Translation, Travel Writing, and Excess

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
NorthEast Modern Language (NeMLA) 2024
contact email: 

Translation, Travel Writing, and Excess  (Rountable)


Sanjukta Banerjee (York University)

Elisa Leonzio (Università di Torino)


The notion of "excess" in translation and travel (writing) brings to attention the plurality of the unfamiliar often put away as “lack”. It is also connected to critical awareness of and engagement with the polysemy of others leading to inquiries that can accommodate “thick description”, “thick translation”, and point to the ambiguity and ambivalence of both the translated and the translator. How does excess figure in representations constructed and circulated by travel and translation? How is it turned into “lack” and “omission”? What processes are involved in the determination of details as "junk" (Bender and Marrinan 2005) — archived yet excluded — but not necessarily as "garbage"? What kinds of deviations from received knowledge get left out in translation ? What are the ethical dimensions of these inquiries? And how can we engage productively with the notion of excess? This roundtable seeks to explore these and other relevant questions in translation and travel (writing) as co-constitutive and distinct practices. We want to draw particular attention to the significance of ambiguity as a vital resource for exploring the limits of representation constructed and facilitated by translation and travel. We invite perspectives, especially those relevant to the global south, from theoretical and creative works and from across disciplines, including, but not limited to, translation studies, travel writing studies, cultural and media studies, and archival studies.


Please submit abstracts of 200-300 words for presentations (5-7 mins) by September 30, 2023 at

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