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Wednesday, 27 February 2013 08:47

Subtitling: A Collective Approach

Call for Papers – Subtitling: A Collective Approach

Friday 12th July and Saturday 13th July 2013, University of Nottingham, Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies

Keynote speakers: Jorge Díaz Cintas (Imperial College), Minako O’Hagan (Dublin City University)

Whilst Audiovisual Translation as a field of study has been growing steadily, there is still a relative lack of dialogue between the key players, particularly in a context where markets are evolving very quickly and where political agendas, economic imperatives and the public’s ever-growing expectations are constantly redefining translation strategies, technological practices and distribution policies. 


The growing availability of films in subtitled versions striving to provide audiences with improved accessibility, and the inherent vulnerability of subtitling as a mode of language transfer, means that the quality of subtitles, and the working practices of subtitlers themselves are coming under increased scrutiny. Whilst some researchers have argued that working conditions for translators have deteriorated, there is also an argument to be made that communication between the different parties involved could benefit from the development of structures where expectations are rationalised and managed.

This conference aims to bring together professional translators, fansubbers, broadcasters, researchers, consumers, software programmers, and students of translation with the aim of opening conversation and exchange between all those involved in the subtitling process in some way or other. The following topics might be addressed, but the list is by no means exhaustive:

-          How might the work of amateur translators/fansubbers benefit that of professional subtitlers and vice versa?

-          What are the ways in which academic research currently impacts on translation practice, and how might it usefully be developed? Where does academic research fit in the relationship between commissioners, translators and consumers?

-          To what extent is commonly-used software adapted to the needs of broadcasters and translators? How might it be improved?

-          What are viewers’ main frustrations with subtitles? Are their expectations rational and can they be met?

-          From a diachronic perspective, what can be learnt from the history of subtitling and AVT, particularly with regard to future developments and improvements?

Please send your abstract (250 words) with your name and affiliation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 1stMay 2013. Notification of acceptance of proposals will be sent within two weeks. For general enquiries about the conference and potential discussion formats please contact Dr Pierre-Alexis Mével ( We are currently in the process of identifying a suitable output in which to publish a selection of papers in the form of a special issue.

If you would like to register, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 15th June 2013. A registration fee of £20 (£10 concessions) will be payable on the day.

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