Tuesday, 13 September 2016

CFP: The Translator Made Corporeal: Translation History and the Archive, British Library, 8 May 2017

British Library and University College London

The Translator Made Corporeal: Translation History and the Archive

8 May 2017 
British Library Conference Centre

Keynote speaker: Jeremy Munday


In 2001 Theo Hermans suggested that while we have recognized that there can be no text without the human translator, translators are still expected to remain “hidden, out of view, transparent, incorporeal, disembodied and disenfranchised”.

Anthony Pym describes the need to look at the “flesh and blood” translator if we are to gain a deeper understanding of translators as cultural agents. D’Hulst suggests that we should ask Qui? - who is the translator? To answer this question he suggests we need to investigate the biographical detail of the translator, including his/her educational, social and economic background. More recently, Jeremy Munday, Outi Paloposki and others have suggested that we should research translators’ archives to reveal their every-day lives, struggles, networks, and even friendships. Munday has further suggested the creation of micro-histories of translators.

This conference sets out to explore current progress in studying the human, flesh-and-blood translator in an historical and cultural context.  A final panel, chaired by Theo Hermans, will focus on the future potentials, limitations and risks of biographical research of translators in Translation Studies and the humanities.

The British Library and University College London are currently accepting abstracts for papers from scholars and early career researchers in Translation Studies, History, Gender Studies, Comparative Literature, Sociology etc. We also welcome papers from archivists, curators and translators.


Themes for papers may include, but are not restricted to:

•    Biographical case studies of translators
•    Translators as political and/or cultural agents
•    The translator’s every-day life
•    Status and agency of translators
•    Translators' networks
•    The translator’s relationship with the author, publisher, editor
•    Translators’ social and cultural profile(s)
•    The translator negotiating her/his public persona – visibility versus invisibility
•    Translator as a poly-professional versus mono-professional
•    Amateur translators
•    Translation as a collaborative act
•    Collection of, and access to, translators archives
•    The opportunities and difficulties posed in of crossing disciplinary boundaries
•    The place of Bourdieu in investigating translators (“field”, “habitus”, capital)
•    The potential of collaborative research

Deadline and further details

Abstracts of 300 words should be sent to deborah.dawkin[at]bl.uk by Friday 4 November 2016.
Selection of papers will be confirmed by the committee by 9 December 2016.

Scientific Committee

Theo Hermans, Jeremy Munday, Outi Paloposki, Mark Shuttleworth, Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen, Deborah Dawkin, Peter Good, Rachel Foss.

The British Library and Translation
The British Library is committed to promoting the importance of translation through its collections and events.  Among other translation related events, it is proud to host the annual Sebald Lecture and International Translation Day. “The Translator Made Corporeal: Translation History and the Archive” conference builds on two recent conferences held here: “Archival Uncertainties“, an international conference, exploring  the “diasporic archive” which featured leading Translation Studies scholars presenting their work on translation related archives, and the 2011 Conference “Literary Translators: Creative, Cultural and Collecting Contexts” which served as a forum for translation scholars, publishers, curators and archivists to discuss the future of collecting translators’ archives

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Bursary Opportunity in Ireland for Brazilian Literary Translators in 2017

This looks like a wonderful opportunity for qualified candidates:

Bursary Opportunity in Ireland for Brazilian Literary Translators in 2017

Literature Ireland, in co-operation with the Trinity Centre for Literary Translation, Trinity College Dublin, wishes to invite applications from literary translators for a residential bursary in Dublin in the period January to May 2017.

The bursary will be awarded to a practising literary translator of established track record who is working on a translation into Brazilian Portuguese of a work of contemporary Irish literature.

Travel and living expenses will be covered by Literature Ireland, while accommodation and work space will be provided by the Trinity Centre for Literary Translation, Trinity College Dublin. The successful applicant will be asked to work closely with students on the M. Phil. in Literary Translation (1–2 contact hours a week) and to organise three public workshops/talks on contemporary Latin American literature.

The bursary will be of four months’ duration. All applicants for this bursary must provide proof that they hold a publishing contract for the work in question. Applications should include an outline project proposal, current curriculum vitae and two references (including one from a publishing house). Where possible, a sample of the translation-in-progress (approximately 1,000 words of the original) should also be submitted in support of the application.

Completed applications should be submitted by email in English to info@literatureireland.com no later than Friday, 14 October 2016. The successful candidate will be notified by Friday, 21 October 2016. For further information, contact Rita McCann, info at literatureireland.com, or Dr Sarah Smyth, ssmyth at tcd.ie.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Two Irish events for International Translation Day, Cork and Dublin, 2016

A flurry of posts, as St. Jerome's day heaves into view.
This next event looks fantastic; I wish I could go! What a dream line-up of speakers including Professors Luis Perez Gonzalez, Michael Cronin, Hilary Footitt, Lawrence Venuti and other very distinguished scholars...

There is more information at https://www.ucc.ie/en/french/translationactivism/#d.en.685554.

The event is organized by Dr Caroline Williamson of University College Cork whose article "Post-traumatic growth at the international level: The obstructive role played by translators and editors of Rwandan Genocide testimonies" was published in issue 9(1) of the journal Translation Studies.


As it happens the reason I can't go is a happy one; I will be taking part in another event on Tuesday 27 September for International Translation Day, at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin. The programme is as follows:

Translation Seminar with Professor Reine Meylaerts, KU Leuven

Translation and Citizenship: 'La loi doit être connue pour être obligatoire'

Since the European democratization processes of the long nineteenth century, the very core of the legal and political potential to act as a citizen was formed by communicative resources. Communication between authorities and citizens through one (or more) national language(s) thus became of utmost importance. That is why studying language and translation policies is crucial to understand the role of language and translation in the construction of democratic citizenship. Drawing on examples from nineteenth-century Belgium, this presentation will reflect on issues of translation and citizenship and on methodological and theoretical implications for Translation Studies.

14:00—16:00, choose one of the following round tables:

1) The Work of the Professional Translator

This roundtable will discuss topics such as training, freelance v staff translator, the translation market, specialising and technology. Chair: Annette Schiller (ITIA)

2) Translation History: Why Bother?

This roundtable will discuss the function and utility of translation history, approaches to translation history, futures of translation history, interdisciplinarity and impact. Chair: Carol O'Sullivan (University of Bristol) and Alice Colombo (NUI Galway)

3) Why Translation Matters

This roundtable will look at the function and place of translation in society, its role in intercultural dialogue, its challenges and its future. Chairs: David Johnston and Piotr Blumczynski (Queen's University Belfast)

The afternoon's roundtables will be followed at 17:00 by 'Translating Anne Enright' - an event with Anne Enright in conversation with four translators of her work; Sergio Claudio Perroni (Italy), Hans-Christian Oeser (Germany), Isabelle Reinharez (France) and María Porras Sánchez (Spain). 

Click here to book tickets for the 'Translating Anne Enright' event at 17:00 on 27 September 2016.

More information on both events and booking links at https://www.ria.ie/events/translation-seminar-and-roundtables.

Celebration of Charles Tomlinson, poet, translator, teacher, Bristol, 30 September

British readers of poetry in translation will long have been familiar with Charles Tomlinson's generation-defining Oxford Book of Verse in English Translation, first published in 1980. Tomlinson was a poet, translator and lecturer who taught for many years at the University of Bristol. On 30 September (the day of St. Jerome, patron saint of translators, as regular readers of this blog will know well) the English Department is putting on an event in celebration of Tomlinson:

Charles Tomlinson - A celebration
Fri 30 September, 1.30 pm – 8.30 pm
Reception room, Wills Memorial Building, Queen’s Road, BS8 1RJ

An afternoon of academic papers followed by a series of poetry readings in the evening to celebrate the legacy of Charles Tomlinson, internationally acclaimed poet, translator, artist and literary scholar. Charles taught at the University's English department for 36 years. Free to attend, booking required.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Wikiproject Translation Studies: how to get involved

There is a long tradition among academics of treating Wikipedia with caution, or even disdain. Many of us don’t allow students to use it as a reference for academic essays. At the same time it’s very widely used by translators (see e.g. Alonso 2015), and it’s thus part of our role as trainers to teach students how to use it in their practice. Wikipedia has a translation interface and associated translation projects (see e.g. Panigrahi 2014) and the relevance of this aspect of Wikipedia for both research and training is increasingly evident (Ronen et al. 2014, McDonough Dolmaya 2014, 2015).

Academics use Wikipedia to different extents in their work (see Aibar et al. 2015). I know I use it a lot as a quick point of reference. Of course, it has to be taken with the appropriate pinch of salt. But whatever our relationship with Wikipedia, we must recognize that it is an important resource used by specialists and non-specialists across all subjects and disciplines all over the world. It is therefore relevant for us as scholars to consider what information Wikipedia holds about translation and Translation Studies. Other disciplines and scholarly associations are already doing this (see e.g. Ridge 2013; Hodson 2015; Machefert 2015; Whysel 2015).

Some of the initiatives already in progress seek to improve the visibility of less-studied and less-chronicled issues, for example female scientists or alternative perspectives on the First World War. Other initiatives seek to encourage greater diversity among Wikipedia editors (see e.g. Wexelbaum et al. 2015). Such initiatives speak to central Translation Studies concerns, which include increasing the visibility of translators as well as improving public understanding of translation and interpreting practices.

Translation Studies researchers who look at TS-related pages may have noted problems with some content. The Translation page, for instance, covers a huge range of phenomena, some of which are key concepts in their own right; not all of these have pages of their own. I was very surprised to find that ‘literary translation’ is not a heading in Wikipedia, for instance; it's just a sub-section on the translation page. Literary translation is a very specialized and separate area of translation, with different professional associations, different requirements, different norms and often different practitioners, so the creation of separate entries for this seems very desirable. The only language in which there seems to be a separate entry for literary translation at the moment is Spanish. Many bibliographical references for TS content are outdated, and links may be broken. While some important Translation Studies scholars have pages on Wikipedia, many others do not. Some pages are available in very few languages. Quality of entries is variable, and there are lots of stubs.

The European Society for Translation Studies set up an initiative, led by Dr Esther Torres Simón, Dr David Orrego Carmona and yours truly, to see what could be done to improve Translation Studies content. We ran two editing events in June 2015 and January 2016 to gauge interest, and created or edited a number of articles (for a sample, see James S. Holmes in English and Spanish; Indirect Translation; Retranslation). Further work was done on the main Translation Studies entry. See here for a list of articles created so far.

This work culminated in the setting up of the Wikiproject: Translation Studies in spring 2016. Participation in the project is warmly welcomed from anybody with an interest in improving the quality of Translation Studies content in any language. This may involve anything from proofreading and error correction to translating content to adding of new sections or indeed new entries. It may also include groundwork such as tagging articles which are of interest to the project.

This will inevitably be an incremental process. Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced environment where many different users negotiate their understanding of subject matter, so this is an initiative that is likely to take time. Anybody with an interest in taking part in the project, from experienced Wikipedians to newbies, is invited to contact me (you can find my email address here).

We are running a third Editathon to coincide with the 2016 EST Congress at Aarhus from 14 to 17 September 2016. A training event before the Congress on 14 September will be followed by three days of editing with support for on- and offsite editors. Expressions of interest in participating in this Editathon can be sent to me by email or you can signup via the event page here, any time before the event). For catering purposes, anyone wishing to attend the training event in Aarhus on 14 September should notify us by 11 September (extended deadline).

Aibar, Eduard, Josep Lladós-Masllorens, Antoni Meseguer-Artola, Julià Minguillón, Maura Lerga. 2015. Wikipedia at university: what faculty think and do about it. The Electronic Library (33)4: 668-683. Online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/EL-12-2013-0217
Alonso, Elisa. 2015. Analysing the use and perception of Wikipedia in the professional context of translation. Journal of Specialised Translation 23. Online at http://www.jostrans.org/issue23/art_alonso.php
Evans, Siân, Jacqueline Mabey and Michael Mandiberg. 2015. Editing for Equality: The Outcomes of the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thons. Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 34(2): 194-203
Fahmy, Sarah. 2012. Rewriting History: The JISC/ Wikipedia World War One Editathon [blog post], July 2. Online at https://jiscww1.jiscinvolve.org/wp/2012/07/02/rewriting-history-the-jisc-wikipedia-world-war-one-editathon/.
Hodson, Richard. 2015. Wikipedians reach out to academics. Nature (7 September 2015), doi:10.1038/nature.2015.18313
McDonough Dolmaya, 2014. Analyzing the Crowdsourcing Model and Its Impact on Public Perceptions of Translation. The Translator 18(2): 167-191
McDonough Dolmaya, 2015. Revision History: Translation Trends in Wikipedia. Translation Studies 8(1): 16-34. Online at http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/t6JuCRMRgdU2wSgYuSQD/full (open access at time of writing)
Machefert, Sylvain. 2015. Improving the articles about modern art in Wikipedia: a partnership between Wikimédia France and the Pompidou Centre. Art Libraries Journal 40: 34-40. doi:10.1017/S030747220000033X.
Panigrahi, Subhashish. 2014. Doctors and Translators Are Working Together to Bridge Wikipedia's Medical Language Gap. Online at http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/07/27/doctors-and-translators-are-working-together-to-bridge-wikipedias-medical-language-gap/, 27 July
Ridge, Mia. 2013. New Challenges in Digital History: Sharing Women's History on Wikipedia (March 23, 2013).Women's History in the Digital World. Paper 37. [conference paper] Online at http://repository.brynmawr.edu/greenfield_conference/papers/saturday/37
Ronen, Shahar, Bruno Gonçalves, Kevin Z. Hu, Alessandro Vespignani, Steven Pinker and César A. Hidalgo. 2014. Links that speak: The global language network and its association with global fame.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111(52): E5616.
Thomas, Amber. 2012. 21st-century Scholarship and Wikipedia. Ariadne 70. Online at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue70/thomas#36
Whysel, Noreen. 2015. Information Architecture in Wikipedia. Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology 41(5): 26-33 Online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bult.2015.1720410508.
Wexelbaum, Rachel S.; Herzog, Katie; and Rasberry, Lane. 2015. Queering Wikipedia. Library Faculty Publications. Paper 49. Online at http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/lrs_facpubs/49
Yong, Ed. 2012. Edit-a-thon gets women scientists into Wikipedia. Nature News, Oct 22, 2012. Online at http://www.nature.com/news/edit-a-thon-gets-women-scientists-into-wikipedia-1.11636.

N.B. This post is an extended version of a piece signed by Carol O'Sullivan, Esther Torres Simón and David Orrego Carmona which originally appeared in the newsletter of the European Society for Translation Studies.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Poem about translation 26: Paul Muldoon on the erotics of retranslation

I've been thinking a lot about retranslation recently - indeed, earlier this year I did a first draft of a Wikipedia entry on the topic. And as it happens, I have just come across a poem on precisely the topic of retranslation. This seemed too serendipitous not to blog about, as part of my occasional series on (more or less) translation-themed verse.

The poem is by Paul Muldoon and is entitled 'Whim'. It can be found in Muldoon's New Selected Poems 1968-1994. A chat-up line based on the obsolence of a nineteenth-century translation leads to an unfortunate al fresco incident in Belfast's Botanic Gardens: