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Tuesday, 20 September 2022 16:07

Edited volume: Experiential Translation: Opacity and Porosity in a (dis)embodied Pluriverse

Taking the AHRC-funded Experiential Translation Network (
as a departure point in its focus on intersemiotic translation (Campbell and Vidal 2019), this
edited volume aims to explore the nature of translation in contemporary society and asks
what role experiential translation can play in addressing the ‘untranslatable residue that
reveals unbridgeable cultural differences’ (Kramsch and Zhu 2020:10). Where cultural
translation aims to ‘make untranslatable experiences translatable across cultural
boundaries’ (ibid:9), experiential translation aims to make experiences translatable across
the linguistic and sensory boundaries and media that together serve to generate, maintain
or challenge cultural hegemonies. In a conflicted world we ask how experiential translation
can contribute to growing calls to employ ‘different strategies … to resist traditional
perceptions of translation and the translator’ (Bhanot and Tiang 2022:11). Whether
favouring opacity or porosity, the translator’s subject position in relation to the ‘original’ is
transformed by the role of experimentation, creativity and play where, as Lee (2022)
explains in his book Translation as Experimentation: ‘Instead of discarding … idiosyncrasies
and epiphanies as irrelevant to the work of translation, a ludic perspective embraces them
and actively considers how they can be co-opted to add value to the original work in
unexpected ways’ (Lee 2022: 46). At the same time the notion of (‘original’) text as world
comprising not just words but all modalities of communication including the human beings
that produce them and the natural and technological environment within which humans
operate explodes the outward turn in translation studies (Vidal Claramonte 2022) to
encompass translation as a transdisciplinary, pluriversal phenomenon. Experiential
translation embraces the visibility of the translator and eschews semiotic erasures imposed
by the norms and expectations of source and target cultures. As such it aims to undo
acquired knowledge and give voice not only to the sensory and affective, but to endow
nature with the status of ‘text’ (Taivalkoski-Shilov and Poncharal 2020). Experiential
translation views translation as a holistic, co-creative process of discovery and renewal in a
dynamic ecological context where Western anthropocentric discourse is displaced by a
pluriverse of local and global, analogue and digital, (dis)embodied voices.
The Experiential Transaltion Network (ETN) Conference and Exhibition (2022) brought
together artists, curators, scholars and educators to experiment, produce works and
interrogate the notion and implications of Performative and Experiential Translation:
Meaning-Making through Language, Art and Media. Presentations and exhibits explored
modes of meaning-making, community engagement and intercultural communication
through multimodal translation including video, dance, painting, print-making, immersive
installations, sound art, film and photography.
Following an expression of interest from a major academic publisher for an edited volume
as part of a series on new perspectives in translation, the present cfp seeks to build on the
findings and questions that arose from this event.


For more information, click here

Deadline for proposals: 1 Nov 2022

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