Ad-hocracies' of Translation Activism in the Blogosphere: A Genealogical Case Study

Luis Perez-Gonzalez

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper sets out to explore how translation is increasingly being appropriated by politically engaged individuals without formal training to respond effectively to the socio-economic structures that sustain global capitalism. Drawing on a generative conceptualization of translation activism and insights from globalization studies and media sociology, the paper traces the genealogy of an activist community subtitling a televised interview with Spain’s former Prime Minister, José María Aznar López, originally broadcast by BBC News 24 against the background of the ongoing military conflict between Lebanon and Israel. The analysis suggests that these communities of ‘non-translators’ emerge through dynamic processes of contextualization, involving complex negotiations of narrative affinity among their members. It is argued that, in contrast to more traditional groupings of activist translators, these fluid networks of engaged mediators constitute ‘ad-hocracies’ that capitalize on the potential of networked communication to exploit their collective intelligence. The paper concludes by exploring the implications of the growing importance of such ad-hocracies for the future of activist translation and its theorization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationText and Context: Essays on Translation and Interpreting in Honour of Ian Mason
EditorsMona Baker , Maeve Olohan , María Calzada Pérez
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherSt Jerome Publishing
ISBN (Print)9781905763252
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Blogosphere, Activism, Audiovisual translation, Ad-hocracy, Collective intelligence


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