CFP: ASECS 2010 Imperial Translations

full name / name of organization: 
Joanne van der Woude / Harvard U English
contact email: 

Old Texts in New Worlds. Accepted Panel at ASECS March 18-21, 2010, Albuquerque NM.

This panel seeks to foster interdisciplinary debate on the various uses of translation in eighteenth-century literature. Translation can be interpreted as a specific linguistic practice, as well as a larger device to render schemes of conquest and expansion within longer lineages of history (e.g. translatio imperii). Possible paper topics range from Phillis Wheatley's use of classical imagery to depict Atlantic slavery, to Virgilian pastorals in the New World, such as Timothy Dwight's Greenfield Hill (1794), to the prevalence of epic poetry to describe American revolutions, as in the writings of José Joaquín Olmedo on Ecuador. What, if anything, do these turns to translation and antiquity, rather than Scripture, have in common?

By posing such a broad question, this panel attempts to speak across the disciplinary divisions of history and literature, while welcoming contributions and examples from music, visual art, and philosophy. It also, emphatically, tries to open up new categories of inquiry that are not confined to a single continent or century. By describing Atlantic phenomena from an integrated, multi-lingual perspective, panelists and audience stand to gain a fuller, more flexible view of the culture(s) of eighteenth-century imperialism.

I really invite proposals for papers that make hemispheric comparisons, but I also welcome other suggestions.
1-page abstracts due to by SEPTEMBER 15, 2009.

Joanne van der Woude
Assistant Professor of English
Assistant Professor of History and Literature
Harvard University