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Monday, 22 October 2012 13:15

Translation Studies: Orality and Translation (CfP)

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Translation Studies: Orality and Translation

guest edited by Paul F. Bandia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For details see


There is a growing interest in orality as a concept underpinning research in many disciplines, including translation studies. Orality has featured prominently in studies related to pre-modernist traditions, modernist representations of the past, and postmodernist expressions of artistry such as in audiovisual media. Its conceptualization may vary according to the research objectives or preoccupations of particular disciplines. Anthropologists and historians conceptualize orality as the medium of expression and discourse of non-literate cultures, while colonialists and Christian missionaries explored orality as a means to understanding so-called primitive or heathen societies for purposes of proselytism and civilization. Modernists have shown an anaphoric interest in orality mainly as a sounding board for calibrating the privileges of modernity. In more recent times, postmodernist preoccupations with orality have explored issues related to the representation of otherness, the assertion of marginalized identities through a variety of art forms such as literature, cinema, music, painting and the spoken word. In these various disciplines or approaches translation or interpretation is indispensable as the conduit for the recording, textualization, representation or appraisal of orality. Thanks to the influential work of scholars like Albert Lord (The Singer of Tales, 1960), Jack Goody (The Domestication of the Savage Mind , 1977) and Walter Ong (Orality and Literacy: the Technologizing of the Word, 1982), orality has shed its negative image as primitive, unwritten, non-literate and exotic, and has grown into a major field of scientific interest and the focus of interdisciplinary research including translation studies.

The increasing presence of research on orality in translation studies seems to follow two main trajectories: (1) treatment of orality in interlingual translation practice such as in interpretation and audiovisual translation research. (2) exploration in translation research of issues related to the representation of otherness or alterity, marginalized identities, minority or subaltern language cultures, etc., such as in postcolonial translation research (Paul Bandia, Translation as Reparation; Maria Tymoczko, Translation in a Postcolonial Context).

Other points of intersection between orality and translation can be found in subfields and topics such as:
- translation history: Classics, Antiquity, Medieval, Renaissance, Oral Tradition
- religious translation, Bible translation and evangelization
- consecutive, simultaneous or community interpreting
- colonialism, postcolonialism, gender and cultural studies
- intermedial, intersemiotic and intercultural communication
- translation sociology, ethnography and anthropological translation
- audiovisual translation, film and media studies
- literacy, orality-writing interface, intercultural writing
- translation pedagogy, teaching literature in translation, and cultures of translation

These research areas and topics (and many more) are fertile ground for exploring the intersection between orality studies and translation research, and showcasing orality as an important research area in translation studies.

Articles will be 5000-8000 words in length, in English. Abstracts of 400-500 words should be sent by email to the guest editor. Detailed style guidelines are available at


February 1, 2013: deadline for submitting abstracts (400-500 words) to the guest editor
April 1, 2013: deadline for decisions on abstracts
January 2014: submission of papers
September 2014: submission of final versions of papers
May 2015: publication date

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