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Displaying items by tag: translation history

'Nothing Happened: Translation Studies before James Holmes', UCL (London, UK), 9-10 November 2023. Registration and programme now available! 

Published in Conferences


Submission Deadline: 15 September 2023

Nothing Happened: Translation Studies before James Holmes

A conference organised by UCL Centre for Translation Studies (CenTraS) and UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)

9-10 November 2023

Venue: University College London (UCL), UK

Keynote Speakers
Prof Theo Hermans (UCL)
Dr Hephzibah Israel (University of Edinburgh)
Prof Daniele Monticelli (Tallinn University)


Published in Calls for Papers
Thursday, 12 January 2023 03:59

Words, Texts and Worlds in Translation

This book is a collection of research papers pertaining to the theory and practice of translation.It deals with the identity of translation, translation as a process, translation and its determinants, politics and translation, and the translation of scientific terminology so on and so forth. It also discusses some translations in the light of various theoretical approaches and strategies. The examples provided here, as well as the translations discussed and the approaches adopted for analysis will definitely add to the knowledge system of Translation Studies, Comparative Literature and Applied Linguistics.

Published in New Publications
Saturday, 16 October 2021 23:34

The “Geo” turn in Translation Studies

Space and spatiality have been significant coordinates in the study of translation in the West. The concept has long been included in humanities and social sciences too by scholars like Edward Soja (1989); Warf & Arias (2009). This panel aims to question how the concept of “geo” features in translation and analyse translation as a point of intersection and relationality that redefines our concepts of spatial axis and territorial coordinates. This panel will try to bring in disciplines of geometry and geography to the terrain of translation studies and thus include alternative models to expand the field. The etymological origin of ‘geometry’ traces back to the Greek word geometria or “measurement of earth or land”. Similarly ‘geography’ originates from Greek word geographia which means “description of the earth's surface”. The prefix trans- of ‘translation’ means ‘to go beyond’, ‘on the other side’. Thus, when taken together, translation from the geographical and geometrical perspective alludes to the question of movement in terms of land or space. If we take the model of Euclidean Geometry, then the western concept of translational act as a spatial flow can be understood from a geometrical angle as a process of distance-preserving/distance-altering transformation between two metrical/geographical spaces. Again, translation, as a political activity, determines how communities are mapped by their cultural other and as such points out how the binaries of the centre and periphery construct our worldviews based on asymmetrical power relations. Michael Cronin (2000), while exploring the relationship between translation and geographical spaces, has meticulously considered movement both in the context of territorial and narrative space and analysed it through the lens of language. Federico Italiano (2016) has examined how Western spatial imaginations constructed through literary works have been translated across languages, media and epochs and created the idea of the world through cultural differences.
Published in Seminars
CfP - "Constructing Europe in Translation. Politics and Practices of Translation Shaping Knowledge Circulation after 1945" Special Issue of SYMPOSIUM CULTURE@KULTUR: Open Access Journal publishing in English, French and German -
  • "Constructing Europe in Translation. Politics and Practices of Translation Shaping Knowledge Circulation after 1945: Agents – Texts - Institutions".
  • "Europa dank Translation? Politik, Kultur- und Wissen(schaft)stransformation und -zirkulation qua Übersetzung nach 1945: Personen – Texte – Institutionen"
  • "L’Europe grâce à la traduction ? Les politiques de traduction et la circulation des idées via la traduction après 1945: Agents – Textes – Institutions"
Deadline for Abstracts: 1 December 2021.
Editors: Larisa Schippel, Julia Richter & Rafael Schögler
Published in Journals

This innovative work challenges normative binaries in contemporary translation studies and applies frameworks from queer historiography to the discipline in order to explore shifting perceptions of same-sex love and desire in translations and retranslations of William Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

The book brings together perspectives from poststructuralism, queer theory, and translation history to set the stage for an in-depth exploration of a series of retranslations of the Sonnets from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The complex and poetic language of the Sonnets, frequently built around era-specific idioms and allusions, has produced a number of different interpretations of the work over the centuries, but questions remain as to how the translation process may omit, retain, or enhance elements of same-sex love in retranslated works across time and geographical borders. In focusing on target cultures which experienced dramatic sociopolitical changes over the course of the twentieth century and comparing retranslations originating from these contexts, Spišiaková finds the ideal backdrop in which to draw parallels between changing developments in power and social structures and shifting translation strategies related to the representation of gender identities and sexual orientations beyond what is perceived to be normative.

In so doing, the book advocates for a queer perspective on the study of translation history and encourages questioning traditional boundaries prevalent in the discipline, making this key reading for students and researchers in translation studies, queer theory, and gender studies, as well as those interested in historical developments in Central and Eastern Europe.

Published in Authored Volumes

Special Issue on Translation under Dictatorships: Translation Matters Vol.2.No.2. (Autumn 2020)

Published in Calls for Papers

Translation Horizons

(Edited by Beijing Foreign Studies University, published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press)

Special Issue Call for Papers

Translation of Classical Chinese Novels: Texts, Paratexts and Contexts

Guest edited by Lintao Qi (Monash University) and Moss Roberts (New York University)

Classical Chinese novels play a unique and prominent role in the history of Chinese literature, particularly towards the end of the pre-modern period, when “xiaoshuo (for want of a better equivalent in English, novel)” matured and prospered as a genre in the Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty. Due to multifarious factors such as the circulation pattern of novels, technical limitation of printing, and at times, literary censorship, practically all classical Chinese novels have more than one version. This plurality of texts, on the one hand, enriched the textual history of novels in China; while on the other hand, it significantly complicated the translation landscape when classical Chinese novels were introduced to the outside world.

Translation of a text across linguistic, cultural and geographical borders always bear the imprints of the ideology of the translator, the socio-cultural features of the target context, and most likely, the negotiation and compromise between the various agents and/or patrons involved such as the commissioner, the translator and the publisher, whose powers are, more often than not, imbalanced. And these can usually be best uncovered by scrutinising not the translated texts, but the paratexts of translations: prefaces, correspondence between the agents and/or patrons, interviews, reviews, and publisher’s public archives, etc.

Research on the translation of classical Chinese novels has been increasing in recent years, and is developing into a multi-disciplinary area. The editors of the proposed Special Issue of Translation Horizons would welcome proposals for essays that explore the following areas, and other related topics:

  • Historical studies: At what historical moment was a classical Chinese novel translated into a particular language? And what are the socio-cultural motivations? Is the choice of such texts isolated cases or does it represent a historical trend? How has the plurality of source texts been dealt with and what are the implications of such choices?
  • Translator studies: Who devised the translations? What are the habitus and capitals of the translators? How did the translators’ ethos affect their translated texts?
  • Sociological studies: What are the translation strategies? How (or whether) have these strategies been conditioned by the socio-cultural contexts of the time, e.g. popular ideology, political policy, literary censorship, etc.? Are there any network of agents and/or patrons at work in the choice of translation strategies, or more broadly, in the publication of the translations?
  • Comparative studies: If there are more than one translation of a novel into a particular language, in what ways are they similar to, or different from each other, in terms of textual and paratexutal features, translatorial orientations, and reception by readers?
  • Retranslation studies: If multiple translations of a novel exist, are they synchronically or diachronically related to each other? Is one translation an active or passive retranslation of another?
  • Contextual studies: Why have there been retranslations of the same novel? Are the reasons for retranslation temporal, historical, political, personal or commercial? Are the considerations of a translator of a retranslation mainly linguistic, cultural or even academic?
  • Theoretical studies: Are there any patterns observable from the history of retranslations of classical Chinese novels? Are these in line with or in opposition to the retranslation hypothesis proposed by Antoine Berman?
  • Adaptation studies: Are all the translations of the same novel complete translations? Is there any partial translation, or adaptation? If so, what have been transferred into the target text, and what have been left out? Why have these happened? Is the translator, the publisher, any other agent or patron, or the social milieu responsible for such adaptations? If so, in what manner?
  • Paratextual studies: What are the roles of paratexts such as book covers, prefaces, interviews, book reviews, correspondence and archives in the study of translations, translators and/or the other agents?Methodological studies: How can the texts, paratexts and contexts of translations of classical Chinese novel be most effectively examined and studied?
  • Ontological studies: The Chinese terms and their translations. In the case of xiaoshuo, does xiao suggest false modesty, meaning content of lesser consequence (even trivial) compared say to daxue, the study of important matters, i.e., state and social relations, the focus of the Lunyu? And shuo as casual informal conversational written story-telling? Yanyi, zhuan, jian (mirror), ji would be contrasting ways to describe a narration. The Hongloumeng itself has characters who question the value of reading such narrations. Do you think the title Hongloumeng has been correctly translated? Does hong modify lou or meng?Miscellaneous studies:g. interviews with the translators of classical Chinese novels.

Instructions for Authors

Submission instructions

Articles will be 6000–8000 words in length, in English (including notes and references); however, the translated texts on which the proposed papers are based could be in any language.

Abstracts of 400-500 words should be sent to the guest editors at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


  • 30 June 2018: deadline for submitting abstracts to the guest editors
  • 31 August 2018: deadline for decisions on abstracts
  • 30 April 2019: submission of papers
  • 30 November 2019: submission of final version of papers
  • May 2020: Publication date

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Translation Horizons

Translation Horizons is biannual, peer-reviewed journal focused on disseminating scholarly research relevant to translation and interpreting. The inaugural issue of the journal was released in May 2016. It is edited by the Center for Translation Studies of the School of English and International Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University, and published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. It is abstracted and indexed in Translation Studies Bibliography (TSB) and CNKI.

Translation Horizons publishes original theoretical and empirical research articles as well as translations of influential theoretical and methodological research articles written in languages other than Chinese. It also pays close attention to studies on translator and interpreter training and issues in the language industry.

The Journal publishes in every issue eight research articles, one book review and one interview. Articles should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information, please visit

About the guest editors

Lintao Qi obtained his Doctoral degree in Translation Studies from Monash University, Australia in 2015. He is currently lecturing in the Master’s program of Translation and Interpreting at Monash University. His research interest is in the translation of canonical Chinese works.

Having completed his bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D degrees at Columbia University, Moss Roberts has been a professor in NYU’s Department of East Asian studies since 1968. He has released dozens of publications on Asian language and culture, including multiple books and translations. He currently teaches courses on East Asian civilization and serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Published in Calls for Papers
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