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Edward Clay

Since the emergence of complexity thinking, scholars from the natural and social sciences as well as the humanities are renewing efforts to construct a unified framework that would unite all scholarly activity. The work of Terrence Deacon (2013), at the interface of (at least) physics, chemistry, biology, neurology, cognitive science, semiotics, anthropology and philosophy, is a great, though not the only, example of this kind of work. It is becoming clear that this paradigm of complex relational and process thinking means, among others, that the relationships between fields of study are more important than the differences between them. Deacon’s contribution, for instance, lies not (only) in original findings in any of the fields in which he works but (also) in the ways in which he relates bodies of knowledge to one another. An example would be his links between a theory of work (physics) and a theory of information (cybernetics) by means of a theory of meaning (semiotics).

This line of thinking indeed situates semiotics and biosemiotics in the centre of the abovementioned debate (also see Hoffmeyer, 2008; Kauffman, 2012).

In semiotics, Susan Petrilli’s (2003) thought-provoking collection covers a wide variety of chapters focused on translation, which she conceptualizes as semiotic process. Her work made it possible to link biosemiotics and semiotics through the notion of “translation”, which is what we aim to explore further in this conference.

Michael Cronin’s work in translation studies links up with the above through his use of the notion of “ecology”. To apprehend interconnectedness and vulnerability in the age of the Anthropocene, his work challenges text-oriented and linear approaches while engaging in eco-translational thinking. He calls tradosphere all translation systems on the planet, all the ways in which information circulates between living and non-living organisms and is translated into a language or a code that can be processed or understood by the receiving entity (Cronin, 2017, p. 71).  The aptness of Cronin’s work on ecology finds a partner in that of Bruno Latour, whose development of a sociology of translation (2005) responds to the need to reconnect the social and natural worlds and to account for the multiple connections that make what he calls the ‘social’.

In an effort further to work out the implications of this new way of thinking, Marais (2019, p. 120) conceptualized translation in terms of “negentropic semiotic work performed by the application of constraints on the semiotic process” (see also Kress 2013). Building on Peirce, namely that the meaning of a sign is its translation into another sign, translation is defined as a process that entails semiotic work done by constraining semiotic possibilities. This conceptualization allows for the study of all forms of meaning-making, i.e. translation, under a single conceptual framework, but it also allows for a unified ecological view for both the sciences and the humanities. “The long standing distinction between the human and social sciences and the natural and physical sciences is no longer tenable in a world where we cannot remain indifferent to the more than human” (Cronin, 2017, p. 3).

These kind of approaches open ample possibilities for a dialogue between Translation Studies, Semiotics and Biosemiotics, exploring translation not only in linguistic and anthropocentric terms, but as a semiotic process that can take place in and between all (living) organisms – human and non-human organic and inorganic, material and immaterial alike. Not only the translation of Hamlet into French, or of oral speech into subtitles, but also communication between dolphins or between a dog and its master, or moving a statue from one place to another, or rewatching a film are translation processes. However, many of the implications of this line of thinking still need to be explored, and if the references to Deacon, Petrilli and Cronin holds, this should be done in an interdisciplinary way that tests, transgresses and transforms scholarly boundaries.

It is for this reason that we call for papers for a conference in which we hope to draw together biosemioticians, semioticians and translation studies scholars to discuss the interdisciplinary relations between these fields and the implications of these relations for the study of social and cultural reality as emerging from both matter and mind. We invite colleagues to submit either theoretical or data-driven or mixed proposals, reflecting on the complexity of social-cultural emergence as a translation process. Some of the topics that colleagues could consider would be the following:

  • Is translation, as semiotic work and process, indeed able to link all of the biological world, including humans, with the non-living world in one ecology, and if so how?
  • What conceptual constructs in each of the three fields are relevant for the other fields, and how?
  • Could the fields learn methodological and epistemological lessons from one another? If so, what would these entail?
  • Could collaborative scholarship enhance an understanding of social-cultural emergence, and if so, what would this scholarship entail?
  • How, if at all, does entropy and negentropy play out differently in social-cultural systems compared to biological and/or physical systems?
  • How does social-cultural emergence differ from biological and even physical emergence? Systems thinking tends to ignore differences like the intentionality of biological agents in contrast to physical agents. Thus, if one were to consider the possibility that intention has causal effect, how does one factor intention into thinking about complex adaptive systems?

We plan an interactive conference. Firstly, we invited three keynote speakers, one from each of the fields involved, to give their views on the relationships between these three fields. Secondly, apart from the normal responses to papers, we would like to end each day of the conference with a session (about one hour) in which the keynote speakers reflect, round-table style, on the papers of the day and in which participants have the opportunity to engage them and one another in open debate style.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Biosemiotics – Terrence Deacon (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Semiotics – Frederik Stjernfelt (Aalborg University, Copenhagen)
  • Translation studies – Michael Cronin (Trinity College Dublin)

Deadline for submissions: 1 December 2020

For more information, click here

Editors

Esther Monzó-Nebot | Universitat Jaume I

Melissa Wallace | University of Texas at San Antonio

For more information, click here

Since the global Covid-19 pandemic of March 2020, many universities have decided to transfer their face-to-face teaching provision to online platforms. Overnight, academics and students have seen their working environment change dramatically. Initial discussions among the academic community seem to indicate that the transition is not without a number of hurdles, despite prior experience in using virtual learning environments and/or incorporating a distance component to face-to-face teaching. While blended learning approaches have been widely encouraged and often applied in university contexts, the speed and wholesale nature of the recent transition has prompted many to rethink how they teach and to look for new pedagogical ideas.
Translation and Interpreting Studies (TIS) have also trialled blended learning approaches in the teaching of these subjects for a number of years. Recent efforts to administer TIS course content at a distance have led to a call for more research investigating the use synchronous and asynchronous media (Colina and Angelelli, 2016). Although currently underexplored in TIS research, Distance Learning represents a substantial area of research in other fields, such as Education. There are notorious difficulties that arise from moving face-to-face course content into virtual environments, from designing an online course to administering assessment and fostering collaboration, interaction, and engagement.
In this special issue, we are proposing to explore some of these difficulties in TIS. We will invite contributions covering the following key themes:
• Online pedagogy (latest trends)
• (a)synchronous teaching: challenges and opportunities in TIS
• TIS curriculum and module design for online delivery
• TIS technologies at a distance
• TIS online Assessment
• Fostering TIS (a)synchronous collaboration, interaction, and engagement
• Acquiring online translation/interpreting work experience
Following a recent set of workshops on the topic of online teaching organised by the Association of Programmes in Translation and Interpreting Studies (APTIS), several academics in TIS have already been identified as potential contributors to this special issue.

Call deadline: 31 July 2020 extended abstracts; 31 October 2020 full papers

For more information, click here

The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Activism provides an accessible, diverse and ground-breaking overview of literary, cultural, and political translation across a range of activist contexts.

As the first extended collection to offer perspectives on translation and activism from a global perspective, this handbook includes case studies and histories of oppressed and marginalised people from over twenty different languages. The contributions will make visible the role of translation in promoting and enabling social change, in promoting equality, in fighting discrimination, in supporting human rights, and in challenging autocracy and injustice across the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, East Asia, the US and Europe.

With a substantial introduction, thirty-one chapters, and an extensive bibliography, this Handbook is an indispensable resource for all activists, translators, students and researchers of translation and activism within translation and interpreting studies.

For more information, click here

This book presents new research on sight translation using cutting-edge eye-tracking technology. It covers various aspects of sight translation processes of both novice and professional interpreters, such as their textual processing behaviors, problem-solving patterns and reading-speech coordination. By focusing on the features of their gaze behaviors, the book describes the interpreters' processing behaviors and categorizes them into different processing styles. As one of the first books on sight translation employing an eye-tracking technique as the research method, it offers a valuable reference guide for future eye-tracking-based translation and interpreting research.

For more information, click here

About University of Electronic Science and Technology of China 

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) is a national key university directly under the Ministry of Education of China. UESTC was included as one of the first universities into "Project 211" in 1997, and then the nation's “Project 985” in 2001. In 2017, UESTC was included in Category A of the “World-class University” project. After more than sixty years of development, UESTC now has evolved into a key multidisciplinary university covering all-around programs in electronic disciplines with electronic science and technology as its nucleus, engineering as its major field and a harmonious integration of science, engineering, management, liberal arts and medical science. 

School of Foreign Languages 

Based on the Teaching and Research Office for Foreign Languages founded in 1956, School of Foreign Languages (SFL) was established in 2001. SFL offers a first level master’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and a master’s degree in Interpreting and Translation. Under the first level of Foreign Languages and Literature, areas of study include: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Cognitive Neurolinguistics, Translation, Foreign Literature (including English, French, Japanese and Russian), Comparative Literature and Intercultural Studies, Country and Regional Studies, and other research areas. In addition, we also offer a Master program for a professional degree, i.e., Master of Translation and Interpreting (MTI). There are now 107 faculty members and more than 700 students with a 10% annual growth rate.  

Qualifications and Requirements 

Basic requirements: Have good morals and ethics, and abide by academic ethics. Ideally more than two –year teaching and research full-time working experience, able to meet the job requirements. ALL nationalities are eligible. 

Qualifications 

  • Possess a PHD degree granted by prestigious overseas universities 
  • He/She has rich teaching and research experience and good academic development potential 
  • Be able to work full time in China.  

Preferential Policies and Treatments 

  • Annual salary: on a case-by-case negotiation round 
  • Settling-in and housing subsidies and reasonable start-up funds will be provided according to different positions. 

Application 

  • Personal Curriculum Vitae with the list of academic achievements and representative achievements  
  • A photocopy of the PHD degree certificate, and the current professional and technical position/rank certificate, and award certificate, etc. 
  • Valid all the year round 

For more information, click here

Translation, Interpreting and Transfer takes as its basis an inclusive view of translation and translation studies. It covers research and scholarly reflection, theoretical and methodological, on all aspects of the core activities translation and interpreting, but also similar rewriting and recontextualisation practices such as adaptation, localisation, transcreation and transediting, keeping Roman Jakobson’s inclusive view on interlingual, intralingual and intersemiotic translation in mind. The title of the series, which includes the more encompassing concept of transfer, reflects this broad conceptualisation of translation matters.

Through its Research Summer School and other activities, CETRA (Centre for Translation Studies) has a reputation in supporting young researchers unfold their potential and in fostering excellence. Besides monographs and edited volumes from established researchers, this series particularly welcomes proposals from PhD candidates and early-career researchers, English translations of PhD theses in other languages, and CETRA Summer School papers.

For more information, click here

Lorca in English examines the evolution of translations of Federico García Lorca into English as a case of rewriting and manipulation through politically and ideologically motivated translation. As new translations of Federico García Lorca continue to appear in the English-speaking world and his literary reputation continues to be rewritten through these successive re-translations, this book explores the reasons for this constant desire to rewrite Lorca since the time of his murder right into the 21st century. From his representation as the quintessential Spanish Republican martyr, to his adoption through translation by the Beat Generation, to his elevation to iconic status within the Queer Studies movement, this volume analyzes the reasons for this evolution and examines the current direction into which this canonical author is heading in the English-speaking world.

For more information, click here

This book explores literary translation in a variety of contexts. The chapters showcase the research into literary translation in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Written by a group of experienced researchers and young academics, the contributors study a variety of languages (including English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, French, Japanese, Dutch, German, and Swedish), use a wide range of approaches (including quantitative review of literary translations; transfictional approaches to translation; and a review of concepts such as paratexts, intralingual translation, intertextuality, and retranslation), and aim to expand on existing debates on translation and translation studies as a discipline. The chapters aim to provide a panorama of the variety of topics and interests of contemporary translation studies, as well as problematize some of the concepts and approaches that seem to have become the only accepted/acceptable model in some academic quarters.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Perspectives Studies in Translation Theory and Practice.

For more information, click here

Friday, 03 July 2020 10:34

TransLinguaTech Call for Papers

TransLinguaTech is a peer-reviewed journal which focuses on translation, language and relevant technologies.

The rapid development of machine translation and other language technologies presents fundamental challenges to researchers and practitioners in translation, calling for reconsideration of various aspects of translation such as its definition, agent, object and method. However, there are few platforms dedicated to the issues brought about by the challenge. TransLinguaTech aims at providing a venue dedicated to such discussion, welcoming manuscripts on translation, language and relevant technologies.

Specifically, we welcome papers dealing with:

 

    • Challenges and changes in research and practice in the field of translation and language.

 

    • New theoretical and conceptual discussions about translation and other linguistic practices including redefinition of concept, agent, object and method.

 

    • New methodological discussions about research on translation and other linguistic practices

Deadline for submissions: 5 November 2020

For more information, click here

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