Saturday, 29 January 2011

Cultural Translations Symposium 2011


Valletta Campus,
Old University Building,
St Paul Street,

15-16th April

*Subject*: *Cultural Translations Symposium 2011*

The first definition of the word ‘translation’ offered by the OED is ‘Transference; removal or conveyance from one person, place, or condition to another’. Understood in this way, it is apparent that translation’s relationship with literary and cultural texts is not simply that of a process whereby a particular text is rendered in another language. Translation is not only something done to a text.
Understood in the broader sense, it is something that has occupied and exercised the literary and cultural imagination from its beginnings. This strange coextensivity takes us from Homer’s tale of the ‘translations’ of Ulysses, right the way up to Rushdie’s declaration that diasporic writers are ‘translated men’. Literary and visual culture has always told of journeys, loss, changes in condition or circumstance; even its very modes – metaphor, symbolism, irony, figuration itself – are arguably inherently translational. So although any mention of translation immediately and inevitably calls to mind what might be called ‘linguistic’ translation, on further consideration literature and visual culture seem to have always been preoccupied with what might be called ‘cultural’ translation. The distinction, however, is not an easy one. The border between the two is far from impenetrable and the linguistic is as prone to being carried over into the cultural as the cultural is to the linguistic.
However one looks at it, then, translation is rife and arguably always cultural. This conference invites papers that respond to and explore cultural translations and translations of culture in literature, art, culture and theory.

Papers may discuss, but need not be limited to, issues like the following;

• Loss and gain: the economy of cultural translation
• Literature and the exilic consciousness
• Cultural translation as an agent of literary/cultural/ historical
• The relationship between cultural translation and cultural memory
• Human translation and questions concerning technology
• The cultural turn in translation studies
• The place and state of language(s) in cultural translation
• Ethnicity, hybridity and multiculturalism
• Diaspora and migration
• Borders, margins and the in-between in art and culture
• ‘Foreignising’ cultural translations
• Cultural adaptation and transmediation
• Cultural untranslatability
• Surviving translation
• Origins, originality and authenticity
• Cultural translation and the future of comparative literature and
transnational literatures
• Aesthetics, politics and ideology in cultural translation
• Literary geographies

Proposals to be sent to:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Call for Papers

Call for Papers
A Dangerous Liaison? The Effects of Translation and Interpreting Theory on Practice
UWM Graduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting Studies
Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October, 2011
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Keynote speakers: Gertrud Champe and Madeleine Velguth

“A theory of translation is potentially more dangerous to translation practice than a theory of meaning, of literature, of the text, or of the reader.”
Jean Boase-Beier, 'Who Needs Theory?'

Translation and interpreting theory can be tremendously liberating for the practitioner but, as Boase-Beier argues, this liberating potential can be undermined by “naive application”. Translation and Interpreting Studies have been consolidating their status as independent academic disciplines since the 1980s and as a result today's translators and interpreters increasingly receive rigorous formal training in their field. Translation and interpreting theory is a well-established component of translation and interpreting programs, but the precise use that theoretically-aware translators and interpreters make of this knowledge in their practice is in need of further exploration. How does theory influence the trained translator/interpreter? Are 'outside' theories such as theories of cognition more useful to the translator/interpreter than theories generated within Translation and Interpreting Studies? Is the over-schooled practitioner a dangerous creature?

MA and PhD students are invited to submit proposals for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of the relationship between translation theory and practice. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Theory at the “wordface” (Wagner)
• Translation and interpreting practice and 'outside' theories
• Cognitive theories of translation and interpreting
• 'Failed' translations
• The dangers of translation and interpreting theory
• Translation pedagogy
• New directions in translation and interpreting theory

Expressions of interest are also solicited from graduate students who would like to participate in a round table on graduate programs in translation and interpreting and/or in a language-specific workshop in literary translation.

Please e-mail 250 word proposals for papers and expressions of interest in the round table and/or workshops to by April 30, 2011.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

A Rant about finding books in Spanish

It's funny. When I write blog posts on my own blog, I can almost always think of something to day, but when I have to do it for an assignment, it's much more difficult. I’d imagine this also isn’t long enough anyway, and I probably can’t start it with “Today was a lovely day” like I usually do.

I've been trying to find books in Spanish to use for my two essays for Case Studies and Stylistics, but I'm having a very difficult time. It's a bit difficult to find books in Spanish when there's no Amazon in Peninsular Spanish (I'm not sure if there's a Latin American Amazon; must check on that) and Google EspaƱa keeps giving me results in English.

Luckily, while I was Googling away, it occurred to me that years ago while I was still in university, I ordered a Spanish-French Larousse Grande from a Spanish bookstore and had it delivered to my university in the States. So after some more Googling (oh, how i love that word), I figured out the name of the site. Casa del Libro, or, if you prefer an English name, I suppose it would be something like "Book House" or "House of Books." I think I'm going to stick with "Book House" because then it sounds like a spoof of the Commadores' song "Brick House": 'cos she's a book house / she's mighty mighty, just letting those words come out.'

So I ordered a Spanish translation of Agatha Christie's 4.50 from Paddington in from Casa del Libro. It's my very favourite Agatha Christie book, and I thought it would be fun to write a paper about it (I've read just about all of her mysteries, and I love them). That was over a week ago. The only confirmation I've gotten was one of those automated emails saying "we've received your order," or words to that effect.

But I still haven't gotten the damn shipping confirmation form. Tis madness, I tells ya (as Russell Brand might say). Actually, he'd probably say something more expletive laden (and so would I), but I'm probably not allowed to swear in these things.

But seriously, how the flip am I supposed to get books in Spanish from the inter-webs if I can't even get a damn confirmation from the book shop? There must be an easier way.

[Edit] There is no Amazon Mexico. Why????? There bloody well should be.[/edit]

[Edit 2] Ack, it changed the font on me. Never mind, I fixed it. Damn it, now I forgot what I was going to say. Oh, wait, I remember. I found a copy of 4.50 at Casa del Libro, as I mentioned earlier, but then I was told by one of my lovely class mates that there’s a book shop in London called Grant and Cutler that has all sorts of books in other languages. I went there and got the first Harry Potter book in Spanish, and it’s a really cool shop. In addition to Spanish, I saw books in Portuguese, Russian, French, and even Japanese.

By Sabrina Steiner, Translator and Beatle Queen

Sabrina Steiner translates from Spanish to English and is an ardent Beatles fan. For more Beatle goodness, you can read her blog at and visit her website at