Translation and Appropriation in the Long Eighteenth Century

deadline for submissions: 
March 15, 2020
full name / name of organization: 

At a time when a medieval and early modern understanding of literary authority had given way and a concept of intellectual property had not yet been solidly established, eighteenth-century Europe saw a surge of activity involving translation and appropriation of materials produced by others. As well as authors who freely borrowed from the past and present within their own cultures and languages, there was special interest in the translation and appropriation of materials drawn from other cultures and reinterpreted for European audiences. The hope was that the rise of globalized commerce and the establishment of fields of study focused specifically on “exotic” cultures, such as Oriental studies and Sinology, would promote transcultural communication and fuel intellectual and artistic innovation. Yet this literary, scholarly, and creative work simultaneously became implicated in imperial and colonial designs, and, thereby, in unjust appropriations of labour and land. Recent scholarship in fields such as postcolonial studies, media studies, and adaptation studies, has opened up many new approaches to this eighteenth-century fascination with translation, adaptation, and appropriation, allowing deeper and more nuanced understandings of this cultural phenomenon.

With this background in mind, conference organizers invite panels and papers that explore translation and appropriation, understood in a wide variety of ways, including linguistic, artistic, and cultural. Studies of non-European perspectives on European cultures are particularly welcome.

Possible topics related to the conference theme might include but are not limited to
• Bilingualism; multilingualism; biculturalism; multiculturalism; identity politics
• Fidelity; transparency; equivalence; plagiarism; forgery; adaptation; intertextuality
• Nationalism; cosmopolitanism; Enlightenment; republic of letters; commerce; travel; transcultural exchange; globalisation
• Eurocentrism; ethnocentrism; xenophobia; Westernisation; extractive colonialism and settler colonialism; Orientalism; treaties and land rights; human rights
• Appreciation; fusion; diffusion; misappropriation; re-appropriation and recuperation
• Translations and appropriations of concepts and language from one field to another (for example, from science to literature and vice versa)
• Translations, adaptations, and appropriations of eighteenth-century texts within the century; popular culture intermediations; grub street writing practices; fan writing practices
• Translations and appropriations of the eighteenth century in later history and different media (including fiction, film, and television).

Conference organizers also welcome panel and paper proposals on current research unrelated to
the conference theme.

Deadline for submission of panels is February 15, 2020 and for individual papers is March 15,

All those submitting panels and papers for CSECS 2020 must be members in good standing

Paper proposals should include a title, a 150-word summary, and a brief biographical note
indicating the presenter’s name, email, academic status, and institutional affiliation.

Panel proposals should include titles for individual papers and the panel, 150-word summaries of
individual papers and the panel, and brief biographical notes for all presenters, including names,
emails, academic statuses, and institutional affiliations.
Please send your proposals to the following email address:

Participants may present papers in English or French and will be invited to submit articles based
on their papers to Lumen, the official journal of CSECS/SCEDHS.