Travel Narrative as Cultural Translation: Hans Staden’s ‘Warhaftige Historia’ (1557)
Professor Knaeble's talk will focus on Hans Staden’s travel narrative: ‘The True Story and Description of a Country of Wild, Naked, Grim, Man-eating People, who dwell in the New World called America’, an Early Modern best seller first published in 1557. Whether Staden’s ‘Warhaftige Historia’ was in fact true has been a focus of intense academic scrutiny because the author claims to present a description based on his own eyewitness observation. Instead of answering the question of whether Staden’s narrative can be regarded as a reliable source for ethnographers, Knaeble will have a closer look on narrative strategies and structures of the text. This reading offers an analysis of Staden’s depiction as a tripartite translational process: Coming from interlingual and medial translation aspects, she argues that the text can also be understood as a cultural translation in the context of the German Reformation, in particular of the contemporary catholic and Protestant debate over the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Susanne Knaeble studied German Literature, History and Philosophy at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, where she also works and teaches.
More information: https://cmems.stanford.edu/events/cmems-talk-susanne-knaeble