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What Is ‘Instrumentalism’ in Translation Studies?: A Critical Reading of Venuti’s Contra Instrumentalism

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2022, 23(5), pp.9-32
  • DOI : 10.15749/jts.2022.23.5.001
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies
  • Received : November 27, 2022
  • Accepted : December 18, 2022
  • Published : December 31, 2022

YI, Yeong-Houn 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Lawrence Venuti, a translation scholar acclaimed for proposing ‘domestication’ versus ‘foreignization’ strategies and arguing the need for pursuing ‘ethical translation’, published in 2019 a book titled Contra Instrumentalism: A Translation Polemic. This study is a critical reading of the latest publication of Venuti, a mixture of dramatic and provocative discussions. The first half of the essay delves into the definition of ‘instrumentalism’ established in translation studies, and then reviews the conventional discussions and controversies over the concept within philosophical and the wider humanities studies. The latter half considers Venuti’s Contra Instrumentalism as a result of dramatic transformation of his previous theory, a move observed in the introduction to his 2013 book, Translation Changes Everything. This study analyzes the developments and intrinsic and extrinsic contradictions of the theoretical change and sheds light on critical issues and negative implications raised by Venuti’s Contra Instrumentalism.

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