Call for papers: III International Conference Translating Voices Translating Regions

“Translators as mediators of local cultures and languages”

Dates: 9-11 March 2012    Venue: Durham University, UK

The Translating Cultures group of the Institute of Advanced Studies of Durham University is pleased to announce the III International conference Translating Voices, Translating Regions.

Opening Workshop, 9 March 2012   Translation as a Process: translators and cultural change

Invited speakers
Lawrence Venuti, Temple University, USA  Victoria Moul, King’s College London, UK Astrid Guillaume, Université de la Sorbonne, Paris, France  Dario Brancato, Concordia University, Canada

Conference, 10-11 March 2012   Translators as Mediators: Trading local cultures and languages

Keynote speakers
Natalie Zemon Davis, Toronto University, Canada  David Katan, Università del Salento, Italy
Isabella Lazzarini, Università del Molise, Italy


The third International conference aims to address questions around the role of translators as mediators of local cultures over the centuries, following consistently and in many ways completing the work initiated by the first two of the series (2005 and 2007), where new approaches to the debate on translation of regionalised languages were discussed. The conference intends to focus on the particularly elusive figure of the translator, following its status, development and perception from the Middle Ages to the early 17th century.

The conference intends to bring together experts studying those literary translators that were used for socio-political purposes, either to create voices of discontent or to support the official powers, while trading their local regions or patrons against hegemonic or dominant cultures. As elusive as the figures of commercial, political, and diplomatic translators and interpreters can be, nonetheless they often gave a voice and a scope to the politics and projects of their regions.

The organisers welcome proposals exploring the life of individuals, guilds, associations, schools, or groups of translators or interpreters, as well as approaches that intend to identify a typology of translators and interpreters in diplomatic settings. The conference aims to address these issues from a range of historical, pragmatic, and theoretical perspectives, and welcomes proposals for papers of the duration of 30 minutes; 10 minutes will be added for discussion.

Papers should engage with the following themes:

Translators as mediators of lingua-cultures
Accessibility: negotiating political ideas between cultures and epochs
Availability: trading ideas, technologies, and commercial goods in areas of conflict (the Mediterranean, East and West, etc)
Ideological choices of strategies: censorship in its various forms
The education and background of the multilingual cultural mediators
Translators as diplomats
Ideological choices: translating for whom? Translating what? Selective processes of translation
Sociological impact: background, profile, social status of translators
Lingua franca (or linguae francae) and translators: the mediums of the mediators
Traders and religious men as translators of cultures
Use of local vernacular for local trades outside the dominant languages
Use of local vernacular for international trades against international languages and lingua franca
Analysis of translators who worked on essential communication for commercial purposes and suddenly become major players in political disputes
Analysis of travelling religious men who acted as translators

Papers will be accepted in English and French. To submit a paper to the conference, please email Dr Federici, [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>, providing:

- A 250-word abstract
- 6 keywords
- Professional affiliation
- E-mail address
- 150 words of bio-notes

The conference convenors will put together a book proposal to Cambridge University Press.

Registration fee: £50 GBP payable by cheque (in pounds) or credit card.

30 December 2011: Abstracts
15 January 2012: Notification of acceptance
18 January 2012: Provisional programme online
20 January 2012: Registration opens
1 February 2012: Confirmed programme
5 March 2012: Registration closes

1 June 2012: Draft of article from conference paper
30 July 2012: Feedback on article
10 September 2012: Submission of revised articles

Please feel free to circulate this call for papers to colleagues who may be interested.
Dr Federico M. Federici Senior Lecturer in Italian
- Director of the MA in Translation Studies ( EMT<> Master
Translation & Linguistics Research Group (

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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