Giustini, D. 2019. It’s not just words, it’s the feeling, the passion, the emotions: an ethnography of affect in interpreters’ practices in contemporary Japan. Asian Anthropology, 18(3): 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/1683478X.2019.1632546
This article explores the mediation of affect in the professional practice of interpreting in contemporary Japan. It argues that affective practices show that the fabricated distinction reason/emotion in interpreting is misaligned with interpreters’ everyday engagements. Drawing on practice theory, it shows that by negotiating their ethical position as neutral professionals, interpreters manage affects between the parties involved, giving a discursive, political, and cultural nature to emotions to suture the practice’s artificial division, impacting users through communication services.