Affect as a Hinge

translationspacesHokkanen, Sari and Kaisa Koskinen (2016) ‘Affect as a Hinge: The translator’s experiencing self as a sociocognitive interface’, Translation Spaces 5(1): 78 –96

DOI: 10.1075/ts.5.1.05hok


Affect, understood here as embodied meaning-making, offers one useful point of departure in studying translation as an activity that involves both cognitive and social processes, because it functions as a hinge between subjective understandings and social environments. We approach affects related to translating with the theoretical framework of the translator’s experiencing self, defined here as the perception that translators have of themselves, based on lived and embodied experience. In other words, we suggest that the study of affect in relation to translating should pay attention to translators’ own processes of meaning-making. Since the processes of human meaning-making, including self-construction, have been argued to rest upon narrative practice, we furthermore argue for a narrative approach to studying affects. We illustrate the methodological opportunities provided by a narrative approach to affect with three cases deriving from three different research projects.