Translation and Transcendence conference: 25-26 October, 2013, Toronto
Modern Horizons CFP – Translation and Transcendence
For the third annual Modern Horizons conference—to be held October 25th and 26th, 2013 in Toronto, Ontario—we invite proposals for 20 minutes presentations, in English or French, on 'Translation and Transcendence.'
Translation is prevalent in many aspects of life, whether one works between languages or across cultural divides. If translation happens each time something different, new, or unexpected is confronted or experienced, then it is basic to almost any register of human life. While recognizing that translation is often thought of as communication between languages, we wish to expand on this concept with the aim of addressing issues of identity, tradition, relationships, responsibility, and forms of culture. This conference will re-examine these ideas by considering translation alongside transcendence.
Considering translation and transcendence together is significant; since translation is literally a carrying across of meaning, transcendence is what makes this possible as it allows translation to be distinguished from mere imitation, formal repetition, or reproduction in other media. Thought of in this way, translation involves both continuity and change, because transcendence allows for the rejuvenation of ideas and experiences across change of context. Change and continuity are essentially related: we can only recognize either one through the presence of its counterpart. Contextually present, translation denies an overemphasis of one's own time (and place), for it necessarily conjugates past with present, and in doing so prepares for a translated future.
Along with its fundamental connection with transcendence, one may think of translation in terms of appropriation and completion. Translation as appropriation occurs when the Other (text or person) is drawn into and becomes a part of our own ethos (our being, sensibility, or ethical disposition) and yet does not lose its own proper essence, its 'transcendent' difference. Translation as completion occurs when we recognize that the Other (text or person) must be read or heard in order for its meaning to be complete. This is not to say that meaning is finalized, but rather that nothing stands in a vacuum, and encounter and affirmation are essential to meaning.
With these ideas in mind, we invite abstracts of 500 words or full papers (taking not more than 20 minutes). Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
- translation and justice
- translation within tradition
- translation and scripture/the sacred
- translation as appropriation
- translation as completion
- translation and threats to integrity
- translation and fragments/the fragmentary
- translation, immanence, and transcendence
- translation and hermeneutics
- translation as response
- translation as mimesis
- translation and the question of origin
- translation and authenticity
- translation as dialogue
- translation and the question of form
- translation and fundamentalism
- the question of untranslatability
- the role of the translator today
- the limits of literal translation
- translation, metaphor, symbolism