Beyond the Translator’s Invisibility

Critical Reflections and New Perspectives

Peter J. Freeth (Editor), Rafael Treviño (Editor),

Series: Translation, Interpreting and Transfer 8

Category: Linguistics, Literature

Language: English

ISBN: 9789462703988

Publication date: February 6, 2024

€59.00 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 286

Size: 234 x 156 x 12 mm

Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

Stock item: 158787

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Series: Translation, Interpreting and Transfer 8

Category: Linguistics, Literature

Language: English

DOI: 10.11116/9789461665454

ISBN: 9789461665454

Publication date: February 6, 2024

€49.00 (including 6% VAT)

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Number of pages: 286

Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content


The value of nuanced approaches to the concept of translator invisibility

The question of whether to disclose that a text is a translation and thereby give visibility to the translator has dominated discussions on translation throughout history. Despite becoming one of the most ubiquitous terms in translation studies, however, the concept of translator (in)visibility is often criticized for being vague, overly adaptable, and grounded in literary contexts. This interdisciplinary volume therefore draws on concepts from fields such as sociology, the digital humanities, and interpreting studies to develop and operationalize theoretical understandings of translator visibility beyond these existing criticisms and limitations. Through empirical case studies spanning areas including social media research, reception studies, institutional translation, and literary translation, this volume demonstrates the value of understanding the visibilities of translators and translation in the plural and adds much-needed nuance to one of translation studies’ most pervasive, polarizing, and imprecise concepts.

Contributors: Klaus Kaindl (University of Vienna), Renée Desjardins (Université de Saint-Boniface), Helle V. Dam (Aarhus University), Minna Ruokonen (University of Eastern Finland), Deborah Giustini (Hamad Bin Khalifa University / KU Leuven), Motoko Akashi (Trinity College Dublin), Peter J. Freeth (London Metropolitan University), Seyhan Bozkurt Jobanputra (Yeditepe University), Gys-Walt van Egdom (Utrecht University), Haidee Kotze (Utrecht University), Pardaad Chamsaz (British Library), Rachel Foss (British Library), Will René (National Poetry Library), Esa Penttilä (University of Eastern Finland), Juha Lång (University of Eastern Finland), Juho Suokas (University of Eastern Finland), Erja Vottonen (University of Eastern Finland), and Helka Riionheimo (University of Eastern Finland).

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

“Introduction” by Peter J. Freeth is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY NC ND 4.0 International license. To view a copy of this license, visit
Introduction © 2024 by P.J. Freeth.

Listen to an interview with Peter J. Freeth and Rafael Treviño at New Books Network:

Peter J. Freeth

Part I: The plurality of visibility

Visibilities of translation – Visibilities of translators : Reflections on the theoretical foundations of an opaque concept
Klaus Kaindl, translated by Peter J. Freeth

Reconfiguring the translator’s/translation’s online and digital (in)visibility
Renée Desjardins

Bringing in the translators’ views on their (in)visibility : The forms and significance of visibility in research on translator status
Helle V. Dam & Minna Ruokonen

Towards a sociological redressing of interpreters’ (in)visibility
Deborah Giustini

Part II: Visibilities of translators

The implications of translator celebrity : Investigating the commercial impact of Haruki Murakami’s fame as a translator
Motoko Akashi

“Yes: I translated it!” : Visibility and the performance of translatorship in the digital paratextual space
Peter J. Freeth

(In)visible networks of translation in a time of cultural evolution : The case of the TEDA translation grant program
Seyhan Bozkurt Jobanputra

Part III: Visibilities of translation

What the invisible reader has to say about the invisibility of translation : Studying translation reception in online reading communities
Gys-Walt van Egdom & Haidee Kotze

Making translation visible : The translator-in-residence program at the British Library
Pardaad Chamsaz, Rachel Foss & Will René

The (in)visibility of translation and translatorial agents in academic research
Esa Penttilä, Juha Lång, Juho Suokas, Erja Vottonen & Helka Riionheimo


Peter J. FreethORCID icon

Peter J. Freeth is senior lecturer in translation at London Metropolitan University.

Rafael TreviñoORCID icon

Rafael Treviño is a sign language interpreter at the U.S. Department of State and is completing his doctoral studies at Gallaudet University.

This highly interesting volume engages critically with the scope and limitations of the notions of visibility and invisibility in various translational practices. The chapters demonstrate the value of a more complex and diversified understanding of translator and translation (in)visibility and offer broader perspectives as well as innovative interdisciplinary ways of investigation. - Christina Schäffner, Aston University

In this excellent collection, Freeth and Treviño offer a long overdue perspective on the in/visibilities (in plural) of translation and translators, challenging prevailing conceptions of visibility. The importance of this volume lies in its critical approach questioning the assumption of invisibility, as well as how desirable it is for translators to be visible. This book certainly has the potential of reshaping the discourse on a topic ubiquitous in Translation Studies. - Rafael Schögler, University of Graz

For nearly thirty years, visibility has occupied an influential position in the theoretical framing of translation and translators’ work. This forward-looking volume breathes fresh life into this much-debated mainstay by reflecting the affordances of contemporary methodologies and praxis, with inspiring conceptual and empirical enquiries cutting across social media, professional practice, status, digital paratexts, reception, and translation in/for research. In pivoting away from Venuti’s narrow, literary-historical focus, Freeth and Treviño bring visibility firmly into the 21st century. - Callum Walker, University of Leeds

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