"TRANSLAUTHORS. Interrogating Writing from Translation", 10 September 2015

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Université catholique de Louvain (ECR & GEMCA)

"TRANSLAUTHORS". Interrogating Writing from Translation.

Intertwined Perspectives on Literature and Cultural Exchange from the XVIth to the XXIst Century

International Conference

Université catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

10th of September 2015

This conference will address the author-translator relationship in the literary field, both from a diachronic and synchronic perspective. Investigating this question of the roles played by authors and translators by means of a comparative approach seems particularly relevant, especially in the context of a crisis or shift in meaning of both these notions. During the Renaissance, the thin margins between the categories of author and translator became apparent in the tensions opposing the ideal of a unique translator advocated by theoretical treatises on translation in this period and a more collaborative translation practice. This will eventually bring about a redefinition of the perceived identities of both translator and author, until their stricter definition on legal terms.

Whilst in recent years and across several disciplines, scholarly interest has focused on authorial posture, the image of the writer and the documents of the self, the authorial category is more and more looked into by translation studies, as they grant the translator a new visibility (i.e. as author). Moreover, the contemporary literary production makes the notion of single authorship more shifting, or indeed uncertain. Within the literary institution, the authorial entity has to come to terms with other decision-making actors when publishing a new book. Together with other mediators, the translator also takes an active part in the construction of the work and therefore orientates its reception. In fine, a growing diversity of the respective roles of author and translator is outlined when the author him/herself acts as translator. How do one author's writing and translation practices interact? If the author-as-translator model is well-known for the Renaissance period (among others through aemulatio and imitatio), it seems that this paradigm is neither acknowledged by contemporary authors, nor established for contemporary readers. It is precisely this figure of the author-as-translator, and these respective roles that we would like to explore during this conference.

We welcome contributions addressing the question of authorial translation, at the crossroads of both periods (Renaissance and contemporary, preferably with a textual approach. We have a special interest for the following areas of investigation but participants are welcome to explore other related topics as well:

from imitation to rewriting, and their derivational dimension (allusion, "plagiarism"): changing conceptions of writing from one period to the other; differentiated relationship to hypotexts, cases of self- and pseudo-translation;

authorship and authority: interdependence of the author-translator's creative freedom, his/her legal authority and the institutional restrictions to which s/he is confronted in his/her practice (the influence of a variety of actors involved in the publication of a translation text: the state, the editors, the printers…)

cultural history: putting in perspective the modalities of inscribing the figure of the author-translator in the history of literature, of translation and ideas, from the early modern to the contemporary period.

Submission of abstracts

We invite colleagues who would like to give a paper to first send a short notice of their intent to participate to translauthors2015@uclouvain.be

The deadline for receiving abstracts is December 19th, 2014. Proposals (ca. 300 words + bibliography) can be mailed to: translauthors2015@uclouvain.be

The conference languages will be French and English. After the conference, papers can be submitted for a publication in a peer-reviewed journal or as a book.