Translation plays a major role in the circulation of books in the social sciences and the humanities (SSH). An indicator of international recognition for scholars, it also reflects the power relations between countries. What factors favor or hinder the translation of an academic book in another language? The present paper will propose a set of factors impacting the circulation of SSH books, based on a quantitative and qualitative study of the flows of translations between French and English (US and UK) since the 1990s, in the context of the growing hegemony of the US in the global field of the social sciences and humanities. The data collected concerns the distribution of translations by disciplines, publishers, institutions as well as authors by gender and by the number of translated works. Examples of the issues at stake in translating French thinkers will include references to Bourdieu, Derrida and Deleuze.
Gisèle Sapiro, professor of sociology at EHESS, gave this seminar in the department of History of Columbia University on 7th of April 2016.