Friday, 13 May 2011 13:19

Translations and Translators in Latin America

Call for Papers

In Latin America, translation has had a crucial importance in shaping identities, in contesting or supporting nationalist discourse, in establishing contact between different –and often asymmetric– linguistic communities. An already considerable body of research documents the role of translators and interpreters in the Colonial context, in the constitution of nation-States, in the renovation of literary repertoires. In those processes, Latin American letrados in the nineteenth century and intellectuals in the twentieth century were active agents of cultural and literary exchanges. In addition, travel narratives can be read as cultural translations in colonial and postcolonial contexts. In present-day Latin America, translation is a field in which the strains between source and target languages/cultures: Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, these and English and other foreign languages, Spanish and native languages, are at stake.

Focusing especially in the thematic areas suggested in the Call for Panel Proposals, this panel proposal aims at exploring the practice of translation in Latin America, its politics, its poetics and its history.

Possible topics:

  • Historiography of translation in Latin America
  • Translation and interpretation during Colonial rule
  • Translation and the trials of the foreign in Latin America
  • Translated  literature in Latin America: ideological and aesthetic issues
  • The translator as a fictional hero in Latin American fiction
  • Literary translation as cultural memory in Latin America
  • Translation and book industry in Latin America
  • Translation in the context of Mercosur (Southern Common Market)
  • Translation in the context of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)
  • Translating science in Latin America


Dr. Andrea Pagni is Professor of Latin American Studies at the Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg  in Germany. She specializes in Latin American literary translation and travel literature  and in Argentine literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has published Post/Koloniale Reisen (1997) and has edited El exilio republicano español en México y Argentina (2011) and América Latina, espacio de traducciones (2004). She is also co-editor of Argentinien Heute (2010), Memorias de la nación en América Latina (2008), Blicke auf Afrika nach 1900 (2002), Crossing the Atlantic. Travel Literature and the Percep­tion of the Other (1992) and Literatura Argentina Hoy - De la Dictadura a la Democra­cia (1989). She has also published articles on literary translations by Latin American writers in nineteenth century, Latin American travel literature, and Argentine literature in various anthologies and academic journals.

Gertrudis Payàs (Ph. D. Translation Studies, University of Ottawa, 2005) teaches at the Universidad Católica de Temuco, in Chile, and has been visiting professor for History of Translation at El Colegio de México. She is a member of research groups Alfaqueque (Universidad de Salamanca) and Frontera de Lenguas (U. C. de Temuco), specializing in history of translation and interpretation in Hispanic contexts. Recent publications are the reedition of J.T. Medina’s Biblioteca Chilena de Traductores (1821-1924) (2007) and El revés del tapiz. Traducción y discurso de identidad en la Nueva España (1521-1821) (2010). She is currently directing a 3-year research interdisciplinary project on the impact of translation and interpretation in the Araucanian Frontier during 17th-19th centuries (Fondecyt-regular 1090459, Chile) and is also responsible for the Chilean section of a projected biographical dictionary oh Hispano-American translation (FFI2009-13326, Spain).

Dr. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a translator; her translations of Roland Barthes, Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gustave Flaubert, Richard Rorty, H.P. Lovecraft, Mark Twain, Mary Shelley, among other authors, have been published in Argentina and Spain. She has published La Constelación del Sur. Traducciones y traducciones en la literatura argentina del siglo XX (Siglo XXI Editores, 2004), and received in Madrid the Panhispanic Prize for Specialized Translation (2005). She was Gerhard-Mercator Visiting Professor at Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (2008). She chaired in Buenos Aires the Seminario Permanente de Estudios de Traducción (SPET, 2004-2010). She is currently professor of TS at El Colegio de México.

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