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Edward Clay

Wednesday, 11 December 2019 15:07

TransLinguaTech Journal

Dongguk University Translation Studies Research Institute is launching peer-reviewed journal TransLinguaTech 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.

Deadline for submissions: 15 Jan 2020

For more information, click here

Editors: Evangelos Kourdis and Susan Petrilli

It is our belief that the broadening of the notion of text has largely come about thanks to contributions from semiotic studies, according to a movement that has brought translation studies closer to semiotics. The relevancy of general sign studies to translation theory and practice has helped translation studies to move away from the verbo-centric dogmatism of the sixties and seventies when only systems ruled by double articulation were recognized the dignity of language (Eco, 1976). As Torop (2014) argues, “text is what we understand in culture and it is through the text that we understand something of culture”.

Thanks to our primary modelling system or language (“language as modelling” which conditions communication and translation through the great multiplicity of different verbal and nonverbal “languages” with which human beings enter into contact with each other, signify, interpret, and respond to each other), understanding in culture occurs through texts of the semiotic order, verbal and nonverbal texts, multimodal texts, in the unending chain of responses among texts, engendered in the relation among speakers and listeners, readers and writers. Texts are created, interpreted and re-created in dialogic relations among participants in communication. Their sense and meaning is modeled, developed and amplified through the processes of transmutation ensuing from and at once promoting the cultural spaces of encounter.

Torop (2014) argues that the text is located in a wide intersemiotic space, and that the analysis of a text demands investigation of its creation, construction, and reception: the text is a process in intersemiotic space. If we accept Marais’ (2018) argument that all socio-cultural phenomena have a translation dimension, it is difficult to disagree with Gentzler’s (2001) observation that translation theory can quickly enmesh the researcher in the entire intersemiotic network of language and culture, one touching on all disciplines and discourses. Nor could it be otherwise if we consider that the material of language and culture is sign material and that the sign as such is in translation. This means to say that to be this sign here the sign must be other, to be this text here the text must be other. The signifying specificity of a text develops in translational processes among signs and interpretants, utterers and listeners, writers and readers, across semiosic spheres and disciplines, across intersemiotic, or transemiotic spaces in the signifying universe, verbal and nonverbal.

The notion of text has evolved significantly thanks to contributions not only from the Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics but also from the French School, with important implications for the question of translatability, a fundamental property and specific characteristic of all semiotic systems – as stated, the “sign is in translation”. It ensues that translatability subtends the semantic process (Greimas & Courtés 1993), and with Charles Morris (1938) interpreted by Ferruccio Rossi-Landi (1954, 1975, 1992), we know that meaning not only concerns the semantic dimension of semiosis, but also the syntactical and the pragmatic dimensions. With reference to interlingual translation, as Petrilli (2003) claims, translatability indicates an open relation between a text in the original and its translation. In this volume of Punctum, we will investigate this open relation.

Deadline for abstracts: 15 December 2019

For more information, click here


Special Issue: Intersemiotic Translation as Adaptation, Edited by Vasso Giannakopoulou and Deborah Cartmell

Volume 12, Issue 3, December 2019

For more information, click here

Following the 1st International Conference on Intersemiotic Translation, held in November 2017 at the University of Cyprus, this conference aims to address the theoretical and practical challenges that the shift away from the logocentric to increasingly intersemiotic, intermedial and transmedial culture poses for the relevant fields, which are consequently forced to reexamine their concepts, methods as well as objects of study. Concurrently with the developments that have led many disciplines (translation studies, adaptation studies, intermediality studies, semiotics, among others) to look at processes and products that cross media borders, we have also witnessed the appearance of a plethora of concepts describing such phenomena: from rewritings and refractions to intermedial translations, adaptations and appropriations to remediations, transmediations, transformations, transcreations, and (medial) transgressions, to name but a few. All these terms acknowledge the radical transformations that can occur when texts produce offshoots that transgress the borders of the language, genre, medium or platform of the original text. Recognizing that all terms have their different backgrounds and sometimes conflicting usages, this conference has chosen as one of its key terms the notion of ‘transmedia’ – not necessarily in any one of its specialised senses as used, for instance, by Henry Jenkins in the context of transmedia storytelling or by Peeter Torop and Maarja Ojamaa, who regard transmediality as the complex interrelations between texts in the mental space of culture – but rather as an umbrella term. We foreground ‘transmedia’– with its prefix trans- meaning ‘across’, ‘beyond’, ‘through’ – as a marker to highlight the ubiquitous processes and phenomena of media crossovers that share some common features (such as fictional world, character, plot).

It is our understanding that with such high concentration of transmedial practices and concepts currently underway in culture and in academia, the time is ripe to see this as a general ‘turn’ not to be ignored. Although related to the ‘technological turn’ of the 2000s in translation studies as described by Michael Cronin, the ‘transmedial turn’ goes beyond the technological one: while the latter is defined by the changes in technology, the term ‘transmediality’ foregrounds a major operational logic of culture that has become especially explicit in this era of new media developments. At the same time, the notion of transmediality can shed light and contribute to the study of the respective practices of the past prior to the more recent technological changes. The aim of this conference is to look at the various transmedial practices historically and in comparison with the changes that have taken place during the last decades as a result of an explosive surge in intermedial and transmedial practices. The discussion will seek to investigate potential ways to account for these changes theoretically and map the implications they might have on the level of practice. The conference intends to bring together scholars from various disciplines, which over the recent years have moved extensively beyond their traditional borders in terms of both their study objects and their approaches. We hope that such a joint effort will offer valuable insights to the conceptualisations of transmedial practices across different cultural contexts at different points in time and bridge theoretical as well as methodological gaps.

We would like to open up the discussion on the following:

- The movement of texts across different times and different media: from intertextuality to intermediality, from intermediality to transmediality; 

- The analysis and mapping of transmedial processes and products;

- Transmedial practices in translation and adaptation history;

- Theoretical models and methods to account for transmedial phenomena across disciplines;

- The potential to find common ground on terminology in media-centred discourses across disciplines;

- The concepts of ‘translation’ and ‘adaptation’ revisited in the framework of transmediality;

- Translators, adaptors, refractors: the network of agents involved in the production of transmedia;

- Transmedial entanglements of literature, theatre, film etc. and their influence on the conceptualisation and practice of translation and adaptation;

- Changes in the distinction between professional/non-professional and individual/ collective in transmedial practices;

- Power relations and ethics in transmedial practices.  

1 March 2020: Deadline for presentation proposals

For more information, click here

The Midwest, to many Americans, is either “fly-over country” where not much of interest happens, or “the heartland,” nostalgically framed as an ideal, homogenous America.

A group of U-M scholars has secured a $225,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to explore the Midwest instead as a multicultural, multilingual region shaped by successive waves of both international and domestic migrations.

Focusing on the question of translation — broadly understood as complex mediations and negotiations between languages and cultures — the group of humanities scholars will organize a series of events under the Mellon Foundation’s Sawyer Seminar program.

“We’ll be exploring diverse cultures of translation in various Midwestern sites,” said Yopie Prins, Irene H. Butter Collegiate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and chair of the Department of Comparative Literature in LSA. “Who translates what for which purpose and in whose interest? How has the region been defined by the interaction of multilingual communities?”

Translation, the scholars stress, is not merely a process between national languages, but an everyday web of encounters among citizens who bring different backgrounds, expectations, fears and dreams to the table.

The multidisciplinary U-M team of scholars is led by Prins, who also is a professor of comparative literature, and English language and literature; Marlon James Sales, postdoctoral fellow in critical translation studies; and Silke-Maria Weineck, professor of Germanic languages and literatures, and comparative literature.

Collaborators include Kristin Dickinson, assistant professor of Germanic languages and literatures; Maya Barzilai, associate professor of Middle East studies and Judaic studies; Benjamin Paloff, associate professor of comparative literature, and Slavic languages and literatures; and Christi Merrill, associate professor of Asian languages and cultures, and comparative literature.

Titled “Sites of Translation in the Multilingual Midwest,” the project will run for two academic years, starting in fall 2020 and culminating with a conference in spring 2022. It will bring together community organizations, as well as researchers and scholars from U-M and other Midwestern universities and colleges for a series of public events and seminars.

They will explore topics as diverse as translation initiatives for local communities; U-M archives that preserve histories of translation in the Philippines and Filipino diaspora in Michigan; photojournalism that visualizes interaction among multiple languages in the industrial cities of Detroit and Dortmund; the place of Eastern European literature in Midwestern cultural networks; Yiddish translations of urban experience; the promise of translation networks enabled by Hathi Trust; and the challenges and promises of Hamtramck, Michigan’s most linguistically diverse city.

Additional meetings are planned on Native American languages and the role of Arabic communities in the Midwest.  

Sawyer Seminars are, in effect, temporary research centers that connect faculty, visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students — mainly in the arts, humanities and social sciences — for intensive study of subjects chosen by the participants.

“The recognition of the Mellon Foundation and the intent of this seminar series exemplify the incredible work of U-M faculty members taking an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing multiple histories and practices of translation in the Midwest,” said Martin Philbert, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“These events and the conversations that come during them will spark important dialogues about the pivotal role translation plays in today’s multicultural and multilingual society.”

It has been a decade since U-M last received the prestigious Sawyer Seminar grant from the foundation’s invitation-only award process.

“We are thrilled to be supported by The Mellon Foundation and excited to be given this opportunity to make possible more collaboration with scholars working around issues of translation within and beyond our university,” Prins said.

“We see translation not as an academia-led practice of language, but as a community-centered encounter with its own multilingual realities.”

The International Conference Translation, Inclusivity, and Educational Settings (TIES) will be held in Italy at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” on 27-28-29 February 2020. It aims to bring together academics, researchers, and scholars to exchange information and share experiences and research results about all aspects concerning translation, inclusivity, and educational settings in our contemporary world. The major goal of the TIES Conference is to connect and tie the world of translation to the multifaceted realities of today’s global and globalized uses of English. The contemporary relevance of English has turned it into the natural lingua franca in a vast range of contexts, both formal (e.g., business, education, science, politics, commerce, diplomacy) and informal (e.g., social networks, popular culture, blogs). It is through this lens in particular that we view the notion of inclusivity: it encompasses the multifarious realities and iterations of English(es) today. Translation and editing are implicated in these changes and demand proper investigations, and the TIES Conference intends to provide a platform for this line of research. Presenters are encouraged to identify those mediating, remediating, and intermediating connections among these key notions that allow users to comply, successfully and efficaciously, with translating needs for global communication today.

Deadline for abstracts: 20 December 2019

For more information, click here

Contra Instrumentalism questions the long-accepted notion that translation reproduces or transfers an invariant contained in or caused by the source text. This “instrumental” model of translation has dominated translation theory and commentary for more than two millennia, and its influence can be seen today in elite and popular cultures, in academic institutions and in publishing, in scholarly monographs and in literary journalism, in the most rarefied theoretical discourses and in the most commonly used clichés.

Contra Instrumentalism aims to end the dominance of instrumentalism by showing how it grossly oversimplifies translation practice and fosters an illusion of immediate access to source texts. Lawrence Venuti asserts that all translation is an interpretive act that necessarily entails ethical responsibilities and political commitments. Venuti argues that a hermeneutic model offers a more comprehensive and incisive understanding of translation that enables an appreciation of not only the creative and scholarly aspects of what a translator does but also the crucial role translation plays in the cultural and social institutions that shape human life.

For more information, click here

The Department of Language and Linguistics (DLL) has 37 full-time academic members of staff and provides a broad spectrum of expertise in the study of language and in the practical teaching of modern foreign languages. Its core ambition is to offer students a transformative educational experience in these areas underpinned by high quality research. The majority of research conducted in the department is rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent', placing us 8th among departments in the UK for research quality (REF 2014).

Our linguistics expertise covers Theoretical and Descriptive Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, TESOL and Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling. We offer a wide range of languages including French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese that can be taken at degree level from beginners to advanced levels following the Common European Languages Framework.

The department is now seeking to appoint a part-time Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting.

Deadline for applications: 4 December 2019

For more information, click here 

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures seeks an outstanding new colleague to join the School as Assistant Professor in Translation Studies and French.

The successful applicant will be expected to undertake internationally excellent research, provide outstanding teaching at undergraduate and masters level, and carry out service to the School. The appointment is tenable on a non-fixed term basis from 1 September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter.

We welcome applications from exceptional scholars with research expertise in any area of Translation Studies and French that complements the research strengths of the School, and are particularly keen to receive applications from candidates with a research specialism in intersemiotic and/or transmedial translation.

This post offers an exciting opportunity to make a major contribution to the development of internationally excellent research and teaching in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, while allowing you unrivalled opportunities to progress and embed your career in a progressive institution.

Deadline for applications: 27 November 2019

For more information, click here

The Department of Linguistics and Language Practice has a position for a postdoctoral research fellow in one of the following fields of specialization:

· Semiotics, including intersemiotic translation and/or multimodality

· Biosemiotics/ecosemiotics (and the humanities)

· Sociology of translation

· Translation and development

Interested candidates can contact Kobus Marais at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 29 November 2019

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