Scientific and Institutional Collaborations

The project is carried out in collaboration with the “Translation and Transdisciplinarity” research axis of the Université de Paris Center for Translation Studies (CET). In its preparatory phase, the project gave rise to an international conference entitled “Translation, a Political Engagement?” (Nov. 30–Dec. 1, 2018), as well as a workshop entitled “Political Engagement and the Role of the Translator: Focus on East Asia” (March 15, 2019; a book based on these events is to be published in 2021).

Project Presentation

In recent years the field of translation studies has encompassed spheres which go beyond the traditional textual dimension of transferring a source text into a target text. Translation today is as much about the translation of cultural, political, and historical contexts and concepts as it is about language and literary contents. Translation has become a fundamental metaphor for our time and for the complex multilayered interactions connecting diverse regional cultural identities and national political powers in the global setting. In this sense, translation – literary translation in particular – has become a culturally, socially and politically crucial practice since it is about the control of language(s) and the power of exchanging (contents, ideas, values), the creation of innovative linguistic, cultural and political territories, the right to share, transfer, discover, and explore new creativities and previously unheard of literary worlds. But in some contexts more than others, translation is also a state-controlled activity, and it can become the expression of official cultural and political agendas.

The project examines how intra-national and inter-national translation practices and productions are relevant expressions of divers East Asian literary, cultural and social contexts in modern times (Tibet, China, Japan, North and South Korea, etc.). Translation – considered as a metaphor (for cultural contacts and social exchanges), and a literary and editorial practice (of reception, mediation and transfer of texts) – is a relevant prism through which to study East Asian literatures and societies in a globalized world. Translation is, at the same time, a mirror of those literatures and societies.

The main axes of investigation of the project include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Facets of the social in translated texts and throughout the practice of translation;
  • Portraits of influential translators, their political, social, literary and linguistic roles;
  • From the translator to the reader: the process of production, edition, distribution and consumption of literary translations;
  • Translation vis-à-vis political and literary engagements and disengagements;
  • Translation vis-à-vis censorship and self-censorship, censors and censored;
  • Translation, propaganda and soft power;
  • Translation vis-à-vis producers and consumers of translated objects;
  • Translation, online networks, and new literary translation practices.

Scientific Activities

    1. Cycle of monthly conferences: individual presentations (in presence and online) by specialists of divers East Asian and High Asian regions (Tibet, China, Japan, Vietnam, Mongolia, North and South Korea, etc.).
    2. Workshop, international conference and scientific publications: we hosted the 4th EATS (East Asian Translation Studies) Conference in 2022, a publication is under preparation.



translation studies literature transdisciplinarity cultural transfers

Links/Academic Blogs

Research programme blog



Florence Xiangyun Zhang (Université Paris Cité)
Lara Maconi (Inalco)

CRCAO members

Full members
Florence Xiangyun Zhang (Université Paris Cité)
Rainier Lanselle (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Annick Horiuchi 堀内アニック・美都 (Université Paris Cité)
Cécile Sakai (Université Paris Cité)

Associated members
Gérald Peloux (CY Cergy Paris Université)
Lara Maconi (Inalco)

Outside Participants

Nicolas Froeliger
Nana Sato-Rossberg
Gloria Lee