandic that, in turn, aggravate Iceland's trans community's pursuit of self-determination. Here we encounter a not-so-rare instance of complex conflict between several ostensibly unrelated planes of ideology: those of translingual morphosyntax, classic linguistic imperialism, and gender-confirmative cultural politics. While Iceland's social welfare structures guarantee free gender-confirmative medical services to all citizens as a civil right, the translingual-cognate prefix trans itself both recalls and performs the sort of anglonormative invasion that Iceland has struggled to stave off since before its independence from Denmark in 1944. While words like ferðaútvarp (transistor) and þverþjóðlegur (transnational) have successfully entered Icelandic linguistic usage without the internationalist prefix trans, Icelandic trans people's desire to develop and maintain social and political ties with kindred activists abroad has made such a linguistic domestication of the concept less palatable for the transgender community in Iceland.
As usual, one particular dilemma of translation practice spurred on this special issue. Consider the 1984 short story by contemporary Turkish-Kurdish author Murathan Mungan, “Love's Tears, or Rapunzel and the Drifter” (Turkish: “Aşkın gözyaşları ya da Rapunzel ile avare”), which features a transgender character who transitions from man to woman over the course of the short story. One of us (David) undertook a translation of this story beginning in 2010, in consultation with the story's author. The Turkish language has no pronominal gender, which is an absence that induces certain effects on social discourse within the Rapunzel story. Even without relying on notions of “strong” linguistic relativity, which might hold that the absence of pronominal gender in Turkish reveals a deeper thought structure of (non)gender within Turkish culture, we can instead say that the pragmatic constraints of the language itself indeed shift the sociolinguistic horizons of expectation among interacting speakers within the story, and also between author/translator and reader. For instance, whereas Josephson and Einarsdóttir, in their contribution to this issue, point out that cis- and transgender persons alike must necessarily gender themselves in Icelandic when ordering a cup of coffee, if they wish to observe basic grammatical principles, Turkish speakers can proceed through extended strings of written or spoken language without denotatively ascribing gender at all—to themselves or others. It is in this sense that the psychologist Dan Slobin (1996) proposed an alternative to the often misconstrued (so-called) Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, in which Slobin sought to supplant the notion that “language determines thought” with the principle of “thinking for speaking.” That is, speakers orient their sociocognitive activities toward what they will necessarily have to do, in a range of socio-symbolic settings, given the compulsory constraints of their language(s).
Such a complex repertoire of language-based affordances and constraints is, of course, multiplied in translation and in multilingual practice of all kinds. Furthermore, in a literary or otherwise textual artifact, there is most often nothing but language to corroborate ostensibly extralinguistic phenomena like gender. In the Mungan story, for instance, the two main characters are named Efkâr (a masculine-gendered name) and Ümit (a pangender name). Efkâr drives a group taxicab (dolmuş) in Ankara, where Ümit is a frequent passenger. The elapsed time of the story is about three years, at the end of which Efkâr, by this time in love with his passenger, asks Ümit to “get” sex reassignment surgery. Before this point in the narration, the reader (reading Turkish) has had no pronominal indication of Ümit's statutory or experienced gender—though both characters are variously feminized or masculinized by virtue of manifold intertextual references to a host of well-known Arabic, Persian, and Anatolian folktales that feature tragically star-crossed heterosexual couples.
When bringing this text into world-literary traffic through translation into English (or other languages with pronominal gender), the pragmatic constraints upon translating transgender promise some trouble. While Ümit has, throughout the story thus far, been free from any prospective effects of interpellation through pronominal gender, Efkâr's sudden demand that Ümit “get the surgery” mirrors, in a sense, and presages the demands the translator is poised to perform upon the text in translation. Ümit's linguistic (un)genderedness in the text would need to be effaced and retrofitted in translation, in order for it to enter anglophone circulation. Ümit would thus have to be made to pass (in anglophone translation) as a transsexual, as a gay man, or as a postoperative heterosexual woman, because that is how the episteme of translatability trans-codes Ümit, despite all intratextual pragmatic implicatures and counterevidence.
Some general questions arise here—ethical, moral, political, and aesthetic questions—that will be familiar to many literary translators, and that are far more than mere academic hand-wringing about philological detail: questions that are indeed questions of social life and death, questions of what might be considered translational biopolitics and necropolitics. Should someone translate such a text at all, given the symbolic violence entailed in performing pronominal gender upon a text that is simply not subject to it, and upon a fictional person whose putative “radical alterity” prior to translation is “just another way of saying [their] ‘reality’” prior to translation (Graeber 2015)? Whose perception of things, whose “thinking for speaking” (Slobin 1996) does the Turkish-to-English translator side with, and therefore compel readers to side with—with Efkâr, with Ümit, with the author, the reader, with West European transgender activists and theoreticians, with Turkish and Kurdish transgender activists? It is, of course, impossible to consult the fictional person Ümit directly on these questions. The only agent in a position to commit, or abstain from, the consequential and intricate range of linguistic manipulations entailed in this (and perhaps every) case is the translator alone, since pronominal gender is profoundly absent in Mungan's Turkish-language composition.
Such moments of practice as these—minute sites of translingual meaning making that, sometimes all of a sudden, demand a cultural politics beyond monolingualism and (un)translatability—prompted us to seek a broader critical agenda on these questions and to invite scholars and writers working in a range of contexts and methods to ruminate on a shared set of problems. Here are some of the axiomatic concerns that guided our conception of such a critical agenda, and why transgender studies currently offers a field of inquiry that can strive beyond methodological monolingualism in ways that other disciplines may be unable to broker. We have noted, for one thing, how few primary and secondary texts about transgender lives and ideas have been translated from language to language in any formal way over the centuries. Meanwhile, transgender, gender-variant, and gender-nonconfirming people have historically often been exiles, translators, language mediators, and multilinguals in greater numbers and intensities than their cisgender counterparts have. This kind of translingual positionality has become a generative, yet often precarious aspect of trans embodiment. Nonetheless, the discourses of transgender studies (as in the neighboring fields of LGBT/queer studies) continue to be more anglophone, more monolingual, and less translated than they historically ought to be, given how the subjects that produced those discourses have often been prototypes of transnational and translingual border crossing. This paradox of conceptual circulation continues to constrain disciplinary and conceptual agendas around sexuality and gender a great deal more than in fields that have long enjoyed consistent state recognition, institutional power, and access to international distribution pathways, such that they can now afford to forgo or postpone translation.
An important underlying structural feature of disciplinary monolingualism, which we must acknowledge and yet can only partially interrogate within the scope of this anglophone special issue, is the creation of “hub” languages for the production and translation of knowledge, and the corresponding reification of scalar or scale-based levels of discourse and praxis such as “global,” “transnational,” “regional,” and “local.” An intriguing study that serves as a useful point of departure for an examination of this issue is documented in Michael Erard's 2014 article, “Want to Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages to Speak.” The article publicizes a study undertaken by researchers from prestigious northern universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, who constructed a map to gauge the direction and extent of translation to and from various languages, as a measure of their influence. Predictably, as Erard summarizes, “English has the most transmissions to and from other languages and is the most central hub,” though not really much larger in terms of numbers of speakers than many other languages that hold less influence; it is followed by other languages like Spanish, Russian, or Arabic, which also serve as hubs for translation but to variably lesser extents. While the study and the resultant map of linguistic influence serve as a useful guide to the discursive and material processes that underpin hierarchies between transnational or “cosmopolitan” languages and languages that are designated as “vernacular” or “regional”/“local,” they also serve to perpetuate or reify this structure as an ostensible empirical “fact.” The compounded effect of colonialism, postcolonial nationhood, and globalization in many parts of Africa, Asia, and South America has meant the consolidation of the power of national elites and their increasing integration into globalizing or aspirationally global circuits of capital, which has in turn resulted in the consolidation of transregional linkages among different national and regional elites through erstwhile imperial languages like English (and, to a lesser geographic extent, Spanish, Portuguese, or French).
It is this mode of interregional communication among relative elites that implicitly emerges in the aforementioned study as the indicator used to gauge “influence,” even as other forms of translocalism, transregionalism, or transnationalism are relatively invisibilized or elided. Such a bifurcated structuration of discourse transfer, however, poses methodological questions about how linguistic influence is to be gauged and what normative value should be assigned to such influence: Should the bridging of relative elites from different regions be the only or chief indicator of linguistic influence? Under what conditions should the successful translingual conveyance of a contemporary social justice and/or rights discourse (itself having multiple origins not confined to the “West”) into a new context indicate victory and vindication? How might less translationally expansive languages also serve as hubs in other ways relative to the circuits of hegemonic globalization and transnationalism—for instance, by bridging class, caste, or ethnic divides within and across particular regions in ways that “cosmopolitan” languages may not? What other scales might one use to be able to understand and revalue the myriad functions and roles played by languages within and across different societies, particularly in nonanglophone or multilingual parts of the Global South?
Troubling such assumptions about scale and influence that reify linguistic hierarchy promises to be an important project and problem for transgender studies in the coming decades, because an anglophone disciplinary and discursive disposition will inevitably continue to lead policy makers, public intellectuals, and academics to fall back on ethnocentric and monolingual frameworks and resources. Such a disposition perpetuates a hierarchical conceptual economy, with anglophone and West European linguacultures at the top and trans and queer vernaculars in other languages either at the bottom of the epistemic order or sequestered into localist, ethnicized, or neo-Orientalist fetish. If not profoundly transformed, how will this discursive hierarchization impact the multidirectional traffic in trans knowledge and ideas in years ahead?
In developing this special issue, we sought to understand transgender studies as a field of inquiry poised to offer the necessary breadth and complexity to house investigations that might include any of the following:
A theoretical problematization of national languages and transnational lingua francas from a trans perspective
Essays exploring the idea of a trans lingua franca beyond anglocentricity
Trans-oriented research that often gets elided precisely because of rhetorical anglocentricity or methodological monolingualism
Essays critiquing the relationship between travel and multilingualism in trans contexts
Ethnographic studies of multilingual transgender spaces and communities
Ethnographic studies of medical, legal, penal, or educational contexts in which transgender positionality or existence is negotiated translingually
Reflections on the craft and practice of translation, broadly conceived
Studies on how anglocentricity in transgender epistemology reproduces itself—institutionally, methodologically, politically
Essays exploring how language normativity intersects with racial, ethnic, civic, sexual, erotic, or socioeconomic normativity in transgender contexts
Studies that model a “multilingual transgender studies” or a multilingual trans futurity more broadly
Case studies on how language frontiers shape the planetary landscape of transgender discourse
Reflections on the process of translating texts dealing with transgender and gender variance
Essays on what transgender methodology in translation theory or practice might look like
Essays exploring what the practices of working interpreters and translators (literary, poetic, technical, diplomatic) may reveal about transgender epistemology
Historical studies linking multilingual, code switching, and translingual practice with transgender embodiment
Historical studies linking the genealogy of monolingualism with various strains of gender normativity
A metacriticism of the emergent field of transgender studies, its terms, and its methodologies from a multilingual point of view
Given its focus on (trans)local and critical problematics, this special issue is organized in a contrapuntal way, rather than a cartographic one. That is, it does not survey sequential areas of the globe in a classical comparative fashion, as the arguments presented herein are poised indeed to unsettle the very notion of global comparative orders. Rather, the articles proceed as a loose critical sojourn through a range of problematics that, together, test the heuristic and political capacities of the words translation and transgender in various contexts.
As editors, it brings us more than a little delight that the articles we present here far outshine—in their political imagination, analytical precision, and methodological ambition—the hopes expressed in the original call for papers. The contributors include literary translators (Nathanaël, Rose, Baer, Larkosh), anthropologists (Jarrín, Pons Rabasa), a musicologist (Roy), a political scientist (Josephson), a classicist (Gabriel), a modern linguist (Leino), a film scholar (Leung), literary comparatists (Concilio, Heinrich, Larkosh), a sociologist (Einarsdóttir), poets and fiction writers (Nathanaël, Dowd), a religious studies scholar (Strassfeld), and translation studies specialists (Baer, Almarri). These critics and writers draw on the demands of their particular research contexts to nourish a sensibility around translation that is vernacular, emergent, and problem oriented, rather than prescriptive and monodisciplinary. They have thus offered an unwieldy, asymmetrical, and mutually interrogative constellation of approaches, such that one contribution's core categories of analysis find profound and contradictory echoes in the next. To take just one instance, while Unni Leino, writing from the Scandinavian context, contends that the ways the Finnish language divides the conceptual domains of sex, sexuality, and gender “make a difference in fighting the sexualization of trans people,” Alvaro Jarrín's critical analysis of travesti access to public health care in Brazil is in contrast primarily oriented around fighting precisely the nonmedicalization of travestis in that context. Divergent linguistic orders that constrain local and transregional modes of “thinking for speaking” (Slobin 1996) thus play a complex structuring role in the putatively extralinguistic social and symbolic positions available to speakers. These two juxtaposed analyses—Leino and Jarrín—clarify why and how (trans)gender discourses mean in structurally distinct ways in one linguaculture versus another, thus placing the broader justice claims pertinent to each in critical relief.
The following is a general summary of the questions this issue's contributing authors have posed in response to the TSQ call:
How have transgender persons participated in the vocation of translation, and how are they either accounted for or discounted in a general history of translation? (Rose, Concilio, Baer, Larkosh, Heinrich and Dowd)
How has the political, commercial, and ethical imperative to translate narratives of transgender experience become accelerated or “excited” by processes of translation, to the advantage or detriment of a given community, subject, or discourse? (Baer, Leino, Jarrín, Josephson and Einarsdóttir, Pons Rabasa, Heinrich and Dowd)
How has a pressure to “be translatable” affected the lives, stories, and experiences of transgender persons, and what is the political consequence of this pressure? (Pons, Rabasa, Josephson and Einarsdóttir, Roy)
How has the rapid, monetized translation of certain discourses in the age of institutional transnationalization—including medical, pathological, juridical, human rights, sexual health, feminist, surgical, psychological, legislative, and activist discourses—impacted the ability of trans-identified persons or communities to thrive? (Roy, Pons Rabasa, Jarrín)
What particular contingencies attend the task of translating texts that themselves narrate transgender subjectivities? (Rose, Baer, Nathanaël, Larkosh, Heinrich and Dowd)
How has transgender life in gender-segregative historical contexts prompted new practices of translational textualization—that is, ways of rendering the body meaningful as human persona or civic subject? (Almarri, Strassfeld, Roy, Jarrín)
What do the fields of translation studies and transgender studies have to tell each other—in terms of their methodological and political constraints, their claims to interdisciplinary relevance, and their relationship to university structures and discourses? (Concilio, Leung, Gabriel, Nathanaël, Larkosh)
Opening the issue, Jarrín's ethnographic work with travestis in Rio de Janeiro, amid the upsurge in legalization reforms for transgender-identified persons in Brazil, shows how “travesti identity, in fact, is systematically excluded precisely by not being medicalized at all, rendering it invisible within the health-care system.” Jarrín's essay is one of several—see also Pons Rabasa, Josephson and Einarsdóttir, Concilio, and Leino—that go to subtle and vigilant analytical lengths to show how translated discourses of medicalization and human rights, often designed in the United States precisely to undo trans exclusion and invisibility, often create new hurdles for gender-nonconforming persons seeking survival, recognition, or everyday services in nonanglophone contexts. This observation resonates profoundly with the two historical/exegetical studies that close the main thematic section of this issue, by Saqer Almarri and Max Strassfeld, which attend to the ways medieval Islamic and rabbinic jurisprudents adjudicated the marriage and inheritance rights of trans persons by translating their bodies into readable civic categories. In Strassfeld's and Almarri's two distinct research contexts, “acccessing services” in the banal institutional landscapes of everyday life is shown to be no mere matter of progressive contemporary social justice movements. With such crucial questions of marital rights, inheritance, head-of-household status, and land rights at stake, trans intelligibility has been on the docket of juridical and social negotiation for millennia, as these two studies document.
Josephson and Einarsdóttir offer a contrast to Jarrín's analysis insofar as they detail how laws and practices aimed at preserving Icelandic linguistic autonomy have directly, though not deliberately, hampered trans persons’ and communities’ progress toward their own ideals of freedom and self-definition. The very prefix trans is regarded in Iceland as a potential threat—whether used in the word transistor or transgender—and citizens’ and immigrants’ legal entitlement to self-naming is constrained by an official list of approved Icelandic names, among which only one is approved as pangender. Thus, while such organs as the Icelandic Names Committee and Language Committee take no doctrinaire stance on trans issues as such (in a traditionally “political” fashion), their protocols of linguistic purity tend to catch trans persons in their crosshairs nonetheless. Josephson and Einarsdóttir further detail the ways Icelandic language makes it difficult to enter into even the most modest of social transactions without gendering oneself in the process. “The close ideological and political connection between Icelandic independence, national pride, and the Icelandic language,” they summarize, “makes it all the more precarious to challenge the gendered structure of the language.”
Alba Pons Rabasa's ethnographic study returns us to the kinds of socioinstitutional landscapes with which Jarrín opened the issue, charting out in lush detail a chronicle of trans organizing history in Mexico City. This careful archival work delivers an account of the threshold moments in which certain trans activists in the 1990s (who occupied public space as vestidas, jotas, invertidas, or mujercitos) were first able to access—through their university or institutional affiliations—anglophone research and diagnostic materials that propelled their activist efforts toward transgender civic recognition. On this archival basis, Pons Rabasa details the further development of trans-affirmative service organizations embedded within longer-standing health-care agencies like the Clínica Condesa. Corposubjectivation is the term Pons Rabasa introduces to understand the process of embodied, institutional, and discursive becoming, which has taken place amid the paradoxical trajectories of trans organizing and therapy at the Clínica in recent years. “Given the history and specific configuration of the therapeutic group at the clinic,” Pons Rabasa considers under the aegis of corposubjectivation “all contributing factors, expanding possibilities for enveloping, displacing, inhabiting the interstices, for collectively resignifying and producing in the group's local knowledges and referents, which differ from the legitimate representations produced by medical and legal knowledge.”
Jeff Roy's ethnographic study shares much of the complex and theoretically inflected empirical analysis at work in Pons Rabasa's and Jarrín's studies. Roy is interested in tracking recent developments in how hijra performers and communities of practice in Mumbai have responded to the large-scale gay pride events taking place in India's major cities. Remaking themselves as the “dancing queens,” the hijra in Roy's account balance obligations to the kinship lineages of their hijra houses while increasingly also taking the stage for international spectacles that ascribe to them certain obligations of representation under the aegis of “transgender.” As in the Icelandic, Mexican, and Brazilian settings, these transformations have taken place amid large-scale legal and political reforms, here at the Indian Supreme Court in 2014, toward the recognition of transgender people. The discursive impact of these sudden reforms on hijras’ corposubjectivation, to use Pons Rabasa's term, continues to be felt, negotiated, and critiqued. “Established within a reconstituted urban Indian context,” writes Roy, “these strategies [of hijra identity] are predicated on trading recently devalorized ways of encoding hijra difference for updated, modern ones based on middle-class respectability and within a distinctly transgender lexicon of self-understanding and personal empowerment.” Roy's contribution thus critically maps out some of the normative forms of “modernity” negotiated and resignified among hijra and other gender-nonconforming groups, who must make themselves legible in order to be received seriously within both mainstream public spheres and elite spaces of LGBT activism.
Helen Hok-Sze Leung's analysis, “Always in Translation: Trans Cinema across Languages,” begins on the film-festival circuit, where (mis)translations of trans terminology have led to kerfuffles and audience walk-outs. While Sebastiano D'Ayala Valva's film Transvestites Also Cry (French title: Les travestis pleurent aussi, 2006) offended many audience members who found the term transvestite to be outmoded, undignified, and dehumanizing, Leung points out that the film “display[s] a respectful intimacy and close collaboration with its subjects.” Leung is accordingly interested in tracking the ways in which such international(ist) events as film festivals serve as a setting for what Deborah Cameron (1995) calls “verbal hygiene,” symbolic spaces for on-record performances in the ways variously cosmopolitan audiences allow themselves to utter, encounter, and accept terminology they deem appropriate to transgender persons’ lives. Leung uses the particular incident around Transvestites Also Cry as a point of departure to examine how hierarchies of trans and queer language become established through hegemonic forms of transnationalism and globalization, wherein certain anglocentric terminology and associated epistemological assumptions about gender and sexuality are established as more respectful and universally representative for trans subjects, even as alternative forms of interregionalism, such as inter-Asian circuits of film circulation and dubbing, disrupt such hierarchical linguistic practices and offer alternative languages for conceptualizing and representing trans/gender-variant subjects. As in Jarrín's analysis, Leung points to how terms such as travesti, kathoey, and renyao come to form a constitutive outside for a rights-based discourse interested in honing and affirming orderly recognition for certain kinds of trans people at the expense of others.
Whereas Josephson and Einarsdóttir's survey of Icelandic predicaments around transgender focuses primarily on the problem of naming and recognizing trans identification in a language that programmatically eschews anglocentrism, Leino's contribution offers us a case study in how Finnish organizes gender and sexual categories in ways that are differently flexible than the ways Romance or Germanic languages categorize, particularly in how the morphology of words like sukupuoli (gender, sex) do or do not allow themselves to be manipulated to accommodate new phrasings and identity markers. Thus, while Leino is not proposing a classic argument about strong linguistic relativity, there are, nonetheless, durable sociopragmatic constraints on the way words in Finnish can be used in quotidian discourse to approximate what English attempts to do with the term transgender. As with the other contributions thus far, Leino does not dwell overlong on the semantic and morphological plane alone but proceeds to help us understand how manifestations of sociolinguistic and pragmatic affordance reverberate in national media and political debate, as well as in the embodied lives of Finnish transgender speakers.
By this midpoint in the issue, the essays will have laid ample analytical grounding for provincializing both anglophone vocabularies around transgender and the expert discourses that love them. In a timely way, then, Arielle Concilio's contribution on “translatxrsation” as “a genderqueer translation praxis” reminds us how the fields of transgender studies and translation studies have undergone parallel struggles for entry into universitarian domains often structured around preserving ethnonational and cisnormative traditions. Concilio notes, however, that “literary translation's violent exclusion and invisibilization have been predominantly symbolic, disciplinary, and methodological, while transgender's exclusion has been the result of entrenched social stigmas.” That caveat notwithstanding, Concilio proposes the concept of translatxrsation, based on Latin American critical resignifications of the gendered history of the “traductxr,” “traductorx,” and “traductorxs,” pointing out that “the variation of the placement of the x is a result of Spanish grammar rules that require the addition of an e to pluralize nouns and adjectives that end in a consonant.” The imperative to problematize the very name of the vocation “translator,” as Concilio presents it, is inspired from the Chilean context of travesti writing, as animated by Lemebel, one of the “mares of the apocalypse” posing in Las dos Fridas on the cover of this issue.
With Emily Rose's essay on the memoirs of seventeenth-century Catalina de Erauso and Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste Timothée d'Eon de Beaumont, we come to the first contribution that considers broader diachronic axes ranging beyond the contemporary, into early modern historical contexts in which high modern generic conventions of autobiography and habits of self-identity are not yet in force. Rose takes this opportunity to offer an analysis of English translations/editions of these two figures’ respective Spanish and French memoirs, intertwining a critique of the hegemony of authentic, originary gender identity with the Foucauldian critique of the author function. D'Eon's and Erauso's early modern accounts of themselves as mutable, transformative beings and travelers prompt a revision of translation theory itself—namely, of the implicit reliance on stable categories like original and translated text, as well as source and target language. With precise textual readings of these two memoirs in multiple languages, Rose extends Concilio's arguments about the mutually critical role of translation studies and transgender studies amid the contemporary cultural politics of monolingualism.
As with Rose's work on early modern transgender memoirs, Brian James Baer problematizes the circulation of one of the most prominent transgender icons of the late twentieth century, the East German Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. Though Baer is indeed interested, as Rose has been, in how von Mahlsdorf's memoir has been variously translated over the course of the 1990s and 2000s into English, Russian, Spanish, Dutch, and Hungarian to fit emerging and malleable political paradigms in those linguacultural spheres, Baer's analysis focuses on the ways the historical figure von Mahlsdorf has been adopted and resignified for the American stage in opportunistic and coercive ways. Reflecting on the Broadway adaptation of the von Mahlsdorf memoir under playwright Doug Wright's title I Am My Own Wife, Baer foregrounds the concept of “framing,” emerging from the work of sociologist Erving Goffman, as a way to rethink translation and censorship in the transnational circulation and commercial politicization of transgender narratives. As with the preceding contributions by Rose and Concilio, Baer's theoretical framework is transposable to other instances of translating transgender, in which beloved or mythical personae are foreignized or domesticated, in new contexts so as to underwrite urgent political or lucrative commercial agendas.
Kay Gabriel's essay on the Canadian poet Trish Salah does the important work of linking transgender poiesis and narrative to contemporary high-profile discussions on “untranslatability” in the context of European comparative literature and philosophy. Gabriel helps us query where and whether transgender lives, meanings, and practices stand in relation to the philological project Barbara Cassin has called the European Vocabularly of Philosophies: Dictionary of Untranslatables. Gabriel furthermore lays conceptual ground for the analyses of other contributors to this issue, particularly Almarri and Strassfeld, in claiming that “the necessity derived within capitalism of making transsexual subject positions meaningful in the reproduction of social relations has repeatedly foundered on the shoals of an ideological representation of gender in which transsexuality is not, prima facie, meaningful.” Trish Salah's poetic exploration of the gendered political economy of iterability and translatability—of “those things you have words for”—allows Gabriel to reconsider Cassin's monumental projects around untranslatability from a specifically transgender-embodied point of view.
The contribution of poet and translator Nathanaël, an essay on the Haitian author Frankétienne, reimagines the essence of translational relationship not as directional or substitutional but as the sensuous meeting of bodies that “refract and resorb one another . . . devour each other.” Frankétienne's compositions in French and Kreyol, multilingual texts themselves, pose another fecund dilemma in the problematic of translatability that Gabriel charted out in the previous essay, namely, that of patently multilingual texts and performances. Multilingual texts are notoriously difficult to translate because they force translators to symbolically semanticize the linguistic multiplicity of the resulting translation in ways that strive to credibly correspond with the linguistic multiplicity of the source text—a daunting task of cultural and historical ascription that, in the main, assures that most multilingual texts remain permanently untranslated. Christopher Larkosh takes up this problematic further, with an account of the southern Brazilian novelist Wilson Bueno's linguistic “mixity,” and the affective—indeed moral—obligations involved in translating a multilingual text. Working together with the author, prior to Bueno's death by murder in 2010, Larkosh has developed a practice of translating into what they call “la língua del império,” by which he and Bueno mean “a language that is no longer English or Spanish or Portuguese but, rather, a mixed register of transferred signs and symbols that exemplify many of the unequal transnational relationships of power already operating in the original text.” In undertaking this project, Larkosh and Bueno also help to create and sustain alternative forms of multilinguality and transregionalism—spheres of multilingual practice that depart from hegemonic (and often anglocentric) processes of transnationalism and globalization, even as they render the attendant inequalities and relations of power transparent through the workings of language itself.
Ari Larissa Heinrich and Eloise Dowd offer, in their essay on translating Qiu Miaojin's Last Words from Montmartre, an intimate conversation between translator and reader in which both dialogue about how they make meaning—with Miaojin's (translated) experimental text in hand. Involved in this exchange, necessarily, are the feelings of obligation, guilt, audacity, regret, failure, foreboding, and delight that attend all translational activity. The exchange between the two correspondents dramatizes the slow process by which their products came to be read in the present form. Heinrich and Dowd correspondingly introduce, for the first time in the issue, the question of “drafts,” that is, moments of becoming in the development of a translation that, of course, accompany and chronicle corresponding moments of (un)gendered becoming in the life of the translator.
This collection of essays closes with a tiger's leap into exegetical history in medieval Muslim and Jewish contexts. Strassfeld's patient and searching analysis of Tosefta rabbinical texts helps readers explore the kinds of legibility strategies to which jurisprudents in premodern contexts sought recourse in order to perform rites of social distinction when countenancing transgender bodies. Strassfeld asks, for the premodern rabbinical context and for our own contemporary jurisprudential contexts too, “What are the processes by which some are designated as disposable, or as not-quite-human?” While Almarri notes that the general study of sex and sexuality in Islamic societies has burgeoned over recent years, this essay on the khuntha in the Fatimid Caliphate intends to address a persistent gap in “the study of hermaphroditism and intersexuality in past and contemporary Islamic societies and communities.” Strassfeld, in turn, further problematizes the position of the contemporary transgender reader of Torah, a privilege traditionally retained for cisgender men. Almarri's and Strassfeld's respective work on the khuntha and androginos, in their scriptural and social contexts, reminds us that the question of translating transgender is a transhistorical one in which contemporary imperatives of translatability and particularity represent only one frame of reference.
Spurred on by these important and timely contributions, we see this special issue of TSQ as a many-voiced opening onto an ongoing conversation over the coming decades on the prospect of a multilingual transgender studies. For us, one pressing set of questions is entailed in the very anglocentricity and relative monolingualism of this introduction, this issue, and the presumptive format of the “interdisciplinary scholarly journal” itself. How can transgender studies—transregionally and translingually located as it must be—body forth forms and formats of scholarly thriving that actively inhabit a range of research languages and creative idioms, beyond methodological monolingualism? Can transgender studies continue to help pose the question—itself a silence at the heart of modern social-scientific and philological method—whether critique and knowledge can ever be pursued or rendered monolingually? Emergent transdisciplinary fields of all kinds—from applied linguistics to translation studies to comparative literature and critical pedagogy—find themselves confronted at every turn with the riddle of international research lingua francas like English and their monolingualizing effects on transnational discourse. Perhaps transgender studies, over its coming decades, will offer the means and the rigor to untangle this riddle, modeling multilingual critique for neighboring fields and disciplines.
We wish to thank Tara Taylor and Patrick Ploschnitzki for their insights on earlier drafts of this introduction. We also wish to warmly thank the authors, peer reviewers, translators, copy editors, and editorial staff who helped us to bring this collection of work to the fore.
1. On “reactionary multilingualism,” see Moore 2015.
2. This phrase is borrowed from a project entitled “Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law, and the State” (2016), funded by a UK Arts and Humanities Council grant. The Translating Transgender initiative has been supported by this grant, as well as by generous grants from the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry and the University of Arizona Institute for LGBT Studies.
3. The members of the host committee for the Tucson workshop were Samuel Ace, Francisco Galarte, Eva Hayward, Max Strassfeld, TC Tolbert, Susan Stryker, and Tara Taylor.
4. We thank our colleagues working in various languages for their willingness to translate the call for papers on behalf of TSQ, among them Jaime Fatás, Saqer Almarri, S. A. Smythe, Xara Tre Kapos, Maisa de Alcântara Zakir, Nadzeya Husakouskaya, Yael Almog, Jerry Won Lee, Adrian de Silva, and Marianna Szczygielska.
5. For the argument regarding the hierarchy of labor within the political economy of translation, we are indebted to a discussion session between one of the coeditors (Aniruddha) and Richa Nagar, Shruti Tambe, Ganesh Visputay, and Tarun Kumar held in Pune, India, January 3, 2015.