International Conference: "Shifting Paradigms: How Translation Transforms the Humanities."/Urbana, IL/Deadline: April 15, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
The Center for Translation Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The Université Denis-Diderot, Paris, France

October 14-16, 2010

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Levis Faculty Center

This conference will convene scholars and practitioners to present state-of-the-art research on translation and the humanities. In particular, we seek to assess if, and how, academic disciplines comprising the humanities consider translation to be constitutive of their practice.

Translation scholars have called for a paradigm shift in defining the relationship between translation and the humanities. While it is acknowledged that a large share of our common knowledge is conveyed through translation, too little has been said about the way knowledge itself is built and circulated, particularly in the domain of interpretive disciplines.

A focus of this conference will be to assess whether and how this shift is actually taking place, by reviewing:

a) How the shift of translation theory away from a Eurocentric perspective may impact the various disciplines in the humanities that work on and with cultural transfer;

b) The ways in which translation itself transforms the humanities.

The conference will address these questions by focusing on the nexus of theory, practice, and institutional settings in which translation takes place. The gathering aims to foster theoretical frameworks through which to account for the cultural and linguistic determinants of the various humanistic disciplines, building upon such concepts as, for instance, the dislocation of culture (H. Bhabha), the ethnocentric violence of translation (L. Venuti), the experience of the foreign (A. Berman), and the dissymmetry of cultural transfer.

Keynotes and Panel Distribution

Plenary Address : Invited speaker : Catherine Porter, President, Modern Language Association and director of the 2009 MLA Presidential Initiative, « The Tasks of Translation in the Global Context. »

Keynote presentations will frame the topics for thematic panels.

Keynote — A New Geography : Translation and the Dislocation of a Eurocentric Perspective

Invited Speaker : Jean-Noël Robert, professeur à l'Ecole pratique des hautes études

Suggested topics :

• Language Domination and New Experiences of the Foreign
• Recalling the Leading Role of Translation in the History of Sciences
• Translation and Popular Culture in an Era of Globalization
• Translation and the Transfer of New Ideas and Concepts
• Between Languages : Anthropological and Psychological Dimensions of Translation
• Non-European Contributions to Translation Theory

Keynote — Institutional Shifts : Translation and the Restructuring of Academia

Invited Speaker : Lawrence Venuti, author of The Translator's Invisibility

Suggested topics :

• Shifting Translatory Practices
• Changing Translation Teaching Practices
• The Institutional Environment of Translation
• Reading, Editing, and Publishing Translations
• The Role of Translation in the Apprehension of Cultural Transfers
• Translation as a Transformative Factor of Disciplines

Call for Papers

Proposals are invited from scholars and practitioners of translation, whatever their discipline and academic affiliation, for individual papers (30 minutes), 20-minute presentations on panels of three speakers (90 minutes), and performance events. The conference languages are English and French. Conference papers will be published online.

Please send proposals to and include :
Name and academic or institutional affiliation and title
Paper or Panel Title
Names and Affiliations of Participants
Abstract (maximum 300 words)

Dates :
Proposal submissions : April 15, 2010
A final conference announcement and program will be published on June 15, 2010

Call for Performances

Though translation as a paradigm and a metaphor is organically built into the conceptualization and practice of arts and creative writing, the interdisciplinary similarities between arts and translation, creative writing and translation are not sufficiently explored. Please consider but do not limit yourselves by the following questions:

-Is translation as a metaphor of transfer part of your practice or theoretical framework(s)?
-Does translation as interpretive practice have any place in the medium with which you work?
-Is translation or interpretation considered to be original or derivative in your art or discipline?

At this time we invite proposals from artists and writers, whatever their medium and academic affiliation, for individual presentations, readings, and/or performances (30 minutes) and 20-minute presentations and/or performances on panels of three participants (90 minutes).
Please send proposals to and include:

* Your name(s), title(s), and academic or institutional affiliation
* Presentation or panel title
* Short conceptual description of proposed presentation and/or performance and how it relates to the conference theme (maximum 300 words)
* A short biography/biographies
* Related video abstract (if relevant)
* Technical specifications and needs for the performance (number of people performing, length of the piece, required space, lighting, sound equipment, etc.)

Dates :
Proposal submissions : April 15, 2010
A final conference announcement and program will be published on June 15, 2010