Haag, Oliver (2020):
"Translating the History of Race: Indigenous Australian Literature in German." Zeitschrift für Australienstudien / Australian Studies Journal 33/34: 81-88.
Journal Article

German interest in, and reception of, Indigenous Australian cultures have a long and also burdened history. With the emergence of German translations of Indigenous literature in the 1980s – that is, literature not about, but penned by, Indigenous authors – one-sided politics of representations and thus also stigmatised images started to change. Yet, the translation of literature per se does not simply entail a representation free of clichés and prejudices. Cultural knowledge cannot be simply rendered ‘correct’ according to the regimes of the source culture, but need to be adapted to the regimes of the target cultures. This article focuses on the ways the manifold concepts of race have been translated into three German audiobooks. Important aspects of race, it shows, have been lost in translation, while the racial history of the target culture poses new challenges for a literature that is intricately enmeshed with race and that seeks to rebut racism.