Eva Spisiakova
Wed 28 Sep 2016, 16:30 - 18:00
Project Room 1.06, 50 George Square

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Sebnem Susam-Saraeva (sssaraje)

The subtextual elements of same-sex affection in Shakespeare’s sonnets raised controversy amongst scholars and readers from almost the moment of the collection’s publication, and the issues of interpretation multiply with translations in target cultures that consider homosexuality a taboo subject. The presentation will follow the history of the sonnets’ translation in current days Czech Republic and Slovakia through the political changes both countries underwent in the past century, with a special focus on the period between 1948 and 1989 when Czechoslovakia belonged to the Eastern bloc in Europe divided by the Iron Curtain. While traditional studies of translations under totalitarian regimes focus on the effects of state-imposed propaganda, my presentation is asking the question of what role the understanding of (homo)sexuality itself played in the decisions of translators, publishers and censors of this collection. The research is underpinned with a theoretical framework from queer theory that is designed to offer a more contextualised view into the history of human sexuality, and answer the questions of what role love and desire play in our society.