Translating Power, Empowering Translation: Itineraries in Translation History
24-26 May, 2012
"The study and practice of translation is inevitably an exploration of power relationships within textual practices that reflect power structures within the wider cultural context." Susan Bassnett (1996)
The power of translation to form values and identities through interpretation cannot be underestimated. In recent years the "power turn" in translation studies has brought a broad range of new issues related to translation and translating to the attention of researchers.
On the one hand, translation has been researched (for instance, in the colonial, postcolonial, or globalization context) as an instrument for implementing, imposing and legitimating hegemonic political, cultural and linguistic values in a quite "invisible" and therefore particularly subtle and efficacious way. On the other hand, the "resisting" and "contesting" potential of translation has also been emphasized, the translator being conceived of as an autonomous cultural (and political) agent capable of developing an agenda that challenges established political, cultural and linguistic values and norms.
Such approaches invite us to study the tensions created in translation (as well as translation studies) by hegemonic struggles which, while maintaining a certain degree of specificity, are nevertheless strictly interrelated with a given socio-historical situation in all its complexity. Questions such as the performative capacity of translations and the role of translators as agents of cultural change thus need to be addressed with particular attention to the constraints imposed and the possibilities opened by power relations, discursive formations and identity issues that dictate the agenda in different countries at different historical times.
The conference "Translating Power, Empowering Translation: Itineraries in Translation History" wishes to attract papers concerning the above-mentioned themes in order to discuss translation and/as power in history. We welcome both general approaches and specific comparative case-studies. Possible subjects may include:
- translation in totalitarian and authoritarian regimes
- un/paralleled paths in the methodologies of researching (post)colonial and (post)soviet translation
- translation and globalisation: the role of state, market and translators in the establishment of translation politics
- translators, agency and commitment
- translation: gender, power and subversion
- translation strategies and their performative capacities
- political history, cultural history and translation history: overlapping areas, discrepancies and contradictions.
Confirmed keynote speaker Prof. Lawrence Venuti.
The conference will work in the format of plenary and section sessions. The presentation time is 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. The working language of the conference is English. Proposals for papers (in English, no longer than 250 words) should be submitted by November 30, 2011 to the following e-mail address: katiliina.gielen [ät] ut.ee. Notification of acceptance will be sent out no later than December 15, 2011.
- Anne Lange (Tallinn University), anne.lange [ät] tlu.ee
- Daniele Monticelli (Tallinn University), daniele.monticelli [ät] tlu.ee
- Katiliina Gielen (University of Tartu), katiliina.gielen [ät] ut.ee
Presented by the Institute of Germanic-Romance Languages and Cultures and the Estonian Institute of Humanities of Tallinn University; in collaboration with the Department of English, Institute of Germanic, Romance and Slavonic Languages, University of Tartu; in the framework of the Estonian Science Foundation grant "Translators (Re)shaping Culture Repertoire"