Translation, Cultural Translation and the Hegemonic English


  • Roman Horak Department of Cultural Studies, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria



Scholarly publishing, translation, hegemonic English, Cultural Studies


This brief chapter problematizes the hegemonic position of the English language in Cultural Studies, which, in the author’s view, can be understood as a moment that stands against a true internationalisation of the project. Following an argument referring to the necessary ‘translation’ process (here seen as ‘re-articulation’, ‘transcoding’ or ‘transculturation’) Stuart Hall has put forward almost two decades ago, the essay, firstly, turns to the notion of ‘linguistic translations’, and deals, secondly, with what has been coined ‘cultural translation’. Discussing approaches developed by Walter Benjamin, Umberto Eco and Homi Bhabha, the complex relationship between the two terms is being investigated. Finally, in a modest attempt to throw some light on this hegemonic structure, central aspects of the output of three important journals (European Journal of Cultural Studies, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Cultural Studies), i. e. an analysis of the linguistic and institutional backgrounds of the authors of the ten most-read and most-cited essays, are presented. Based on these findings I argue that it is not simply the addition of the discsive field (language) to the academic space (institution) that defines the mechanism of exclusion and inclusion. Rather, it is the articulation of both moments, i.e. that of language and that of the institution, which – in various contexts (but in their own very definite ways) – can help to develop that structure which at present is still hindering a further, more profound internationalisation of the project that is Cultural Studies.


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How to Cite

Horak, R. (2015) “Translation, Cultural Translation and the Hegemonic English”, Culture Unbound, 7(4), pp. 565–575. doi: 10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1573565.



Theme: Publishing for Public Knowledge