The new joint funding scheme that IATIS and Routledge initiated in 2016 facilitated two very successful regional workshops in 2017.
The first three-day workshop at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland in 27-29 September, 2017 entitled, ‘Retracing the History of Literary Translation: New Areas and Methods of Research in the Polish Context,’ had an enthusiastic response, attracting participants from across Poland, Ukraine and the UK. Hosted by the Department of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, the workshop was jointly organized by their newly established research unit, Centre for Translation Studies and the Department of Polish and Classical Studies of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. The main aim of the workshop was to bring together scholars interested in the history of literary translation in the Polish context, with a view to sharing experience and expertise, looking critically at existing research models and methodologies, and thinking about the future of this avenue of research in the region. With 28 presentations, including keynote talks, this was a medium-sized but focused workshop that allowed plenty of time for discussion. For details, visit https://iatisworkshop.wordpress.com/.
The second workshop in 2017 organised by the English Department of West Bengal State University in Calcutta India on ‘Writing the Margins: Negotiating the Politics of Translating Dalit Literature,’ 22-24 November, focused on the translation of little known Bengali Dalit writers into English. Bringing together translation scholars in the region with Dalit writers and translators with the aim of discussing the function and processes of translating ‘marginal’ literature the workshop initiated critical debate on the politics of translation in the Indian context. The sessions examined translation into English of Dalit literatures written in non-standard Bengali registers in the light of inequalities of social power inherent in the relationships of the writer, translator and publisher in India. For details, visit https://writingthemargins.weebly.com/about.html.
It was exciting that for the first time both workshops in 2017 were bilingual, with Polish and English used in the first and Bengali and English in the second workshop. Both sets of organizers committed to this and ensured that translators and interpreters were part of the workshop proceedings despite this proving to be an expensive aspect of organising the workshops.
The two sets of workshop organisers are also working towards publications arising from the workshop, which will contribute to the development of the specific research areas in the two contexts. Something to look forward to in the near future!
If you would like to organise a regional workshop at your institution, please see https://www.iatis.org/index.php/iatis-conferences/regional-workshops for details and get in touch with the committee — the earlier the better, to avoid disappointment!
Dr. Hephzibah Israel
Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies
University of Edinburgh