Gender and Race in French Women's Writing, 1783-1823. Volume 1
Translating Slavery explores the complex interrelationships that exist between translation, gender, and race. By focusing on antislavery writing by French women during the revolutionary period, when a number of them spoke out against the oppression of slaves and women, this study examines a significant but often overlooked tradition in French literature and history. In addition to the marginalization that they typically undergo in literary and historical studies, translation, gender, and race all entail the same kind of mediating process. A close look at what happens when translators translate and when writers treat gender and race shows that literature is less an objective expression of universal values than an ideological expression of local values. This volume highlights key issues in the theory and practice of translation by providing both original works and their translations, as well as essays on the issues involved in translating gender and race. Since those issues include both the gender and the cultural background of translators, it is significant to note that the translations given here have been produced by women of French, American, and African American origins. Their efforts make accessible the work of three women writers who differ in historical context, social class, political views, and attitudes toward women's issues - Olympe de Gouges, Germaine de Stael, and Claire de Duras. This volume thereby maintains in some measure the tradition of women's resistance to the hegemonic cultural and social practices that have adversely affected women and persons of color. Translating Slavery will appeal to readers and students interested in women's studies, black studies, 18th- and 19th-century French literature and history, comparative literature, and translation.