Call for Papers: Multiculturalism, Literature and Translation in East Asia

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Tzu-yu Lin/University College London
contact email: 

Edited volume for book series: Routledge Studies in East Asian Translation ( )


Editor: Tzu-yu Lin (University College London


This volume invites papers exploring a broad spectrum of theoretical, methodological and empirical questions about multilingualism, literary translation and meaning making in East Asia. As claimed by Martin Maiden, Chiara Cappellaro and Aditi Lahiri (2020: 69), “we are more multilingual than we think”. Katrin Kohl and Wen-chin Ouyang (2020) also assert that all human beings are in some way multilingual, and we should see multilingualism as the norm in social interactions. Defined in contrast to “monolingualism”, multilingualism usually refers to the acquisition and use of languages at a high level of fluency, though it is sometimes used flexibly with the term “plurilingual”, which puts less emphasis on the level of fluency attained (Kohl and Ouyang 2020: 4). If we define “languages” more broadly – to include registers, dialects, accents and ways of speaking – we find that multilingualism is normal in our daily lives, and switching between “languages” is an ability built into human’s DNA (ibid.:5). We should, therefore, respect multilingualism and promote language diversity in our societies. Yet, translators, as bi/multilingual authors and communicators, often give credence to the traditional monolingual premise and believe that “the meaning” of a source/original text can be carried across into a new target language. As Matthew Reynolds et al. (2020) argued, new meanings and new words will always be devised creatively during the process of translation, and therefore, considering translation as prism allows us to see the divergences and alternative standards of languages. For Ouyang (2020: 110-113), multiculturalism allows languages to interact with each other, and through the translation of “language-in-dialogue”, new worldviews, motifs, cultures, languages and literatures can thus travel around the world. 

In East Asia, especially in the Chinese scriptworld, the relationship between written form and oral language differs from those in countries that use phonograms. The definition of multilingualism can be different from that in the European countries. This volume invites submissions that explore bi/multilingual models of literary translation in different linguistic strand settings in East Asia. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:


  • Multilingualism and world literature
  • Multilingualism and postcolonial/diasporic literature
  • Bi/multilingualism and translation
  • Translation and world literature
  • Multilingualism and the minority
  • Translating dialects and/or non-standard languages
  • Translatability and untranslatability 


Submission of abstracts:

Please sent an abstract of 500 words along with a 50-word biographic note to editor Tzu-yu Lin ( by 15 January 2022. Authors will be notified whether their abstracts have been accepted by 31 March 2022, and full manuscripts will be due by 31 October 2022. Articles should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words long, including notes and bibliography. The volume is expected to be published in August 2023. See below for full timeline. 


Key dates:

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: 15 January 2022
  • Notification of accepted abstracts: 31 March 2022
  • Deadline for submission of full papers: 31 October 2022
  • Notification of peer review outcomes: 28 February 2023
  • Revised manuscripts due: 30 April 2023
  • Publication: August 2023


For questions about the book series, you are welcome to contact the book series editors Jieun Kiaer ( and Xiaofan Amy Li (



Kohl, Katrin and Wen-chin Ouyang. (2020). “Introducing Creative Multilingualism.” Katrin Kohl et al. (eds.) Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. 1-24. 

Maiden, Martin et al. (2020). “Not as ‘Foreign’ as You Think: Creating Bridges of Understanding across Languages.” Katrin Kohl et al. (eds.) Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. 69-86. 

Ouyang, Wen-chin. “Multilingualism and Creativity in World Literature.” Katrin Kohl et al. (eds.) Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. 109-130. 

Reynolds, Matthew et al. (2020). “Prismatic Translation.” Katrin Kohl et al. (eds.) Creative Multilingualism: A Manifesto. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. 131-150.