Literature and Translation

full name / name of organization: 
Australian Association for Literary Translation
contact email: 


The Australasian Association for Literature (AAL), the Australian Association for Literary Translation
( and the Literature Research Unit, Monash University, are holding a conference on

Literature and Translation
Monash University (Caulfield Campus), Melbourne, 11-12 July 2011

Plenary speakers:

David Damrosch (Harvard University)
Andrew Benjamin (Monash University)

Where literature exists, translation exists. The very notion of literature would be inconceivable without translation. Goethe believed that without outside influences national literatures rapidly stagnate. Authors have always borrowed and been influenced by writers in other languages. The way literary traditions traverse national and cultural borders is a matter for celebration. For example, when Cervantes wrote Don Quixote, he created the form and shape of modern fiction. Cervantes' novel was translated almost immediately into English, where it changed the course of English literature, influencing writers, directly or indirectly, all the way to William Faulkner. Faulkner, in translation, was hugely popular in Latin America during the post-Second World War period. García Márquez was a big fan. His novels were, in turn, translated into English, exerting a major influence on such English-language authors as Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Don DeLillo and Michael Chabon. The entire history of literature is informed by a process of transmission; a great work of literature, indeed any text, is able to enrich itself by generating new meanings as it enters new contexts. Translation could be seen in this perspective as the secret metaphor of all literary communication.

This conference (following in the footsteps of a conference of the same title organized by the Translation Studies scholar
Jose Lambert at the University of Leuven in 1976) seeks to explore the role of translation and interlinguistic exchange in
the literary domain. We invite papers on literary translation, translated literature, and the role of translation in the creation
and maintenance of national and world literatures. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

- Literature as a form of translation
- Writers and their translators
- The translator as writer
- Writers who translate
- Translation and creativity
- Translation as research
- Translation and "world literature"
- The migration of texts/writers between cultures
- Diasporic writing
- Translation of paraliterature, mass fiction and genre fiction
- Old and new challenges in literary translation
- Teaching translation and literature in translation

PROPOSALS for papers are hereby invited. Papers are allotted 20 minutes for presentation followed by 10 minutes for discussion.
Please submit your abstract (250 words max.) stating the title of the paper, name(s) and affiliation(s), and email address, to:

Selected papers will be published.
Deadline for abstracts: 28 February

Early bird registration fee (deadline 30 April 2011; this is also the deadline for presenters): AUD$200
Normal registration fee: $250

Students and unemployed: $100 (early bird) or $125
One day registration: $125 (early bird), $150 (normal), $75 (students and unemployed)
Conference organisers: Brian Nelson, Chris Worth