Ethics and Politics of Intercultural Translation

This course is part of the programme
Master's Degree Programme Humanities Studies

Objectives and competences

an overview of the different paradigms of intercultural translation and their placement within the broader context of the humanities
- an analysis of the different ways in which translation is inscribed in the ethical and political field
- the figures of 'otherness' and cultural difference as they emerge from theories of translation
- fostering critical and independent thinking




  • This course provides an overview of the different paradigms of intercultural translation and their ethical and political dimensions.
  • Select texts introduce the question of intercultural translation in disciplines such as ethnology, philosophy and postcolonial studies, and examine how it affects our understanding of otherness.
  • Discussions and seminar assignments will critically evaluate the paradigms of radical translation (Quine), translation through a shared "life-world" (Wittgenstein), translation as bodily experience (Merleau-Ponty), translation as a form of colonial violence (Fanon), translation as a revolutionary political act (Gramsci) and as a tool in the struggle for epistemic justice (Sousa Santos).
  • The ethical and political dimensions of intercultural translation will also be placed in the current context of intense migrations and asymmetrical relations between the global "North" and "South".

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:

  • an understanding of the different approaches to intercultural translation and their ethical and political dimensions
  • the capacity to understand and discriminate between different approaches to cultural difference as reflected in the ethnology and philosophy of translation and critical theory
  • knowledge of examples in the political use of translation and of their implications

-analysis and critical evaluation of cross-cultural translation paradigms
- argumentation in the field of intercultural dialogue


  • Cassin, Barbara: Dictionary of untranslatables: a philosophical lexicon, Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2014 Catalogue E-version
  • Césaire, Aimé: Razprava o kolonializmu, Ljubljana: Založba /cf, 2009. Catalogue
  • Derrida, Jacques: Šibolet; Ovni, Ljubljana: KUD Apokalipsa, 2020.Catalogue
  • Fanon, Fanon : Črna koža, bele maske, Ljubljana: Studia Humanitatis, 2016. Catalogue
  • Gramsci, Antonio: Izbrana dela, Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 1974 (Izbrana poglavja).
  • Lévi-Strauss, Claude: Žalostni tropi, Ljubljana: Studia humanitatis, 2015.Catalogue
  • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice: Fenomenologija zaznave, Ljubljana: Študentska založba, 2006 (Izbrana poglavja).
  • Oyewumi, O. : The Invention of Women. Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses, Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press, 1997 (Izbrana poglavja). E-version
  • Santos, Boaventura de Sousa: Epistemologies of the South: justice against epistemicide, New York, London: Routledge, 2016 (Izbrana poglavja). Catalogue E-version
  • Sapir, E., Mandelbaum, D. (éd.) : Selected Writings of Edward Sapir in Language, Culture and Personality, Berkeley : University of California Press, 1949 (Izbrana poglavja). E-version
  • Spivak, G.C. : « The Politics of Translation », dans Outside in the Teaching Machine, New York : Routledge, 1993. Catalogue E-version
  • Quine, Willqrd: Word and object, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1975(Izbrana poglavja).
  • Wa Thiong’o, N. : Decolonising the Mind: the Politics of Language in African Literature, Harare: Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1981.
  • Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Filozofske raziskave, Ljubljana: Krtina, 2014 (Izbrana poglavja).Catalogue
  • Žižek, Slavoj : « Tolerance as an ideological category », Critical Inquiry, Autumn 2007. E-version


Oral exam 50 %
Seminar paper 50 %

Lecturer's references

Assoc. Prof. Kristina Pranjić, PhD graduated in comparative literature, and Russian language and literature at the University of Ljubljana. She defended her doctoral thesis entitled Non-objective Sound and Image: Bely, Kruchenykh, Malevich at the same institution in 2018. She led the research project Yugoslav Avantgardes and Metropolitan Dada (1916–1927): A Multidirectional and Transnational Genealogy, financed by the Slovenian Research Agency (2019–2021). Currently she is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Humanities and the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica, where she leads the modules Theory and History of Art and Media, and Discourses in Practice. At the Faculty of Media in Ljubljana she lectures on Media Art and Graphic Design, and the semiotics of media and communications. In her theoretical and research work, she focuses mainly on the historical avant-garde of the 20th century and the re-actualization of the avant-garde today. She has conducted research in the field of art and literature of historical avant-garde and new media art and aesthetics at the University of Konstanz, the University of Belgrade and the University of Paris 8.