full name / name of organization:
British Comparative Literature Association graduate conference, in
association with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and
The Media of Translation / Translation between Media
March 20-21 2009, CRASSH, University of Cambridge
Keynote speakers: Clive Scott (UEA), Mary Jacobus (Cambridge)
Call for Papers
Deadline for 200 word abstracts: Jan 10, 2009
This conference will bring together two ways of thinking about
translation: translation between languages, and
intermedial â€˜translationsâ€™ across music, visual arts, literature, live
performance and screen media. The commonplace attitude is that, while not
perfect, acts of translation attempt to convey the meaning of a work in
its original language. By bringing translation studies alongside
intermedia research, which is primarily concerned with the capacity (or
incapacity) of expression to transcend its materials, we hope to bring
the assumptions that underpin this attitude to the surface. At the same
time, by bringing the concept of translation to bear on intermedia
research, we hope to move beyond the notion that intermedia transference
is, at best, a far-fetched â€˜analogyâ€™, and ask whether the idealist
dimension of translation is part of a more universal condition for
thinking about the relationship between different cultural-material
We ask presenters to consider two parallel sets of questions:
1 Do (or should) we treat different languages as separate mediums?
Should we think of translation as a coming to terms with, rather than the
transcendence of the material conditions of languages? To what extent can
we conceive of translation as an intermedial pursuit?
2 When one medium aspires to the condition of another or when it
adapts a specific instance of another, do we call this â€˜translationâ€™? If
so, what is it that gets translated? Could we call it a â€˜meaningâ€™, or is
it perhaps an â€˜affectâ€™?
This leads to the overarching question: do translation studies and
intermedia research share a common hermeneutical predicament?
Keywords: comparative literature, translation studies, the theory of
intermediality, materiality, hermeneutics, semantics, affect, fidelity.
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Received on Thu Nov 20 2008 - 06:56:57 EST