This blog appeared on Patheos.com
TIME magazine’s 2 Feb 2014 cover announces the arrival of the “Mindful Revolution.” The publication joins a flurry of recent examples confirming that a shift is taking place in the representation of meditation in American popular media. The more recent cover demonstrates that today meditation is unquestionably mainstream. One way to think about these magazine covers is as attempts to use text and visuals to “translate” an originally foreign practice, and to resituate it in the contemporary American context. The TIME cover has come under fire for its representation of meditation, but Translation Studies reminds us that all translations without exception are intimately entangled in an array of social, cultural, and ideological influences. The TIME cover is an easy target for criticism because it utilizes the extreme domesticating end of the spectrum.