The Posthuman Condition and a Translational Agency That Leaks
The present conceptual paper seeks to investigate the notion of agency within the field of translation studies drawing on Barad’s (2007) agential realism and Ferrando’s (2019) classification of philosophical posthumanism. Diffractively reading insights through the two approaches, one from quantum physics and the other from philosophy, the paper gives an elaboration on translational agency. The traditional, i.e. Cartesian-Newtonian, understanding of matter considers humans as active, self-moving agents and matters as passive entities whose movements are tied up with external human forces. Within this frame of thought nonhuman beings are excluded from the discussions of agency. This humanist take on agency considers separateness as an inherent feature of the world’s being. On the other hand, the posthuman take on agency levels criticism against the Cartesian ‘cogito’ and the ontological dualism it entails and lays the groundwork for an agency of ‘becoming’, rather than being, which places emphasis on a relational ontology and the mutual constitution of an entangled agency. A posthuman translational agency, in this respect, goes beyond acknowledging human-nonhuman relationship or assemblage to maintain that the material is no longer an exterior to the human and the human itself is no longer a closed, rigid notion. It is not about the differences, rather it is about how differences are made and remade; i.e. against the backdrop of a posthumanist, agential realist, translational agency, inquiries into “who” and “what” are not in disjunction from inquiries into “how”.
Keywords:Agential realism, Post-anthropocentrism, Post-dualism, Post-humanism, Translational agency
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© 2023 by the authors. Licensee: Iranian Journal of Translation Studies. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution–NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0 license).