Marked by Change: (De)coding Differences in Textual and Visual Translations

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program, Univ. of Arkansas–Fayetteville
contact email: 

The act of translation and interpretation shapes meaning, reception, and significance across borders, time, and culture, but recognizing the changes made to a work, especially a premodern one, can be difficult. This session seeks to decode differences among translations (defined broadly) from any medium to highlight the interplay between translation, interpretation, and their consequential effects on the dynamic landscapes of literature and visual culture while drawing attention to the fact that scholarship itself is a type of translation that should acknowledge and embrace the traces it leaves on medieval works as it seeks to understand them from modern perspectives. Papers may discuss contrasting interpretations, diverging approaches, or distinct perspectives, evolving theories, methodologies, or cultural contexts and their influence on textual and visual translations. Papers may also discuss how visual elements, such as illustrations, manuscripts, or iconography, contribute to the interpretation and understanding of literary works, or analyze the decoding of symbols, deciphering of meaning, or unraveling of hidden messages within the texts or visual representations. The panel will examine variations or distinctions within the realm of textual and visual translations in medieval literature and explore how transformations and shifts have impacted the field of medieval literature. It will also investigate the relationship between written texts and visual representations in medieval literature and delve into the process of deciphering or interpreting textual and visual translations in such sources. This session will aim to include three (3) papers of around twenty (20) minutes each. Please email Skye Oliver ( with questions or for more information.