Anne E. B. Coldiron
This page reflects a scholar's association with the Folger Institute.
"Printers Without Borders: Translation and Transnationalism in Tudor Literature" (NEH, 2010–2011)
Printers without Borders studies translation, printing, and transnationalism in the first phases of the Renaissance media revolution. This book project builds on the work of such scholars as Helgerson, Hadfield, and MacEachern, who establish the centrality of early modern nationalism and nation-building in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It is widely accepted that printing and translation helped develop English literary nationhood, enriching English letters and shaping English identity and power. But by studying the preceding century—the first crucial century after Caxton brought the press to England in 1476—and by focusing on two allied processes of textual transformation (printing and translation), this project reveals foundational transnational impulses developing alongside that better-known story of literary nationhood. Earlier printer-translators such as Caxton, De Worde, Pynson, or Wyer, and later ones, such as Richard Field or John Wolfe, reached ever-broadening readerships by Englishing works that nevertheless remained visibly, vividly foreign. (The projects shows that “Englishing” comes to include e.g. transmediation, hybridity, cultural polysystems accommodations; thus that “English” literature comes to include considerable, essential alterity.) Among topics treated: the Arabic and multi-vernacular origins of Caxton’s Dictes (1477); Chartier’s anti-court critiques, deracinated and recontextualized during English rebellions; Beza’s octolingual broadside celebrating the Armada victory (Bishop/Newberie, 1588; extant copies on vellum & paper); Castiglione in bilingual-trilingual editions (Cloquemin, 1580; Huguetan, 1585; Wolfe, 1588); macaronic poems. These printer-translators’ work retained residual foreignness and connected readerships across emergent national boundaries. Their negotiations with alterity were fundamental; their transmediations/translations helped new English readers understand themselves as part of a wider world.
Director, Renaissance/Early Modern Translation (Colloquium, 2014–2015)
Speaker, Early Modern Translation: Theory, History, Practice (Conference, 2010–2011)