INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM SELF-TRANSLATION: BORDERS OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
Université de Perpignan – Via Domitia
October 20, 2011 – October 22, 2011
The CRILAUP (Iberian and Latin American Research Centre) at the University of Perpignan and AUTOTRAD, a research team on self-translation from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Facultat de Traducció i Interpretació), are jointly organizing an international symposium on the transdisciplinary study of bilingual writing and, more specifically, literary self-translation. This transdisciplinary framework encompasses such interrelated fields as general and comparative literature, postcolonial and minority studies, sociology of literature and translation, sociolinguistics and translation studies.
The aim of the conference is to facilitate both interdisciplinary and multilingual encounters and even debates. It also aims to develop, on an international scale, scientific thinking about the understudied phenomenon of self-translation, a vast and promising field of inquiry.
The conference’s aim is to facilitate both interdisciplinary and multilingual encounters and even debates. It also aims to develop, on an international scale, scientific thinking about the understudied phenomenon of self-translation, a vast and promising field of inquiry. This conference is not a stand-alone initiative but rather part of a series of initiatives, including: • the 2003 conference on “Writing in a bilingual context,” also held in Perpignan; • ongoing academic activities (study days, conferences, publications, theses) at both Perpignan and Barcelona universities since 1996;
• research activities of individual Autotrad members at their respective universities (in Ottawa, Paris, New York, and Santiago de Compostela).
It is Autotrad’s view that self-translation is a form of translation, albeit a distinct one because the work is signed by a translator who is none other than the author of the original, a fact that lends a certain authorial aura to self-translations. While current theories, generally developed with “standard” (i.e. non authorial) translation in mind, pay little or no attention to this particular type of translation, it is still worthwhile to see how and to what extent recurring questions in translation studies can be applied to self-translation. Indeed, in the “interdiscipline” (Snell-Hornby) that translation studies has become—combining hermeneutics and linguistics, semiotics and deconstruction, (inter)cultural and postcolonial studies—, none of the issues relevant to other types of interlingual translation can or should be ruled out a priori when studying self-translation.
One of these issues seems of particular importance, from a sociological vantage point: the (un)equal status of the languages involved. Consequently, their “linguistic market value” varies according to the positioning of writers, critics and the reading public with respect to the various literary and cultural fields concerned. While, for some bilingual writers, self-translation may correspond to an impulse, it is, for many others, the result of either personal circumstances (e.g. cosmopolitanism, exile, international careers) or publication constraints (e.g. the desire to reach larger and more educated audiences, the need for broader recognition on a national or international level). Do writers always have the choice between entrusting someone else with translating their work or translating it themselves?
In addition to the possibility of a power differential between the languages involved in self-translation, one should consider the interlingual and intercultural distance between them, since this can lead self-translators to deviate from original versions and therefore create so-called second originals.
This three-day symposium on the University of Perpignan campus will consist of two keynote addresses and a series of 20-minute papers presenting reflections on one of the following topics:
- 1. The theoretical and methodological implications of self-translation: To what extent can the many existing theories of translation address the specificity of self-translation as a process or product? - 2. The effects interlingual and intercultural distance has on the products of self-translation. - 3. The self-translating subject: What is his/her usual profile? Is it possible to develop a self-translator typology? In what ways and under what circumstances does one become a self-translator? - 4. The decision to self-translate and the motivations behind that decision: Should one translate or be translated? Do self-translators attempt it only once or do they repeatedly engage in this practice? - 5. Self-translation writing strategies (directionality; working in a consecutive or a simultaneous manner), as they can be related to writers’ biographies and trajectories in their respective literary fields.
Call for Papers
Submissions of less than 300 words, written in one of the four languages, should be presented anonymously. The deadline for submissions is February 14 2011. The anonymous submissions will be reviewed by two members of the scientific committee and accepted or rejected before 15 April 2011, date of the announcement of reviewed papers. The website will be updated to mention all practical details (registration, accommodation, location and access...) The papers presented will be examined according to the same process before publication as a volume of proceedings of the conference.
Submissions should be sent before February, 14 2011 to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org , or though the conference website: http://autotradperpi.univ-perp.fr
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