Between Cultures and Texts: Itineraries in Translation History
9-10 April, 2010
In the reader’s experience translations are often literary works in their own right and they have often functioned as such in culture as well - shaping histories. Cultures and texts have been more open to the foreign than the rigidly indexed academic studies oftentimes reveal: translations, texts of vital cultural significance, have been frequently excluded from national literary histories to find their place in separate histories of literary translation. To give just two examples, it is only recently that scattered studies have been assembled, for instance, in the five-volume Oxford History of Literary Translation in English (publication in progress), or in the Finnish Suomennoskirjallisuuden historia of 2007.
With histories being written for some decades already and with methodological issues on the agenda the list of possible empirical techniques and theoretical approaches is long enough to maintain enduring academic interest. As Anthony Pym in his 1998 „Method in Translation History“ says: „…translation history could be an essential part of intercultural history“. There are different possibilities to frame translating that need not be understood only as a representation of the foreign but also as a transmission, a transfer and transculturation, borrowing critical tools from linguistic and literary studies but also from semiotics, critical sociology, postcolonial or gender studies.
The Estonian Institute of Humanities and the Institute of Germanic-Romance Languages and Cultures of Tallinn University, in collaboration with the Paris INALCO Centre d’étude de l’Europe médiane and the University of Tartu, will host a conference in Tallinn, Estonia, on April 9–10, 2010 concerning the themes discussed above. Papers could address each of the terms ‘culture’, ‘history’, ‘method’, and ‘translation’.
Possible subjects may include:
- Getting data for translational histories
- Theoretical and historical approaches – an opposition?
- Critical review of existing monographs or experience reports by authors
- Criteria of periodization in translation histories
- The role of translators in cultural histories
Confirmed keynote speakers at the conference will be Nikolay Aretov (Sofia), Jean Delisle (Ottawa), Theo Hermans (London), Peeter Torop (Tartu).
In addition, Marie Vrinat-Nikolov (INALCO) speaks of the methodological problems she encountered with her book about translators' discourse in France and Bulgaria, and Jean-Léon Muller (INALCO) gives a survey of studies in the history of translation in Hungary.
Proposals for papers (in either English or French, no longer than 200 words) should be submitted before September 30, 2009 to one of the following e-mail addresses:
- anne.lange [ät] tlu.ee (Anne Lange, Tallinn University)
- katiliina.gielen [ät] ut.ee (Katiliina Gielen, University of Tartu)
- daniele.monticelli [ät] tlu.ee (Daniele Monticelli, Inalco)
Scientific Committee: Marie Vrinat-Nikolov, Kristiina Ross, Hannu K. Riikonen, Antoine Chalvin, Peeter Torop, Stefano Montes, Ülar Ploom.
Notification of acceptance will be sent out no later than October 30, 2009.