Visualizing Translation (ACLA 2021)

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Liberti and Kristin Dickinson, University of Michigan
contact email: 

ACLA (American Comparative Literature Association) Conference, April 8-11, 2021, virtual event

Matthew Liberti and Kristin Dickinson, University of Michigan (co-orgaizers)

Increasingly, scholarship has begun to address the significance of translation for a variety of fields, including architecture, geography, museum -, memory -, and gender studies. In this seminar we aim to investigate the particular intersection of visual studies and translation studies, and to explore non-linguistic or non-traditional modes of translation. 

We invite papers from a variety of historical and literary-cultural backgrounds that take up the following questions:

How does translation complicate persistent assumptions about the universality of the image? How can translation studies open up new modes of analysis for visual studies that do not rely on normative ways of seeing? In other words, how can translation modulate the fraught power dynamics of visualization? How do processes of translation expose political projects of both verbal and visual standardization? And how might translation reconfigure the representation of visual and verbal rights?

In response to these questions, participants may consider processes of intersemiotic translation or non-linguistic modes of translation. Additionally, papers could address questions of synesthesia or the haptic as alternative methods of seeing, or instances of ekphrasis and aphasia in diverse cultural productions from literature and print culture to photography and film.


Paper abstracts (350 words maximum) must be submitted through the ACLA portal ( by October 31, 2020. Please send any questions to Matthew Liberti ( and Kristin Dickinson ( Link to seminar description: