Travelling memory, transcreation, and politics: The case of Refugee Tales

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter illustrates key concepts from the field of memory studies, beginning with ‘memory site’ (Nora), namely the memory of past events, people, and cultural products that have acquired symbolic status. Erll developed the concept by emphasizing how a memory site can only be sustained if it is the focus of ‘remediations.’ Interlingual translations are one type of remediation that propagate knowledge transnationally. ‘Multidirectional memory’ (Rothberg) refers to situations where different pasts are brought together and may be strengthened by the comparison. The chapter focuses on a case study, the Refugee Tales project, in which histories of asylum seekers in Britain are linked to iconic memory sites such as Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis,’ and the Magna Carta. The way that the linkages are made illustrate what could be called ‘transcreation’; here, the term is used to cover creative re-uses of earlier texts and memory sites in new texts, actions, and performances. The Refugee Tales project aims to support a just treatment of asylum seekers, but the project’s transcreative procedures are also open to criticism as neo-colonial imposition of the more powerful British or Western culture. The project can, however, be defended in terms of its goals and end-users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Translation and Memory
EditorsSharon Deane-Cox, Anneleen Spiessens
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003273417
ISBN (Print)9780815372158
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameRoutledge handbooks in translation and interpreting studies


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