PAMLA 2023 Panel: Changing perspectives on migration through literature in translation

deadline for submissions: 
May 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association (PAMLA)

Migration has become a global phenomenon that indicates complexity and diversity. The mobility of people has also influenced how texts are migrated through translation and how it could influence cultural production. Translation, which facilitates “communication, understanding, and action between persons or groups who differ in language and culture” (Bassnett 5), plays a vital role in the migration diaspora. Texts like people, want to seek new opportunities, they search for a new life in a new place and time, as Moira Inghilleri points out in her book entitled Translation and Migration published in 2017, migration is a “continuous becoming”, it “necessitates movement” (1 & 3). Examining the mobility of people and texts from a socio-cultural model through translation is the aim of this proposed panel. The panel seeks to open dialogue to discuss how identities and experiences are negotiated and perspectives are shifted through literary representation.

This panel welcomes researchers and speakers working on the intersection between migration, translation, and various literary forms. Panelists will discuss the intersection between migration, translation, and various literary forms. Narrations on migration from an interdisciplinary and diverse perspective are included in this panel under the theme of 'Shifting Perspectives'. This panel would explore the role of translated literature in supporting empathy, understanding, making visibility and achieving agency through the lens of migration and translation. Michael Cronin, a celebrated translation scholar, describes the migrants as “translated beings” who move from one language and culture to another (45). A migrant's response to the new linguistic situation is either “translational assimilation, which means trying to translate themselves into the predominant language” or “translational accommodation”, which uses translation as a means to maintain their native languages” (Cronin 47-48). Migrant-translated literature suggests physical, linguistic, and cultural border-crossings that shape migrant identities. The conceptualization of migration in the field of cultural literacy includes the movement of texts, the international exchange of knowledge, and cultural transformation through the lens of translation. Ultimately, migration can be seen as translation. This special panel will focus on how migrant literature translates into new cultural territories and capture their norms. Suggested topics may include: 

- Incorporating native cultures into the host culture.

- Cultural codes translated into linguistic codes by immigrants 

- In the context of ethnic translation as a function of communication in and across the diaspora, literature serves both as a means of communication and as a reflection of it. 

- Translating migrant literature presents translation challenges, i.e. switching codes 

This panel invites researchers to examine migration in relation to translation and literature in greater depth. Independent researchers and academics are invited to submit an abstract (200-300 words) and a short bio.