Traveling Texts: Translating Nineteenth Century European Classics in Vernacular languages of South Asia

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Shantanu Majee, Dr. K Subramanyam

Traveling Texts: Translating Nineteenth Century European Classics in Vernacular languages of South Asia


Dr. Shantanu Majee

Dr. K Subramanyam

The proposed work is under consideration to be published in the Routledge series on ‘South Asian Literature in Focus’.

Sherry Simon and Paul St-Pierre in the Introduction to their edited volume entitled ‘Changing the Terms: Translating in the Postcolonial Era’ (2000) speaks of Amitav Ghosh lecturing on the early influences in his writing career at Montreal, wherein he recalls his association with the books lined up on the shelf of his grandfather’s library - “almost all translations into Bengali … [of] works by European authors, many of whom had been Nobel Prize winners.” In order to further elucidate the cultural impact of such translation, he elaborates on the texts as initiators of change in facilitating knowledge imperialism and intellectual capital formation, thereby signposting “entrance into the world of European letters.” Such rites of passage become the subject of  G. N. Devy’s study in his musings on the Indian perspective of Translation Theory too where he criticises the “indiscriminate institutionalisation of english literature” during the nineteenth century when it became highly fashionable in South Asia to translate all works of english literature. Though much has been discussed in academia regarding the coming to terms with the foreignness of english language through exotropic translation, where a literary work of any Indian language is retold in the english, the obverse still remains grossly underrepresented in intellectual domains. The concerned proposal, hence, intends to introspect the colonial ethnography of translating nineteenth century european classics into vernacular languages of South Asia through the lens of modernity and knowledge production. It also hopes to engage with the idea of texts often circulating outside their contexts and thereby provoking debates of purely local and indigenous significance. In this regard, the proposed volume will strive in unraveling the complex transcultural identities of South Asian existence by inscribing translation studies in the conceptual framework of decolonisation.


Submissions may respond but need not be contained to the following: 


  • Mobile texts: Classic to Contemporary 

  • From author to translator: The [In]visible South Asian Translator, European Author and other archetypes in Translation studies

  • Translational Hermeneutics in South Asia: Theory and Praxis

  • Translation of Philosophy into Fiction: Who gets translated? What gets translated?

  • Transculturation and Translation: Linguistic and Cultural Hegemonies

  • Adaptations, Appropriations and Representational politics of translation between South Asian literature in English and South Asian literatures in Vernacular Languages

  • Production, Dissemination, and Preservation of Translation Artifacts in South Asia

  • Popular vs Scholarly, Literature vs Science: The Politics of Translation Industry

  • Gender in Translation: A South Asian Perspective

  • Vernacular and Regional in Translation Studies

  • Responsibility and response-ability of translation practices

  • Locating the ‘Asian’ in South Asian Literature through Translation

  • Decolonisation and the dynamics of translation

  • Translation/Transnation: Decolonisation and Diaspora

  • Teaching European Literature in South Asian Classroom: Issues and Challenges in Translation Pedagogy

Seeking abstracts of hitherto unpublished research, relevant to this field, in not more than 300 words with a short bio-note of 50 words at within September 30, 2023. 


About the Editors:


Dr. Shantanu Majee, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Techno India University, West Bengal, received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Nineteenth-Century Studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. His work has been published in ‘The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing’, ‘British Association for Victorian Studies’, ‘Journal of Victorian Culture’, the ‘Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies’ and is forthcoming in ‘International Routledge Volume on Ageing Bodies, Ageist Culture: Growing Older in India’, as well as the ‘Brill Handbook for Indian Memory Studies’. Shantanu has also contributed to Digital Humanities through his engagement as Project Fellow in the collaborative project between the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University and the British Library, United Kingdom, on ‘Digitization of South Asian Archival Resources’, funded by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT), Mumbai. He has received the artVarta Publishing Grant 2021, offered by Akar Prakar Art Gallery, New Delhi and is currently working to curate a Virtual Exhibition of River Songs Sung by Women in the Hindustani Tradition, entitled ‘Song of the River: Curating Music, Memory and Modernity’.


Dr. K. Subramanyam is an early career academician from Kolkata, currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Techno India University, West Bengal. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literary Studies from Pondicherry Central University in 2018. His research interests lie in Drug Literature, Nineteenth Century Studies, Francophone Literatures,, Gothic Studies, Medical Humanities, European Literary Studies, Psychedelic Studies, Translation Studies. He is currently engaged in forthcoming edited volumes with Vernon Press on ‘Death, Sickness and Plagues in the 19th Century British Literature’ and the Anne Bronte Anthology entitled ‘A Vain Talent? The Question of Female Artistry in the Life and Work of Anne Bronte’.