Sketching Landscapes in Translation Studies: a bibliographic study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Università di Perugia
  • Hamad bin Khalifa University


This paper investigates how subfields within translation studies have been defined and
how research interests and foci have shifted over the years, using data from the
Translation Studies Abstracts (TSA) online database. We draw on the notions of
‘landscape’ and ‘sketch maps’ in an attempt to reflect on the role that TSA editors, as
well as writers of papers and abstracts, have had on the dynamics of the field.We start by
offering an overview of the contents of the database, and reflect on how bibliographical
tools ultimately represent partial views of a disciplinary landscape. We look at how
different bibliographies devise categories for describing topics of research and thus
create maps to navigate that landscape. However, maps are static devices, unable to
represent how the landscape was shaped historically. Thus, we also use a TSA corpus to
observe how classifications and the frequencies of keywords have changed at different
points in time, while reflecting on how, as inhabitants of this landscape, editors of
bibliographies affect the extent to which the data is both representative of and informed
by the field, and as colonizers, they impose their order upon it.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-182
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Translation Studies Abstracts, bibliographic studies, corpora, landscapes, sketch maps