Prof. Paola Gaudio
This paper, interdisciplinary in nature, revolves around the notion of infrastructure and that of translation. These two concepts are more similar than it might appear to the layman. Indeed, they show complementary traits and striking similarities, the most noteworthy of which is their being relational entities. Because of this basic yet essential likeness, the features characterizing infrastructures can be applied to translation, and vice versa. In particular, sociologist Susan Leigh Star’s detailed list of nine features typical of infrastructures works well also in relation to translation, while the four stages of George Steiner’s hermeneutic motion perfectly suit the conception, design, and implementation stages of infrastructures. Moreover, within the framework of reference provided by Régis Debray’s definition of transmission as the mechanism required for something to spread – not only across space but through time as well – these notions come together, both playing key roles in the creation and perpetuation of culture, of society, and of their organizational structures.