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The Critical PulseThirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics$
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Jeffrey Williams and Heather Steffen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161152

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161152.001.0001

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Geopolitical Translators

Geopolitical Translators

(p.107) 14 Geopolitical Translators
The Critical Pulse

David B. Downing

Columbia University Press

This chapter explains the author's credo: all of us are engaged in the inevitably social and political struggle to translate between different discourses, histories, and geographical places where the local and global intersect. This credo has two interrelated components: the task of translation and the ethos of social justice. He believes that people like him trained in the humanities bear field-specific skills as geopolitical translators, that is, translating between those different circumstances as shaped by the global economy. One important task is to rewrite and translate a viable credo in the age of turbo-capitalism. There is a need to ask some basic questions: what can we do, how should we organize, and what kind of hopes can we have as we enter a difficult time of global depression? The author argues that while his own credo for geopolitical translators bearing a social ethos has its personal roots in the 1960s, we must accept that such a task is inevitably a project of critical utopianism, imagining visions of a more just world even as we organize in our unjust world.

Keywords:   neoliberalism, translation, social justice, ethos, global economy, geopolitical translators, capitalism, utopianism, credo

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