Just before the turn of the 21st century, Mikhail Epstein called for a return of the human into the humanities, proposing a Bakhtinian turn from the paradigms of the 20th century, which ascribed “the source of our activity to some non-human, impersonal structures speaking through us” (1999; 113), to a rehumanisation which would help us reappropriate the “alienated sources of our activity and understand them as an indispensable otherness inherent in the nature of human self-awareness” (113). The vision of such humanity-centred research would incorporate the knowledge gained from such systems of thought as psychoanalysis, semiotics and (post)structuralism, while also attempting to transgress the structural determination of action. The kind of rehumanisation translation and interpreting studies now seeks is not a return to a self-endorsing anthropocentrism, but an approach which would make the human agency in translation and interpreting visible as an active force with the potential to shape the social and natural world.
The challenges of globalisation cannot be reduced to debates about the future of translation and interpreting, but this unprecedented movement of people and ideas requires an urgent response from our community, and our particular ability to connect cultures and carry over thoughts and ideas.
The conference strives to bring together scholars from various fields of translation and interpreting studies to share their perspectives on the human factor in their studies. We believe that the human factor in translation technology, literary translation, audiovisual translation, technical translation, conference interpreting, community interpreting and in the education of future translators and interpreters is fundamental. That is why we are asking scholars from around the world to share their experiences. We will pay particular attention to the sociological factors of these professions and the role of “theory” in improving translators’ visibility and social standing. When talking about translators, we refer to “people with flesh-and-blood bodies. If you prick them, they bleed” (Pym, 2014, p. 161). We want to talk about translators and interpreters not as if they were “linguistic machines”, but as they are: human beings. We are also interested in the effects of non-translation, such as the lack of (mainly) community interpreters and the problems it poses for the integration of people seeking refuge. We would like to hear well-structured, data-based presentations, but also sound case and qualitative studies. Together, we will take a closer look at how the human factor (institutional or personal) affects translation and interpreting.
Perspectives from which to address the conference topic may include, but are not limited to:
- community interpreting
- sociology of translation and interpreting
- returning names to anonymous translators
- (de)humanising media and audiovisual translation
- consumers and consumerism in media and translation context
- the human factor in machine translation and post-editing
- effects of non-translation in (trans)cultural and ecological relations
- literary translators between determinism and agency
- translation of literature as a litmus test of cultural priorities
- teaching translators and interpreters: between education and training
- agency in translation history
Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2020
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