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Monday, 13 May 2024 15:10

Sorting and Translating: Politics, Borders, Belongings - 30 January 2025 – 1 February 2025, University of Mainz (Germersheim)

Traditionally, translation (including interpreting) has been understood as an act of overcoming pre-existing linguistic and cultural differences. More recently, however, this understanding has been contested in Translation Studies. The idea that translation produces the differences it claims to overcome and that such differences can be regarded as effects of translation rather than conditions preceding it has been theoretically addressed with concepts like bordering (Sakai 2018, cf. Dizdar 2019, 2021). By producing differences and creating borders, translation is also effective in the construction of “collectivities” (Dizdar/Rozmyslowicz 2023) in the social world. When it marks a difference between languages, it simultaneously differentiates between individual speakers of a given language and between communities – which may differ in size and kind: national communities (e.g. Cronin 1996; Kothari 2007; Dizdar/Gipper/Schreiber 2015), gender identities (Simon 1996; Baer/Kaindl 2018; Robinson 2019), deaf and hearing communities (Young/Napier/Oram 2020), humans and machines (Rozmyslowicz 2023) – in short: between all sorts of collectivities (Dizdar/Rozmyslowicz 2023).

The conference addresses the question of how translation participates in the construction and undoing of differences in the social world and how it sorts people into categories. Which categories become relevant in which situation and field (politics, science, law, religion, art etc.)? And how do they interact? Moreover: which categories and distinctions are inscribed in concepts and theories of translation? Which ‘centrisms’ (e.g. eurocentrism, anthropocentrism) or ‘biases’ can be identified?

These and other related questions concerning translation’s power to construct difference can be discussed with reference to various empirical contexts or on a general theoretical level. The conference welcomes contributions on its main topic in the context of all research fields and perspectives. It aims to foster and intensify dialogue on translation by bringing together researchers from various backgrounds.

Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2024

For more information, click here.

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