Thursday, 19 May 2016

Event: ADMIT ALL: Accessing the Arts Through Multisemiotic Translation, London, 27 May

ADMIT ALL: Accessing the Arts Through Multisemiotic Translation

Sarah Eardley-Weaver (Queen's University, Belfast)
Pioneering arts accessibility provisions are pushing the boundaries of translation to embrace communication between multiple senses. Interaction between the sensory channels of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste is intrinsic to the reception of a live artistic performance and therefore this field requires an approach to translation that involves engaging multiple senses: a multisemiotic model (Weaver 2010; Delabastita 1989). With a view to facilitating access for audiences with diverse linguistic and sensory abilities there has been a rapid development of methods aiming to translate the multisemioticity of live artistic performance for all. In the last 20 years the variety of such translation methods has increased to include audio description, touch tours, sign language interpreting, captioning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and audiosubtitling. Moreover, at present experiments with ground-breaking haptic and sound technologies are opening the doors to a more sensorially immersive experience for all. During this seminar, a multisemiotic model of translation will be explored through investigation of these innovative translation modalities and there will be opportunities for hand-on experiences of techniques employed to facilitate arts accessibility for all.

Date: 27/05/2016 - 16:00 - 18:30
Institute: Institute of Modern Languages Research
Type: Seminar
Venue: Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Loose Canons: Translating Russian Literature in the 20th and 21st Centuries, Exeter, 25 May 2016

There's a very interesting-looking event on Russian literature in translation taking place at Exeter next week - wish I could go!

Image from this page with thanks.

Loose Canons: Translating Russian Literature in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Reed Hall, University of Exeter
25 May 2016, 9am-5pm

This one-day workshop will interrogate the process of creating (and recreating) the canon of Russian literature in translation. 

  • How do ideology and politics influence Western publishers’ choice of Russian authors for translation? 
  • How does a Russian author gain canonical status in the West, and does this necessarily match his or her standing in Russia? 
  • How do translators affect the process of author selection? Has the accepted canon of ‘classical’ Russian literature been significantly altered by recent translations? 
  • Who are the audiences for Russian literature in translation? 

We have invited translators, critics, and publishers as well as academics from Russian and translation studies to discuss these important questions. The workshop will run from 9am to 5pm, including a  discussion paper from translator Anna Gunin, who has recently rendered Nobel Prize-winning author Svetlana Alexievich's Chernobyl Prayer for Penguin, and featuring contributions from celebrated translator Robert Chandler, academic Rebecca Gould (Bristol), publisher Alessandro Gallenzi (Alma Books), translator and scholar Roger Cockrell (Exeter), and translator and editor Oliver Ready (Oxford), among other colleagues and postgraduate students from the universities of Exeter and Bristol.

All are welcome to attend; please forward this information to colleagues or students interested in translation and/or Russian studies. For an event programme, contact Dr Muireann Maguire (muireann.maguire at

Friday, 22 April 2016

Guest lecture: Arabic Shakespeare: Three Lessons, Monday 25 April 2016

This looks like a really interesting event, and very appropriate to the year that's in it. For a taster of Professor Litvin's work on Shakespeare in the Arab world, see this interview.

                   Arabic Shakespeare: Three Lessons 

Dr Margaret Litvin (Boston University), Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor

Lecture Room 8, 21 Woodland Road, 25 April 2016, 5.00 PM - 6.30 PM

Why and how have Arab writers and theatre directors since 1900 deployed Shakespeare’s plays? Where did they get their Shakespeare to begin with? Setting aside the clichés about Shakespeare’s alleged “universality,” this talk explores several episodes from the Arab Shakespeare tradition to show how they can illuminate not only the Arab theatre world but, more broadly, the interplay between international art forms, local expressive needs, and the historically weighted ties between modern literary cultures.
Margaret Litvin is the author of Hamlet’s Arab Journey: Shakespeare’s Prince and Nasser’s Ghost (Princeton, 2011) and an Associate Professor of Arabic & Comparative Literature at Boston University. 
For questions about this event or concerning Professor Litvin’s visit please write Rebecca Gould at r.gould at

Thursday, 21 April 2016

German translation event, Bristol: Night Without Mercy, Friday 6 May

This event organised by the Bristol German department looks excellent:

Bristol's department of German is pleased to invite you to a bi-lingual reading of selected works by the renowned author Matthias Politycki and his translators: our colleagues Professor Robert Vilain and Dr Christophe Fricker, and Bristol students of German. Together, they will present sonnets and other poetry in German and English. The reading will be followed by a conversation with the author and his translators, and a wine reception.

Staff, students, and members of the public from Bristol and beyond are all welcome to attend. Knowledge of German is not required.

More information on the event is available here:

Matthias’ website can be accessed here:

Please do not hesitate to get in touch, should you have any queries. We are looking forward to seeing you on Friday 6 May 2016 at 6 pm in Lecture Theatre 1, 43 Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UU

Please note that this is not part of the Woodland Road Arts Complex, but is in the old Baptist College building at the top of University Road. Here's a map:


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

CFP: 'Transnational Modern Languages' conference, London, 2-3 December 2016

Interesting conference coming up:


The Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8NX
Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December 2016

Teaching and research in Modern Languages are conventionally structured in ways which appear to insist on national or linguistic specificity. Work on the transnational inevitably poses questions on the nature of the underlying framework of Modern Languages: whether the discipline should be construed and practised as the inquiry into separate national traditions or as the study of cultures and their interactions. These structures seem inadequate at a time when the study of cultures delimited by the concept of the nation/national identities is becoming more difficult to justify in a world increasingly defined by the transnational and translingual, and by the material and non-material pressures of globalization. Challenging the assumption that cultures are self-contained units that correspond to sharply defined national boundaries must become an essential part of all disciplinary fields and sub-fields that make up Modern Languages, as they seek to avoid the risk of methodological nationalism and of participating in the very structures that it is their purpose to critique. At the same time, how might the transnational acknowledge the residual pull of the nation as a potent, albeit porous, container of cultural identity, and broker of citizenship?

A great deal of research within Modern Languages is already, albeit often implicitly, concerned with the transnational dimension of culture. In so doing, it poses questions about language, translation and multi-lingualism; about the set of practices that make up a sense of location and of belonging to a geographically determined site; about the notions of temporality that obtain within cultures; about modes of understanding subjectivity and alterity. All these questions are of fundamental importance for the study not only of the contemporary world, and its likely future, but for the study of the past.

The aim of the conference is to explore how the ‘cultural’ and the ‘transcultural’ cannot be studied in isolation but rather need to be seen as part of a complex system of circulation which goes beyond national boundaries, canons or linguistic discreteness. The conference aims to bring together researchers who are working on the transnational across Modern Languages and whose work poses questions both on how we study culture and how we produce a version of Modern Languages that is fully respondent to practices of human mobility and cultural exchange.

250 word abstracts should be submitted by 30 April 2016 to Georgia Wall at: G.Wall at

Abstracts should follow this order:
author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) bibliography

Please specify in the subject of your email: 'Transnational Modern Languages’.

We will acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in two weeks, you should assume we did not receive your proposal.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Congratulations to Juliette Scott!

Warmest and heartiest congratulations to PhD student Juliette Scott, who passed her PhD viva today with flying colours.  Her thesis is entitled

Optimising the Performance of Outsourced Legal Translation

Brava !!!!