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Tuesday, 14 February 2017 16:05

Workshop theme and Cfp

Retracing the History of Literary Translation: New Areas and Methods of Research in the Polish Context

Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

27-29 September 2017

Keynote speakers

Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick

Lieven D’hulst, University of Leuven-Kulak

Matthew Reynolds, University of Oxford

Translation Studies in Poland, with its strong emphasis on the problems of language, style and equivalence, has paid relatively little attention to the study of the history of translation with its social, political and ideological entanglements. The few contributions to the field include the anthology Polish Writers on the Art of Translating (ed. Balcerzan, Rajewska 1977; enlarged edition 2007) and Wacław Sadkowski’s (2002) concise outline of the history of literary translation; despite this, a systematic investigation into the history of translators and their work, the position of translated literature within the domestic sphere, the impact it exerted on canon formations and the role it played in Polish writing has not yet been undertaken as the awareness of the importance of this kind of research has been rather low.

 This workshop was partly sponsored by Routledge and IATIS gratefully acknowledges their support of our aim to stimulate interaction among scholars in different geographical regions, particularly in regions where Translation Studies is still developing and gaining recognition.

Translation Studies on the other hand have paid increasing attention to the diachronic dimension of translation as part of literary systems and to translators as agents of cultural processes, with Venuti’s The Invisibility of Translator (1995) and Pym’s Method in Translation History (1998) marking the beginning of this line of research. Since then this has produced a fair body of work, both descriptive and theoretical, including books by Delisle & Woodsworth’s (1995), Robinson (2001), Bastin and Bandia (2006), Wolf (2006) and von Flotow (2011). Drawing on this previous scholarship, the workshop’s goal is to stimulate research in translation history in the Polish context with a view to creating a starting point for further collaboration and research projects.

With the growing number of programmes in Translation Studies at Polish universities and the increase in general interest in translation, there is an urgent need for more systematic research into translation as part of Poland’s literary and cultural history. Translation has been its integral part for centuries since until World War II Poland was a multinational, multilingual and multicultural society; moreover, the country’s location between Western and Eastern parts of Europe has made it a rich and sometimes dramatic translation zone. Given this historic participation in translation, it is important to develop and implement new models for the study of the history of translation as a valuable part of wider Polish cultural studies and the humanities.

We invite proposals for individual paper presentations or panels addressing issues in translation history with reference to literary translation, translation history methodologies and uses of translation history in the humanities. Some of the specific issues and topics we would like to address are:

    1. Translation history research methods
      1. Evaluation of existing approaches
      2. Presentation and discussion of new approaches
    2. Construction and influence of translated literary canon within domestic literary system
      1. Poetics and stylistics across translation and original writing (especially shifts in attitudes to poetics and/or style)
      2. Ideologies and politics of inclusion
      3. Sociological and institutional aspects
      4. Role of retranslations
    3. Translation histories of individual translators
      1. Canonical & forgotten
      2. Self-translation
      3. Creativity
      4. Gender
    4. Interdisciplinary links
      1. Cultural memory studies
      2. History
      3. Sociology

The workshop is organized by the Department of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Department of Polish and Classical Studies, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań with academic and financial support from The International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS).

Please send a 300 word abstract to Marta Zabłocka at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by May 10, 2017. Further details concerning key dates, registration and fees will be available shortly.

For more information contact Marta Zabłocka, Department of Polish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For workshop details please see workshop website at

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