The Teller, the Tale, and In-Betweens: Re-Centering Peripheries through Transformative Collaborations

Haidamteu  Zeme N (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD))

The paper argues for seeing acts of translation beyond the one-dimensional 'text-to-text' or 'a single translator' framework. It focuses on first-hand oral tellings of the Zeme-Naga community of Northeast India to examine what these alternatives are. For instance, the porosity of meanings in the Zeme word for translation which is Kaheletbe hints at ideas of collaboration, participation, and return simultaneously. To transcribe orality in such a terrain is to then also recognize polysemic utterances as crucial to the archiving tendencies of indigenous cultures. My paper foregrounds the mutable nature of oral forms as its very rationale for continued relevance. For minoritized communities whose histories are documented in non-textual ways, orality becomes the site for reimagining identities, resistances, and histories through collaborative authorship.

Part of 03-14 Text, Translation, and Documentation, Thursday, October 13, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm