Epistemic Translation:  Towards an Ecology of Knowledges

The Epistran Project

Responding to a challenge raised by Douglas Robinson in the conclusion of his book Translationality (2017: 200-202), this transdisciplinary research project uses concepts, methods and theories from Translation Studies to investigate the semiotic processes (verbal and nonverbal) involved in the transfer of information between different ‘epistemic systems’. The main focus is on the relationship between technical ‘scientific’ knowledge (i.e. the kind of knowledge which purports to be objective, rational and universal) and the various embedded, embodied and subjective forms of knowledge that have served as its Others in different times and places. Starting from the assumption that these are different modes of discourse and thus susceptible to translational operations, the project seeks to investigate the mechanisms at work in three distinct areas: 

The research, which makes use of methods drawn from Descriptive Translation Studies, supplemented with considerations from recent work in the fields of multimodality, neuroscience and information technology, is conducted by a transdisciplinary team with a shared interest in translation. 

EPISTRAN was launched in Spring 2023 and the first phase will continue until the end of 2024.

KEYWORDS: epistemic translation, ecology of knowledges, epistemicide, epistemologies of the South, ‘two cultures’, science and literature


Contact us at email@epistran.org to get more information on the project.