General Anthropology Division
Abstract: Anthropologists understand reasons for sharing research with the communities that hosted them and for engaging audiences that do not read in certain languages of publication. Discussion in the February 2019 World Anthropologies section of American Anthropologist made clear what some of the challenges are to anthropologists who write primarily in one language and wish to see their work published in a different language, particularly through translation. This is especially true if a language of a community where research has been done is not one of the major world languages of publishing. However, the current domination of English has undeniable effects even on these other major world languages. In the International Year of Indigenous Languages, this roundtable seeks to explore the role that anthropological publishing plays in the promotion or erosion of linguistic diversity world-wide, and in the potential deepening of anthropology's global commitments.
The roundtable will touch on benefits, challenges, strategies, and scholarly motivations to getting anthropological research published in multiple languages. Benefits may include for contributing to a community studied, enriching the discourse of other communities of anthropologists, or challenging one's own epistemological engagement with a community or issue. A special focus of the roundtable will be on translation. Participants will share their own experiences while commenting on the intellectual and professional significance of sharing their work with other linguistic audiences, seeing it through the lens of another language, and subjecting it to the critique of another linguistic community. They will also explore strategies for addressing these linguistic inequities, including arguments for why it should be a greater priority for anthropologists to generate resources to make their scholarship more multilingual. Finally, participants will consider some conditions for encouraging either more anthropologists to publish original work in more than one language or a more multilingual discipline that allows scholars to build careers from publishing first in minority or indigenous languages (and then perhaps translating into English). The roundtable offers perspectives from different linguistic communities of publication and from different transnational communities of anthropologists.