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50 years that changed the world - translation in the 1st half of the 20th century: 10-11 July 2014, Lisbon-Portugal
full name / name of organization:
CECC-UCP (Research Centre for Communication and Culture - Catholic University of Portugal)
The first fifty years of the 20th century were a period of lively traffic of ideas, expectations, and dreams. The exaltation of progress and the ‘vertigo’ of novelty soon gave way to melancholia and pessimism. Radical intellectual movements, women’s movements, political revolution(s), the great depression, the rise of fascism and communism, and, of course, two world wars resulted in what Eric Hobsbawm called ‘the most murderous’ century ‘in recorded history’ (2007). This conference aims to discuss how the sociopolitical, economic and ideological upheaval shaped the production of knowledge, changing the ways in which translation was thought and practiced, and translators were perceived and employed. The possibility of political and social revolution and the experience of war, dictatorship, censorship and exile have left their indelible mark on the European imagination, and the role of translation and translators in shaping these conflicts, and their maintenance or resolution, begs further research and debate. Who translated what, when and for what purpose(s) are questions that have to be delved into deeper in a transnational context, as well as who helped shape translation philosophically and critically – the impact of thinkers such as Walter Benjamin, José Ortega y Gasset on translation theory seems undeniable even if their resonance to the individual translator proves at best controversial. The 1st half of the 20th century changed perceptions of identity (class, gender, language, race), transformed the experience of affiliation and belonging (the sense of belonging to a place, to a language, to a culture), emphasized differences and the need for mediation. This conference wishes to address and rethink the role translations and translators have played in the de/re/trans/formation of the ‘age of extremes’ (Hobsbawm).