Translation and the Untranslatable-Podcast- Emily Apter

Speaking Otherwise is a podcast series on the Contemporary, hosted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS). In this podcast, we speak to well-known scholars from the humanities and the social sciences on the critical questions of our times.

Translation and the Untranslatable 

In this episode, Baidik Bhattacharya speaks to Emily Apter on translation, untranslatability, comparative literature, and the future of the humanities in a post-pandemic world. The discussion covers a range of issues like the status of humanistic knowledge in the contemporary world, decolonization, the challenges to literary studies and so on that have direct bearings on our intellectual lives today. 

For listening on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or SoundCloud, click the appropriate links below.


Emily Apter is Silver Professor of French and Comparative Literature at New York University. She is one of the leading authorities on contemporary critical theory, literary studies, translation studies, gender and sexuality studies, French critical thought, and psychoanalysis among others. A past president of the American Comparative Literature Association and editor of a book series, Translation/Transnation (Princeton University Press), she has shaped many of the current discussions and debates in the humanities through her work. Her publications include: Unexceptional Politics: On Obstruction, Impasse and the Impolitic (Verso, 2017); Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability (Verso, 2013); The Translation Zone: A New Comparative Literature (Princeton University Press, 2006); Continental Drift: From National Characters to Virtual Subjects (University of Chicago Press, 1999); Feminizing the Fetish: Psychoanalysis and Narrative Obsession in Turn-of-the-Century France (Cornell University Press, 1991) and numerous essays, articles, and edited volumes. Apter is currently working on a book with the provisional title, Translation in Justice: Equivalence, Rightness, Equaliberty.