Translation, Cultural Diplomacy and China’s “Going Out” Strategy: Official Storytelling Through the Translation of Contemporary Chinese Literature in Pathlight

Description
Title: Translation, Cultural Diplomacy and China’s “Going Out” Strategy: Official Storytelling Through the Translation of Contemporary Chinese Literature in Pathlight
Authors: Xu, Ran
Date: 2021-07-20
Abstract: This thesis focusses on contemporary China. It examines the role the dominant ideology plays in determining the kinds of texts and narratives that are translated for export as part of government-sponsored translation projects. The literary magazine Pathlight, launched as an instrument of Chinese cultural diplomacy, is at the centre of this research project. At the turn of the 21st century, the Chinese government stepped up its funding of cultural diplomacy activities in efforts to disseminate Chinese traditional culture and Chinese discourse internationally. This move was fuelled by mounting criticism and negative reporting from the Western mainstream media on China, and China’s declining image worldwide. As part of this, the Chinese government initiated a number of projects to enhance the country’s image and discursive power through cross-cultural exchanges and cultural diplomacy, and thus forge its own narrative on China in the international community (K. Zhao, 2016). Drawing upon notions of patronage and ideology from Lefevere’s rewriting theory and anchoring on previous research on similar translation projects, this study applies qualitative content analysis methods to pinpoint the recurring themes and narratives in the English translations exported in Pathlight from 2011 to 2019. It searches for links between these recurring themes and narratives and current Chinese mainstream ideology as expressed by “the Chinese dream.” The findings of this dissertation reveal that, although the dominant ideology in China does put certain limitations on what kinds of stories and narratives are selected for translation and export in government-sponsored translation projects, compared to years prior to the economic reforms of the 1980s, the variety of stories and narratives translated and exported has greatly increased. Arguably, this could be explained by the changes in the country’s dominant ideology over the past 30 years, and by how the Chinese government is turning to “softer” methods of control.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/42436
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-26656
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
Files