The Origins and Development of Translation Studies 1975-2016

This essay traces the origins of Translation Studies from the early meetings of the Leuven group in the 1970s to the present, showing how from humble beginnings the field has become a world-wide phenomenon. Through the decades since the term ‘Translation Studies’ was first coined by James Holmes, there has been a shift of emphasis away from a narrowly defined linguistic notion of translation to the present conception of translation as an intercultural exchange. The essay looks at the impact of the cultural turn proposed by Susan Bassnett and Andre Lefevere in the early 1990s, showing how translation studies came to diversify through contacts with postcolonial theory, feminist and gender theory, sociological theory and recent developments in comparative and world literature. It is argued that while the 1980s was a decade of consolidation for Translation Studies, the 1990s was the decade
of global expansion of the field. The twenty-first century has seen further expansion, with the growing importance of research into audiovisual translation, media translation, and global news translation.The essay also considers changing attitudes to translation and to the creative role of the translator, showing the current synergies between translation and creative writing.


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