Birgit Haberpeuntner

Main focus: Translation Theory + Practice


Languages: German, English

City: Wien

Country: Austria

Topics: translation, cultural studies, postcolonial theory, usa


I am currently a univeristy assistant and PhD Candidate at the Theater, Film and Media studies department at the University of Vienna. Before that, I was a Junior Fellow at the International Research Center for Cultural Studies, working on my dissertation about "Walter Benjamin and Cultural Translation". From October 2016 until June 2017, I am in Berlin and Montreal, conducting research at the Walter Benjamin Archive and the Canadian Center for German and European Studies. Before enrolling in the PhD-program, I studied English/American Studies, Translation Studies, and Theater-, Film-, and Media Studies at the University in Vienna, and spent some time abroad at Concordia University in Montreal (2008/2009) and Columbia University in New York (2012). From 2009-2017, I have been working for Centropa, an NGO involved in the research and documentation of Jewish life in central and eastern Europe. My tasks included the translation of biographies, the acquisition of funds and subsidies, as well as the organization of conferences for educators.

My research interests are very broad and interdisciplinary, but at the moment, they may best be subsumed under the heading "translation". In recent years, a growing interest in translation has been observed throughout the Humanities. This interest goes hand in hand with translation increasingly being understood as more than a linguistic movement between two languages. The focus often shifts towards translation's impact on other fields, as well as to the question if and how it goes beyond language. To give a few snapshots of what this research may include: on the one hand, inter-lingual translation practice is a site where power relations are played out and negotiated; it is a playground for hegemonial power that, at the same time, bears the potential of its subversion. Thus translation practice lends itself as an entrance point for postcolonial projects and investigations. On the other hand, thinking about inter-lingual translation inevitably leads to fundamental epistemological questions. What is more, these deliberations about different concepts of translation continuously bring up a question which I find particularly relevant at this very moment: the relationship between theory and practice.