Towards a Pedagogy of Cultural Translation: Challenges for an International Classroom

  • Kati RöttgerEmail author


The author explores the epistemological, methodological and ethical conditions of international scholarship in Performance Studies. She begins with a discussion of the differences and common grounds between Anglo-American Performance Studies and continental European Theatre Studies (Theaterwissenschaft). She pleads for considering the histories of the sciences as a point of departure for the question of what the theorization and practice of international performance research could mean under global conditions. What are the challenges concerning the power of discourse? How to avoid unifying concepts and approaches? How to come to terms with the inter-trans-ultra-intra-cultural approaches which seem to lead to an overkill of positivist taxonomies in Performance Studies? The quest for recognition and redistribution in the process of questioning the very sovereignty of national traditions and territories that goes along with this claim informs the discussion of cultural differences in International Performance Research.


  1. Adler, H. & K. Röttger (1999). Performance-Patos-Política de los sexos. El teatro postcolonial de autoras latinoamericanas. Madrid, New York: Vervuert.Google Scholar
  2. Bachmann-Medick, D. (2009). ‘Introduction: The Translational Turn’. Translation Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 2–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benjamin, W. (1996). ‘The Task of the Translator’ in Marcus Bullock & Michael W. Jennings (eds.) Walter Benjamin. Selected Writings Volume 1 1913–1926. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bhabha, H. (1994). ‘How Newness Enters the World: Postmodern Space, Postcolonial Times and the Trials of Cultural Translation’ in H. Bhabha (ed.) The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Bharucha, R. (2000). The Politics of Cultural Practice: Thinking through Theatre in an Age of Globalization. Washington, DC: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bowman, P. (2014). ‘Rey Chow’s Cultural Translation: Culture, Theory and Fist of Fury.’ Accessed 31 August 2016.
  7. Buden, B. & S. Nowotny (2009). ‘Cultural Translation. An Introduction to a Problem.’ Translation Studies Forum, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 196–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chakrabarty, D. (2000). Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  9. de Fénelon, F. & P. Riley (eds.) (1994). Fénelon: Telemachus (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought). Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fischer-Lichte, E. (1997). ‘Familiar and Foreign Theatre. The Intercultural Trend in Contemporary Theatre’ in E. Fischer-Lichte & J. Riley (eds.) The Show and the Gaze of Theatre. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, pp. 133–146.Google Scholar
  11. Fischer-Lichte, E. (2009). ‘Interweaving Cultures in Performance: Different States of Being In-Between.’ New Theatre Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 04, pp. 391–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. MacIntyre, A. (1988). Whose Justice? Which Rationality? Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.Google Scholar
  13. Mitchell, W. J. T. (2005). What Do Pictures Want? The Loves and Lives of Images. London, New York: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  14. Pavis, P. (ed.) (1996). The Intercultural Performance Reader. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Pavis, P. (2010). ‘Intercultural Theatre Today.’ Forum Modernes Theater, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 5–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rancière, J. (1987). Le Maître Ignorant. Paris: Librairie Arthème Fayard.Google Scholar
  17. Rancière, J. (1991) The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation (trans: Kristin Ross). Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Rancière, J. (2009). The Emancipated Spectator (trans: G. Elliott). London, New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  19. Reinelt, J. (2007). ‘Is Performance Studies Imperialist? Part 2.’ TDR: The Drama Review, Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 7–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Röttger, K. (2014). ‘Strategies of Peripety for a Dramaturgy of the Future: Transnational Challenges for Differences in Universal Teaching.’ in K. Pewny, J. Callens & J. Coppens (eds.) Dramaturgies in the New Millenium. Relationality, Performativity and Potentiality, Forum Modernes Theater. No. 44. Tübingen: Narr Verlag, pp. 179–199.Google Scholar
  21. Spivak, G. C. (2000). ‘Translation as Culture.’ Parallax, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 13–14.,/ 10.1080/135346400249252. Accessed 31 August 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Taylor, D. (2003). The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas. Durham, London: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wagner, B. (2012). ‘Cultural Translation: A Value or a Tool? Let’s Start with Gramsci!’ Accessed 31 August 2016.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations