Translating Women’s Political Subjectivity: Prostitutes, Parasites, and the function of Subject-in-Translation in the Division of Women’s Movement in Taiwan
Hsing-Wen Chang


Abstract

It is not an uncommon experience that political transitions such as democratization often come with antagonisms and divisions within societies especially, in the context of the Cold-War and its aftermath. It is also not untrue to say that both political transitions and social demarcations involve tremendous works of translation, for, first, without new languages, it would be difficult to mark new differences both in time and space and second, in the non-Western world, representations of contemporary social and political changes have highly relied on translational normative knowledge from the West. However, the functions of translation in the divisions of social space and political time are far more ambiguous than merely making/marking differences. In fact, to pin down a difference is impossible. That is to say, it is neither possible to give the beginning and the end of a polity the precise dates, nor to mark the exact boundaries of antagonistic and divided people. Hence, what is at stake are the ambiguous but critical functions of translational languages. This paper is an attempt to probe into the intersection between the political, the social and the translational power.

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