PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2019-0721

The Integration of World’s History in the Romanian Culture through Translations of Historical Texts from German Language at the End ofthe 18th and the Beginning of the 19th Century (WHRCGL)

 
Project title: The Integration of World’s History in the Romanian Culture through Translations of Historical Texts from German Language at the End ofthe 18th and the Beginning of the 19th Century (WHRCGL)
Project Code: PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2019-0721
Time Frame: 15.09.2020-15.09.2022 (24 months)
Funding Authority: Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI)
Approved Budget: 450.000,00 lei
Project Team:
Dr. Alexandra Chiriac – Project Leader and experienced researcher (“Al. I. Cuza” University, Faculty of Letters, German Department; alexandra.chiriac@uaic.ro, http://germanistik.uaic.ro/index.php/ro/cadre/profesori-titulari/alexandra-chiriac/

Dr. Iulia Elena Zup–Project member and experienced researcher (“Al. I. Cuza” University of Iasi, Faculty for Juridical Sciences, iuliazup@gmail.com, https://laws.uaic.ro/files/docs/cv/ro/iulia_zup_cv_ro.pdf

Dr. Alina Elena Bruckner – Project member and experienced researcher (“Al. I. Cuza” University of Iasi, Faculty for Economics and Business Administration, bruckner.alina@gmail.com, http://www.feaa.uaic.ro/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/A.Bruckner-CV.pdf

Dr. Ana Veronica Catana-Spenchiu, Project Leader and experienced researcher (“Al. I. Cuza” University, Faculty of Letters, Research Department, anaspenchiu@gmail.com

Dr.Ioan-Augustin Gurita, Project Leader and experienced researcher (“Al. I. Cuza” University, Faculty of History, augustingurita@gmail.comhttp://history.uaic.ro/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/CV-GURITA-IOAN-AUGUSTIN-sept.-2019.pdf

Project Abstract:
The preoccupation of the scholars from the Romanian Provinces forthe history of the peoples from other geographical areas hasmanifested itself since the medieval period of our historiography. But,in the second half of the 18th century, as the ideas and concepts ofthe Western Enlightenment exert a stronger and stronger influence onthe Romanian culture, one may identify a shift from the chronographsand internal chronicles to the translation of historical writings writtenin Western Europe, with serious documentation and scientificarguments, based on the principles of the rationalism rather than onthe divine intervention. Towards the end of the 18th century, thehistorical writings tend to become a usual reading of the Romanianintellectuals, playing simultaneously various roles: an informative andeducational role through detailed descriptions of exotic lands andcultures or an informative role by depicting recent events, the role ofbuilding the public opinion in the direction of the idea of anenlightened monarch in its Habsburg variant or a propagandistic rolewith a strong ideological and political component.The goal of the present project is to deliver an overview of thehistorical writings translated in the Romanian Provinces from Germanin the time of the Enlightenment (1770-1840) and to highlight theimportance of these writings for the integration of world’s history inthe Romanian culture on the one hand, and, on the other, for thedevelopment and diversification of the specialized Romanianterminology (economic, legal, geographic languages, the transcriptionof names etc.). Through this project, the team aims to contribute tothe reconstruction of the Romanian cultural landscape in these firstdecades of effervescence in the field of secular translations bytransliterating unknown texts and to develop the concept of „culturaltransfer” through a translational and textual comparative analysis ofthe German protographs and their Romanian translation.

Objectives

The main objective of the present project is to provide a textual and analytical base for a better
understanding of the cultural, political and social landscape in the Romanian Principalities at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. By analyzing the cultural transfer from the German to the Romanian culture or from other European cultures via the German, one may reconstruct a specific pattern in which the Romanian Enlightenment, in its specific form, was built and a base for a coherent translation theory for that period.

The specific objectives are to discover, transcribe and analyze unknown translations (published and/or manuscripts) of historical texts from German into Romanian language: the relation between source and target texts, the cultural background of the source culture in which the prototype was produced, the cultural and social background in which the transfer took place and, of course, the cultural and political landscape in which the text was translated and disseminated within the target culture, with all the involved agents (financer, translator, publishing house, editor etc.). This social and historical analysis is supplemented by a comparative analysis of the textual mutations between the original and the Romanian version (true translation, adaptation, short version etc.) and by a textual analysis of the target text and of the linguistic innovations, loans and adaptations employed by the translator. The raw material enlisted in the available catalogues will be supplemented by completely unknown texts (most probably manuscripts) that are to be found in small libraries and private collections, thus the project is playing an essential role also in discovering new cultural artefacts that contribute to the recuperation of the cultural landscape in the Romanian Principalities in that time.

The dissemination objectives: The findings of the project will be presented at international and national conferences and will be published in scientific journals and papers part of the International Data Base and included in ERIH PLUS. The fact that three of the project members, including the project leader, are German-studies specialists, many of the results will be also published in German journals and volumes, connecting thus the Romanian philology to a broader European research area. Each member of the team will select the most interesting text examples and publish editions in which the texts will be transcribed from Cyrillic into Latin alphabets, accompanied by a study that will reveal the most important data regarding the text circulation and the agents involved in this process. The final results will be gathered in a collective study that will bring together all translations identified that fall in the category mentioned above, with short descriptions of the findings, a study that will be published in a prestigious Romanian publishing house. These texts will be collected, systematized and presented analytically and critically due to their intentionality and function for the target culture and each chapter will follow a uniform writing rule. The final objective of the project is to create also an online edition of the volume and a hypertext presentation for a better dissemination of the results.

Expected Results

The proposed project may be seen as a part of a new trend in the philological research that deals with the secular translations from different European languages into Romanian in the time-frame of the Enlightenment (1770-1840). But if the previous research had focused on individual case-studies or on broad overviews of the topic of translations in general, the present project aims to gather a certain type of specialized translations (historical texts) in a collective volume, meant to illustrate how the contemporary and the old history was perceived in the cultural landscape of the time and how the translations of history texts played different socio-educational roles, contributing also decisively to the development and standardization of the Romanian terminology. These studies (published in various articles, individual studies and in a collective volume) will play a significant role in the field of translation studies: by analyzing the strategies and techniques employed by the translator(s) in dealing with specialized translations, in the field of history: by highlighting the contemporary impact on different historical or contemporary moments or figures, in the field of cultural anthropology: by deciphering the intentionality of the translation and the agents involved in the process (translator, beneficiary, circulation), in the field of linguistics and terminology: by analyzing the transfer of concepts and notions through loans and adaptations in order to form a specialized language (economic language, legal, geographic, toponyms etc.) and of course in the field of philology: by transliterating the most representative texts from the Cyrillic into the Latin alphabet. These contributions derive from the interdisciplinary nature of the project and play an important role in each field, especially when it concerns unknown writings.

The project does not intend to develop new concepts and theoretical approaches in the field but it aims to enlarge the textual basis and to contribute to the reconstruction of the cultural and political life in the time of the Enlightenment. If the team overcomes the difficulties mentioned above, the results will be of extreme importance for the better understanding of the cultural and social milieu of the Romanian Principalities in the period 1770-1840, by bringing forth for the first time unknown texts that can be subsequently further analyzed by historians and linguists, by identifying the prototypes that served as sources for these translations, revealing important data about the cultural transfer of texts and ideas between the German and the Romanian worlds and by identifying the functions and the roles that these translations played in the target culture, thus helping shape the cultural landscape of the time. The potential impact of the results is of great relevance at a national but also at an international level, due to the novelty of the issue: the team will not only search, transcribe and analyze the target text, the translation, but it will also try to identify the German prototype or, in some cases the German intermediary of another original work (as is the case i.e. with Milot’s Universal History translated from French into German and then from German into Romanian). Thus the team will reveal also significant data about the history-book circulation in Europe and the agents employed in this process, bringing thus a valuable contribution to the international cultural anthropology. Furthermore the project aims to draw attention to the relationships between Western and Eastern Europe in the time of the Enlightenment, a research direction still not fully analyzed at an international level, and, by doing so it also serves as a promoter of the national culture in the European research.

Project Plan

2020
Step 1: Establishing the methodological framework of research and concrete reporting procedures; compiling a preliminary list of texts to be analyzed; preliminary distribution of assignments and text(s) for each team member for individual studies by selecting the more representative material available at this point;

Step 2: Documentation (in Romania): Research in libraries and archives, consulting online andoffline catalogues; extending the list of texts to be analyzed;

2021

Step 1: Documentation(in Romania and abroad): Research in the libraries and archives in order to: identify the original text, gather data about the German prototype (original or intermediate); consulting specialists abroad;

Step 2: Transliteration: Transliteration of the selected corpus of texts from Cyrillic into Latin alphabet; finding thus new clues about the book circulation; Revision of the transliteration by the linguist;

Step 3: Analysis: Preliminary analysis of the gathered data; first systematization stage; Revision of the historical overview by the historian and of the translation analysis by a translation specialist; Participation of conferences and colloquia; Participation to international and national conferences for disseminating the partial results; writing articles ininternational paper with the preliminary data;

Step 4: Documentation (in Romania and abroad): Completing the text corpus with new and unknown translations and gathering additional data about the translator, copyists, editors and about the German texts and the context in which they were produced (author or translator and his/her motivation, dissemination of the writing etc.);

Step 5: Analysis and synthesis: Analysis and synthesis of the gathered partial results; draftingbook circulation diagrams; Revision by the historian; Publication of partial results; Reciprocal revision of the edited material and writing and sending for publication scientific articles that contain partial results of the research: mainly in BDI and ERIH publications and in volumes published abroad; Participation at Participation to international and national conferences and
conferences colloquia for disseminating the partial results;

Step 6: Documentation (in Romania and abroad): Completing the text corpus with new and unknown translations and gathering additional data that completes the image of the writing’s circulation, authorship and function in the source and target culture;

Step 7: Analysis of the text corpus: Gathering, systematizing and analyzing target text from a terminological and translation-related point of view (translation specialists); preliminary overview of the lexicological particularities (linguist); historical context overview (historian); Comparative analysis,Comparative analysis between the original and the translation: identifying the textual mutations, the translation’s strategies etc; review by a translation specialist; Participation of conferences and colloquia; Participation to international and national conferences for disseminating the partial results; Publication of the partial results; Reciprocal review; writing and sending for publication of scientific articles that contain partial results of the research: mainly in BDI and ERIH publications and in volumes published abroad;

Step 8: Publication of individual studies: Writing and sending for publication of individual studies with the final results of a researched text; reciprocal review between team members for the scientific accuracy, especially in the historical and linguistic sections. These case-studies will appear in a prestigious publishing house in Romania.

2022

Step 1: Documentation: Final documentation in Romania and abroad in order to complete and supplement data from the final studies;

Step 2: Final analysis of the texts: Final systematization and analyze of the gathered data; consulting with other specialists from the field (from Romania and abroad);

Step 3: Publication of individual studies: Writing and sending for publication of individual studies with the final results of a researched text; reciprocal review between team members for the scientific accuracy, especially in the historical and linguistic sections. These case-studies will appear in a prestigious publishing house in Romania.

Step 4: Publication of the collective study: Writing and sending for publication of individual sections of the collective study; reciprocal review between team members for the scientific accuracy, especially in the historical and linguistic sections; general review by the director; this collective volume will also have a digital version.

Step 5: Electronic resource: Drafting the online edition of the volume and a hypertext
presentation.

Due to the specialization, each team member will provide assistance and support for the colleagues in their specific domain: the translation and terminology specialists will provide assistance with the German language and the transposing of different terms and collocations in Romania, the linguist will assist the transcribing process from Cyrillic into Latin alphabet and supervise the linguistic analysis of each Romanian translation, ensuring the specificity of the Romanian language variations of the time and the historian will review the historical overview for each text, ensuring the historical acuity and proper documentation for each text and its translation(s). Through this reciprocal review process, the team ensures a deeper level of analysis and higher qualitative standards for all studies.

2020

National and International Visibility

Research Stays

Ioan Augustin Guriţã:

· 20-25.10.2020 – Bucharest (Biblioteca Institutului de Istorie “Nicolae Iorga” and Biblioteca Sfântului Sinod al Bisericii Ortodoxe Române)

Conferences

Ioan Augustin Gurita:

· “Nici o patrie nu poate fi fericită dacă ai ei fii zac în noianul neștiinței”. Din viaţa unui profesor ieşean din prima jumătate a secolului al XIX-lea, paper presented at the National Symposium Zilele Universitãţii “Alexandru Ioan Cuza”, Section: Contributions of professors and researchers, October, the 23rd, 2020.

Official Documentation

TE2020_Raport stiintific_WHRCGL