CFP: Translation and Transcendence (due 15 February)

full name / name of organization: 
Modern Horizons Journal
contact email: 
editors@modernhorizonsjournal.ca

Modern Horizons CFP – Translation and Transcendence

For the June 2014 issue of Modern Horizons we invite essays, in English or French, on the theme of ‘Translation and Transcendence / La traduction et la transcendance’.

Translation is prevalent in many aspects of life, whether one works between languages or across cultural divides. 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. 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. This issue will examine these ideas by considering translation alongside transcendence.

Thinking translation and transcendence together is a neat idea. 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 continuity and change, difference and sameness, because transcendence allows for the rejuvenation of ideas and experiences across change of context. Difference and sameness — continuity and change — are essentially related: we can only recognize either one through the presence of its counterpart. Translation therefore points to the importance of now, but is also a negation of the predominance of the present. Contextually present, translation denies narrow-minded and fundamentalist overemphasis of one’s own time (and place), for it necessarily conjugates past with present, and in doing so prepares for a translated future.

One may think of translation in terms of appropriation and completion. Translation as appropriation occurs when the Other 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 essential difference. In this sense appropriation is a form of relation, not dissolution. Translation as appropriation is the bringing into one’s own of something that is strange, the bringing close of something distant, and the bringing into one’s horizon of meaning something that is foreign. 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.

Possible essay 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

Accepted essays will be published in the journal Modern Horizons. Modern Horizons seeks to address, through examining a variety of ideas and artistic works, the endlessly open question of what is meaningful in what we are living.

The name ‘Modern Horizons’ comes with two emphases in mind. We include the word ‘modern’ because we begin with the arts, thoughts, and experiences of our own time. There is an essentially ahistorical sense to our idea of ‘modern,’ as we seek to avoid questions of periodisation or ideas of historical necessity. Our second emphasis is on ‘horizons,’ in the hermeneutic sense of the meeting of disparate interpretations and vantage points through conversation. The notion of horizons is essential to our way of thinking because, from the perspective of our own time and place, we seek to examine and interrogate those inherited, negotiated, and created forms of art and thought which matter directly or indirectly for us, here and now. This thought will involve the ongoing effort to raise, engage with, rehabilitate, and think about ideas that have impact today as they shape and are shaped by us; to this end, we solicit contributions with an emphasis on engagement and insight—contributions whose aims reach beyond their pages.

The essays published in Modern Horizons take the form of thinking in public; that is, we wish to serve as an outlet for thinking that bridges academic and non-academic subject-matter—not as essays tied finally to a particular text, but in the form of exploratory endeavours which may participate in an ongoing conversation about what it means to be human in this world. This aim will be echoed in papers that embody a deliberately essayistic form, whether personal, essential, critical, hermeneutic, or public.

Each issue in Modern Horizons is theme based; these themes may be explored through essays on literature, philosophy, painting, music, architecture, or other forms of art. The freedom afforded by our non-affiliation with a specific academic institution is deliberate, as we desire to link public and academic worlds. This position allows us to explore ideas that are often neglected by academia or the public voice.
Modern Horizons is a peer-reviewed journal and welcomes a variety of submissions: essays, dialogues, interviews, and critical-reviews, in either French or English.

Submissions of approximately 1000-5000 words will be considered for publication. Please direct submissions to editors@modernhorizonsjournal.ca as an attachment in .doc format, following MLA style guidelines.

Deadline for submissions is February 15, 2014.

Modern Horizons
modernhorizonsjournal.ca
editors@modernhorizonsjournal.ca

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