Call for papers: Translation Talk

Deadline for proposals: 1 July 2014

A 2-day international conference to be held at the Institute of Modern
Languages Research (IMLR), School of Advanced Study, University of
London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, UK, on Thursday
23 - Friday 24 April 2015.

Can translation be said to define the contemporary ethos (Alexis
Nouss, 2007)? This conference asks to what extent the concept of
?translation? and images of translators and interpreters have been
employed to talk about ideas well beyond the activity of rendering a
text into another language. Is the early 21st Century a time of
especially intense ?translation talk?? Have there been other times and
places in which one can identify a similar cultural fascination or
anxiety connected with the idea of translation?

This conference explores the idea of ?translation talk?, in other
words, the many
and varied ways in which translation as an activity and the translator
as a figure have been interpreted and given cultural significance. The
focus of this conference will therefore be on discourses about
translation, rather than on translation in and of itself.

We invite papers on subjects from any period or cultural context that
consider one or more of the following areas of investigation:

?       Literary, autobiographical, religious, historical,
anthropological or other narratives about translation or translators
?       The image of the translator or interpreter as, for example,
mediator, traitor, informant, smuggler, collaborator (in all senses),
hero/villain, resister/oppressor
?       Are translators seen as autonomous individuals or as
representatives of a group, institution, or culture? Professional or
amateur? Free or constrained? Neutral or partisan?
?       How do translators talk about their own, or others?, work? Are
there clashes between writers, speakers, translators, publishers and
?       What stories are told in order to guarantee or undermine the
authenticity of a translation or the integrity of a translator?
?       What metaphors are used to describe the relationship between
writer/speaker and translator/interpreter, source text and translated
?       Translation as metaphor: what is discussion of translation
really about?
?       Institutional translation talk: how do libraries,
universities, research councils, archives, publishers, and other
political and cultural institutions, view translation and translators?
?       What terms are used to describe translators? work, and what
status do their products have?
?       The status of translation and translators in the cultural and
political media
?       Translation scandals and the interests behind them

Abstracts (max. 300 words) for 20-minute papers or proposals for
thematic panels should be sent to both:

Prof Peter Davies ([log in to unmask]) and
Dr Angela Kershaw ([log in to unmask])

by 1 July 2014.

The conference is jointly organised by the Birmingham Centre for
Translation, University of Birmingham, the School of Literatures,
Languages and Cultures, University of Edinburgh, and the IMLR.

Professor Peter Davies
Chair of Modern German Studies

Division of European Languages and Cultures
University of Edinburgh
David Hume Tower
George Square

Tel: 0131 650 3632
[log in to unmask]

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