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Synopsis

This anthology brings together key articles translated into English for the first time from Italian debates concerning Antonio Gramsci's writings on language and translation as central to his entire social and political thought. It includes recent scholarship by Italian, German and English-speaking scholars providing important contributions to debates concerning culture, language, Marxism, post-Marxism, and identity as well as the many fields in which Gramsci's notion of hegemony has been influential. Given the growing literature on the role of language and so-called 'global English' within process of globalisation or cultural and economic imperialism, this is a timely collection. Franco Lo Piparo is often cited as the key source for how Gramsci's university studies in linguistics is at the core of his entire political theory, and yet none of this work has been translated into English nor have the debates that it spawned. Lo Piparo's specific thesis concerning the 'non-Marxist roots' of Gramsci's originality and the critical responses to it have been almost unknown to non-Italian readers. These debates paved the way for important recent Italian work on the role of the concept of 'translation' in Gramsci's thought. While translation has become a staple metaphor in discussions of multiculturalism, globalization, and the politics of recognition, until now, Gramsci's focus on it has been undeveloped. What is at stake in this literature is more than Gramsci's understanding of language as one of the many themes in his writings, but the core of his central ideas including hegemony, culture, the philosophy of praxis, and Marxism in general. This volume presents the most important arguments of these debates in English in conjunction with the latest research on these central aspects of Gramsci's thought. The essays this volume rectify lacunae concerning language and translation in Gramsci's writings. They open dialogue and connections between Gramscian approaches to the relationships among language, culture, political economy, and historical materialism with other Marxist and non-Marxist thinkers such as Walter Benjamin, Valentin Volosinov, Mikhail Bakhtin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jurgen Habermas, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida. It provides novel arguments concerning Gramsci's theories and the relationships among power, politics, language, consciousness, and capitalism.

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