Rethinking activism: The power and dynamics of translation in China during the Late Qing Period (1840-1911)

Martha P Y Cheung*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    One significant development in translation studies in the last two decades has been the emergence of both empirical research and theoretical discourse on the relationship between translation and power. This paper explores one facet of the power and dynamics of translation by examining the use and usefulness of translation in serving activist ends and effecting concrete change-total or partial change, change in the individual or in some supra-individual system, or both. Drawing on a model for classifying social movements borrowed from the anthropologist David Aberle, and focusing on a particular period in the past-the late Qing era (1840-1911) in China-this paper analyzes the aims and aspirations of political activists of different orientations, and the complex relationship between translation and activism during that period. The analysis is followed by a more reflective section on the relevance of research on this topic to the present generation of translator-activists.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationText and Context
    Subtitle of host publicationEssays on Translation and Interpreting in Honour of Ian Mason
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)9781315759739
    ISBN (Print)9781905763252
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2014

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)
    • Social Sciences(all)


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