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Translation and National Consciousness in Nigeria: A Socio-historical Study


Translation and National Consciousness in Nigeria: A Socio-historical Study

Ajayi, Olumayowa Francis (2018) Translation and National Consciousness in Nigeria: A Socio-historical Study. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Interdisciplinary in orientation, this study draws knowledge from the fields of Translation Studies, History and Political Science in a bid to explore the interplay between translation and nationalism in a sub-Saharan African context. More specifically, the current research focuses on the Nigerian experience of nationhood and seeks to investigate the effect(s) of translation on the construction of a psychological notion of nationalism that aligns with the concept of the nation as an imagined community. The research upon which this study rests makes use of the socio-historical approach to translation theory and practice, which privileges such questions as: what was translated, by whom and in what social and political contexts.
The findings point to the existence of several notions and experiences of translation that are specific to oralate communities, and further buttress the argument that Western conventions, despite their major contributions to knowledge, do not sufficiently account for the cultural sensibilities that animate the practice of translation in national contexts that boast a robust historical and ongoing relationship with orality.
What’s more, the current study reveals the roles played by precolonial translation practices in the sustenance of the prevailing religious and cultural traditions, which in turn helped corral the precolonial nation’s inhabitants into a non-coerced form of social conformity and consciousness. Translation would subsequently replace the precolonial model of nationhood with a national imagination that was steeped in British colonial paradigms and fashioned to meet the ends of colonial nationalism. In the Nigerian postcolony, the role of translation in fashioning an anti-imperialist literary discourse as well as the production of fictional representations of contemporary social realities has spurred “national texts,” which have not only resonated within the consciousnesses of the nation’s diverse peoples, but have also inspired them to think of themselves as members of the same community. This sense of community has, however, been fraught with myriad problems, such as translation’s involvement in the consolidation and promotion of the Northern reality of Islamic fundamentalism and conservatism, which has, over the centuries, pulled most of the inhabitants of the Northern half of the nation-space into a regional sub-culture that is buoyed by ideological forces operating out of the Arabian peninsula. Translation has therefore facilitated a conflicting experience of nationhood in the contemporary nation-space that is deeply rooted in a historical legacy of religious and cultural alterity.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Ajayi, Olumayowa Francis
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:April 2018
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bandia, Paul and Salee, Daniel and Ivaska, Andrew
ID Code:984222
Deposited On:31 Oct 2018 17:17
Last Modified:31 Oct 2018 17:17
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