The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Activism provides an accessible, diverse and ground-breaking overview of literary, cultural, and political translation across a range of activist contexts.

As the first extended collection to offer perspectives on translation and activism from a global perspective, this handbook includes case studies and histories of oppressed and marginalised people from over twenty different languages. The contributions will make visible the role of translation in promoting and enabling social change, in promoting equality, in fighting discrimination, in supporting human rights, and in challenging autocracy and injustice across the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, East Asia, the US and Europe.

With a substantial introduction, thirty-one chapters, and an extensive bibliography, this Handbook is an indispensable resource for all activists, translators, students and researchers of translation and activism within translation and interpreting studies.

chapter 1|9 pages


Translation and activism in the time of the now
ByRebecca Ruth Gould, Kayvan Tahmasebian

part Part I|82 pages

Theorising translation and activism

chapter 2|17 pages

Theory, practice, activism

Gramsci as a translation theorist
ByMarta Natalia Wróblewska

chapter 3|19 pages

Activist translation, alliances, and performativity

Translating Judith Butler’s Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly into Italian
ByMichela Baldo

chapter 4|5 pages


ByMorad Farhadpour

chapter |16 pages


ByMorad Farhadpour, Kayvan Tahmasebian, Rebecca Ruth Gould

chapter 5|16 pages

Translating Marx in Japan

Yoshimoto Taka’aki and Japanese Marxism
ByManuel Yang

chapter |7 pages

Contemporary times and Marx

ByYoshimoto Taka’aki, Manuel Yang

part Part II|52 pages

The interpreter as activist

chapter 6|17 pages

Okyeame poma

Exploring the multimodality of translation in precolonial African contexts
ByKobus Marais

chapter 7|17 pages

Translator, native informant, fixer

Activism and translation in Mandate Palestine
BySarah Irving

chapter 8|16 pages

Translation in the war-zone

The Gaza Strip as case study
ByMalaka Shwaikh

part Part III|69 pages

The translator as activist

chapter 9|18 pages

Translating mourning walls

Aleppo’s last words
ByEylaf Bader Eddin

chapter 11|19 pages

Translators as organic intellectuals

Translational activism in pre-revolutionary Iran
ByMehrdad Rahimi-Moghaddam, Amanda Laugesen

chapter 12|15 pages

Translating for Le Monde diplomatique en español

Disciplinary norms and activist agendas
ByTania P. Hernández-Hernández

part Part IV|64 pages

Bearing witness

chapter 13|5 pages

Written on the heart, in broken English

ByAyşe Düzkan

chapter 14|15 pages

Writing as hospitality

Translating the fragment in Arabic and English
ByYousif M. Qasmiyeh

chapter 16|21 pages

Activist narratives

Latin American testimonies in translation
ByAmanda Hopkinson, Hazel Marsh

part Part V|54 pages

Translation and human rights

chapter 17|16 pages

The right not to have an interpreter in criminal trials

The Irish language as a case study
ByNoelle Higgins

chapter 18|20 pages

The right to understand and to be understood

Urban activism and US migrants’ access to interpreters
BySahar Fathi

chapter 19|16 pages

Feminism in translation

Reframing human rights law through transnational Islamic feminist networks
ByMiriam Bak McKenna

part Part VI|61 pages

Translating the vernacular

chapter 20|11 pages

Against a single African literary translation theory

ByMukoma Wa Ngũgĩ

chapter 21|18 pages

The single most translated short story in the history of African writing

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and the Jalada writers’ collective
ByMoses Kilolo

chapter 22|16 pages

The dialectics of dissent in postcolonial India

Vrishchik (1969–1973)
ByKhushmi Mehta

chapter 23|14 pages

Bengali Dalit discourse as translational activism

Studying a Dalit autobiography
ByBidisha Pal, Partha Bhattacharjee

part Part VII|42 pages

Translation, migration, refugees

chapter 24|11 pages

What is asylum?

Translation, trauma, and institutional visibility
ByAria Fani

chapter 25|13 pages

Citation and recitation

Linguistic legacies and the politics of translation in the Sahrawi refugee context
ByYousif M. Qasmiyeh, Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

chapter 26|16 pages

Resistant recipes

Food, gender and translation in migrant and refugee narratives
ByVeruska Cantelli, Bhakti Shringarpure

part Part VIII|84 pages

Translation and revolution

chapter 28|18 pages

‘The pen is mightier than the sword’

Exploring the ‘warrior’ Lu Xun from 1903 to 1936
ByMin Gao

chapter 29|20 pages

The political modes of translation in Iran

National words, right sentences, class paragraphs
ByOmid Mehrgan

chapter 31|6 pages


Postcolonialism, activism, and translation
ByPaul F. Bandia