Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

‘Imperialistic abroad and xenophobic at home’. How does the UK publishing industry plead to these charges? Guilty or not guilty?

Craighill, Stephanie



This article examines popular culture and its effect on the European translations market. The dominant position of Anglo-Saxon culture in the global cultural economy has stimulated an imbalance in the flow of translations towards the English-language market. According to Lawrence Venuti, translations academic, this exposes Anglo-American publishing as ‘imperialistic abroad and xenophobic at home’. This article focuses solely on UK publishing in the European cultural context and determines whether the UK market pleads guilty to these controversial charges. First, the context of Venuti’s claim is established by presenting statistical evidence detailing the flow of translations to and from the United Kingdom. Leading figures from UK publishing, including literary agents, rights managers, critics and organizational bodies, have been interviewed regarding the charges brought against them by Venuti. Statements from these individuals are explored and their defence presented. In the main, representatives from UK publishing, although they consider Venuti’s terminology to be emotive and contentious, plead guilty to both charges. Findings benefit knowledge exchange with minority cultures and the international cultural economy.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2015-04
Deposit Date Oct 29, 2015
Print ISSN 2040-6134
Publisher Intellect
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 1
Pages 5-18
Keywords English-language; European; cultural economy; popular culture; publishing; translation
Public URL
Publisher URL