Monday, July 13, 2015

Conference: Rewritings MHRA Postgraduate and Early Career Conference

Self-translation will be a topic at the Modern Humanities Research Association Postgraduate and Early Career Conference taking place Friday, 16 October 2015 at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, Senate House, London.

  • 3:30 pm Panel 6: Translation as Rewriting (Room G34):
    Magdalena Kampert (Glasgow): ‘Self-translation as a Form of Rewriting: The Case of Janusz Głowacki‘s Antigone in New York
To read the full conference program, please click here.

Workshop Migrating Histories of Art: Self-translations of a Discipline

8-9.10.2015 in Florence, Italy

Annual Workshop of the International Research Group Bilderfahrzeuge. Aby Warburg’ legacy and the future of Iconology
organized by Maria Teresa Costa and Hans Christian Hönes
The workshop situates itself at the crossroads of art history and translation studies, exploring, for the first time, the problem of self-translation in the realm of art writing. One the one hand it seeks to provide a theoretical framework from Translation Studies, on the other hand it aims to offer case-studies from Art History and related fields, providing a unique and comprehensive overview on how a discipline defines itself through cultural transfers.
The workshop addresses these decisive migrations and considers how the adoption and processing of foreign-language texts and their corresponding methodologies have been fundamental to the disciplinary discourse of Art History, since the earliest days of its professionalization. The objects of investigation are both translations of texts by art historians who themselves migrated to other Sprachraums, changing their working language, and also the implication of this transfer for subsequent writings in the mother tongue.
In addition, the self-translations by art historians will be contextualised and juxtaposed against examples from other fields. This will lead to a case-based discussion of the theoretical and practical consequences of the understudied phenomenon of scholarly self-translation, especially with regard to the possibilities and limitations of the dissemination of art-historical methodologies (and therefore of the discipline itself). Consequently, the study of self-translations also addresses the problem of (un-) translatability of concepts and ideas.

The topics considered include:
  • Self-translation as a theoretical phenomenon;
  • Case studies on self-translation from art history and related disciplines;
  • Reports and reminiscences of personal experiences with self-translations and self-translators.

 For more information, please click here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bibliography on Self-translation - Update July 2015

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated. To download the  PDF file, please click here.
If you know of any missing contribution, please leave a comment with the bibliographical information. Thank you very much!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Conference "...übersetzt von Peter Handke"

Self-translation was a topic of a talk at the conference "...übersetzt von Peter Handke" which took place at the University of Innsbruck, 28-30.05.2015.

  • Dirk Weissmann: Ceci n'est pas une (auto)traduction. A propos de textes 'doubles' de Peter Handke. (Saturday, 30. May 2015)

Gegenstand des Beitrags sind die französisch-deutschen Doppeltexte (wie ich sie vorläufig nennen möchte), die Peter Handke seit Beginn der 2000er Jahre verfasst hat. Anhand einer Analyse der drei Theaterstücke Pourquoi une cuisine ? / Warum eine Küche? (2001-2003), Jusqu’à ce que le jour nous sépare ou Une question de lumière / Bis dass der Tag uns scheidet oder Eine Frage des Lichts (2008-2009), Les Beaux jours d’Aranjuez / Die schönen Tage von Aranjuez (2012) soll zunächst und vor allem der Frage nachgegangen werden, inwiefern (und unter welchen Kriterien) im vorliegenden Fall von (Selbst)Übersetzung gesprochen werden kann. Daneben soll der Status der französischen ‚Fassungen’, ‚Originale’ bzw. ‚Erstschriften’ Handkes für sich hinterfragt werden. Inwiefern kann – produktions- bzw. rezeptionsästhetisch – von einem französischen Schriftsteller Handke gesprochen werden? Zur Diskussion dieses Punktes soll auch ein Blick auf die Aufführungsgeschichte der Stücke sowie ihre Aufnahme durch die Kritik geworfen werden. Phänomene wie die (fremde) Rückübersetzung deutscher Texte in Französische werfen ein interessantes Licht auf die Schwierigkeiten des Literatur- und Theaterbetriebs beim Umgang mit mehrsprachigen Schriftstellern.

To download the full program of the conference please click here.

Conférence de l'Association canadienne de traductologie

Self-translation is a topic at the 28thAnnual Conference of the Canadian Association for Translation Studies La traduction littéraire et le Canada / Literary Translation and Canada / La traducción literaria y Canadá taking place at Ottawa University / Ontario –  June 1st to 3rd, 2015.

Monday, June 1st Session / Séance 2b
Panel: Self-translation   Chair: Patricia Godbout
Talks given by:

  • Sperti, Valeria: Nancy Huston, l’autotraduction et le Canada
  • Van Bolderen, Trish : Huston, we have a problem… (or What on earth is “Canadian self-translation” supposed to mean?)
  • Puccini, Paola : L’autotraduction responsable : recevoir l’autre en tant qu’autre

For more information on the conference and to download the full program, please click here.

Conference Transfiction 3

Self-translation was a topic at the international conference Tranfiction 3 which took place at Concordia University, May 27-29, 2015. Please find below the abstracts of the contributions on self-translation.


Rainier Grutman: Non interpres sed orator: Self-translational self-fashioning/la posture d’autotraducteur.

In this bilingual presentation, I will focus on the image projected and created by self-translating writers, on their discursive identity in other words, as it can be seen unfolding in prefaces, correspondence, and interviews. My analysis of this “paratextual” material will draw on Stephen Greenblatt’s notion of “self-fashioning” (which owes quite a bit to Michel Foucault) and on Jérôme Meizoz’s « posture d’auteur » (an offshoot of Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology). Preliminary results indicate that much of the rhetoric deployed is oppositional in nature, i.e. it serves to construct translating and writing as not only two different but axiologically opposed practices (hence my title’s reference to one of the most famous prefaces in translation history, Cicero’s De optimo genere oratorum). We will see how and why this is the case.

Nadia Louar: Bilingual Beckett: The figure(s) of bilingualism in Beckett’s work 
Bilingualism in Samuel Beckett’s œuvre engages a process of rewriting that operates at all strata of his composition and generates a network of repetitions of which intertextuality, transposition, adaptation and all forms of doubling participate. It thus functions as the paradigm for all the formal decisions that led Beckett from being a novelist, to a playwright, a poet and a stage/film director and back. This paper proposes to elucidate the complexities of the author’s identity as a bilingual Irish writer-in-exile. Rather than assessing the author’s literary bilingualism as a fact of linguistic competence attached to a culture and a nation, I will conceptualize the phenomenon as an aesthetic category and show how the passage between French and English (and vice versa) is repeated in those between genres and media.

Xuanmin Luo: Translating, rewriting or trans-writing? A case study of Eileen Chang’s self-translation of Jinsuo Ji 
Regarded as “a rewriting of an original text” (Lefevere 1999), a translation functions as an independent literary product in a target culture. When a writer translates his or her own work, “trans-writing” is perhaps a better term than “rewriting.” This paper will focus on Eileen (Ai-ling) Chang’s self-translation of her novel Jinsuo Ji (The Rouge of the North), first published in Chinese in 1945. There are major differences between the original and its translation: changes in plot and characters, added explanations of Chinese customs, for example. This paper will highlight the ways in which this self-translation can be considered a case of trans-writing, illustrating the writer’s efforts to mediate and negotiate between two cultures. The success of the translation is particularly significant, since it paved the way for Chinese literature to be accepted worldwide. This not an isolated example; the case can be applied to self-translation by writers elsewhere.

Jane Koustas: Polyphony, voice-over, translation as selfie 
From Les variations Goldberg (1981) to Danse noire (2013), Nancy Huston’s literary voice has remained polyphonic. The reader experiences the narrative via a polyphonic filter that requires that s/he “combine” the different versions such as in Les variations Goldberg or, like the narrator, engage with the other/double such as in Infrared. The act of speaking through or for another led Huston to assume a male voice in her performance piece “Le Mâle Entendu.” As a self-translator who now translates while she writes the original, Huston introduces another “silent” voice-over, namely that of her English voice; her novels are written with the translation in mind and, indeed, in progress. As in a selfie, Huston is consciously “seeing” and hearing herself in her English voice or double as she writes and translates. This study considers the relationship between polyphony in Huston’s work and her self-translation.

Valeria Sperti: Fictional translators in the novels of Nancy Huston 
Between the publication of Cantique des plaines in 1993 and Danse noire in 2013, Nancy Huston developed an important critical reflection on bilingualism and divided identity, while the issue of self-translation remained secondary. My presentation analyzes the evolution of the notion of linguistic division in Huston’s novels and demonstrates how themes of translation and self-translation become increasingly important. The audible friction between languages plays an essential role in maintaining the reader’s interest, and instances of cultural interference abound, leaving traces that reveal an interesting linguistic and semantic dissonance. In her most recent novels – particularly Infrarouge and Danse noire – Huston makes interlinguistic translation and its commingling with intersemiotic translation the two integral elements of her transfiction to the point that translation begins to approximate an autobiographeme.

Paola Puccini: Between hetero-translation and self-translation, towards creative translation: The case of Marco Micone
The work of playwright, translator, and self-translator Marco Micone highlights two salient points: the impact of the literary genre on creation and translation, and the relationship between hetero-translation and self-translation. Our aim will be to investigate the complex relationship between writing and translation with reference to Micone’s translation of Carlo Goldoni, which triggered, for the author, an important process of discovery and reflection. We will first examine Micone’s translation of Goldoni’s Locandiera (1993) and then consider his self-translation of Gens du silence (1996) into the Italian Non era per noi (2004) as an intermediary transition to his 2004 Silences. Our multidisciplinary approach will draw on Translation Studies, Cultural Anthropology and intercultural communication theory.


Ann Marie Boulanger: Self-translation and Nancy Huston 
Self-translation, the process whereby an author translates his or her own work into another language, has long been viewed, and even scorned, as a literary curiosity at best, and a betrayal of the translation process at worst. Yet, self-translation has a long history and has been practised by some of humanity’s greatest writers. This presentation will cover the history of self-translation in broad strokes, and discuss the various motivations for self-translation and the contexts in which it takes place. Some of the theories and concepts at play in self-translation include agency, cultural mediation, bilingualism, and the cultural turn in translation. Emphasis will be placed on the prolific Canadian author and self-translator Nancy Huston, who was raised as an anglophone but adopted France as her home and French as her language of creation. This presentation will cite examples of her work and discuss her motivations for writing in a language other than her mother tongue. Finally, the disputed status of self-translation will be discussed, in particular as it applies to the debates and controversy surrounding Huston’s work.

Nicodème Niyongabo: The politics of self-translation: Multilingualism in Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Wizard of the Crow and Devil on the Cross 
Sociolinguistic studies of emerging indigenized varieties of English have emphasized the influence of “inner circle” English (in the U.S. and U.K.) on the development of English in the “outer circle.” However, the influence of “World Englishes” on translation has received little attention. Our project investigates the East African variety of English that blends lexical elements of Kiswahili in Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s self-translated novels Devil on the Cross (1982) and Wizard of the Crow (2006). Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s work as an essayist, novelist, playwright, activist and commentator places African indigenous languages and culture in the centre and stresses issues of multilingualism and power relations between English, Kikuyu and Kiswahili. Our study of the translations reveals that both the Kikuyu source texts (T1) and their counterpart English versions (T2) sketch the English-Kiswahili-Mother tongue triple configuration underlying regional language policies. This poster will present the corpus of our project, our tentative research questions, our research methodologies, and some preliminary findings.

Elizabeth Saint: Portraits of self-translation: Fransaskois theatre 
The intentions behind a writer’s decision to undertake the “difficult, tedious, and repetitive” task of self-translation (Grutman, 2007, p. 220) influence its presentation, the strategies employed and the type of translation produced. We will compare two pieces of Fransaskois theatre – La Maculée by Madeleine Blais-Dahlem and Bonneau et la Bellehumeur by Raoul Granger – to shed light on aspects of self-translation in Fransaskois drama. We will examine contextual constraints, publication formats, paratexts and translation strategies. Blais-Dahlem and Granger are, like all translators, agents of “intercultural communication” (Vermeer, 1989), and they share a skopos oriented toward “building communal bridges” (Day, 2013). However, while the first develops his personality as a bilingual writer, the second erases any trace of his intervention as a self-translator. An analysis of the translation strategies employed reveals the interdependence between the original and the self-translation in the case of Blais-Dahlem, but the autonomy of the two versions in the case of Granger.

For more information on the conference, please click here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

CfP: Écrire entre les langues Migration, bilinguisme, plurilinguisme et poétiques de la frontière dans l’Italie contemporaine (1980-2015)


Université Paul-Valéry – Montpellier, Jeudi 19 et vendredi 20 novembre 2015
Equipe d’accueil 4582 – LLACS (Langues, Littératures, Arts et Cultures des Suds)

Présentation générale du colloque 

Le phénomène du bilinguisme littéraire, bien qu’il soit déjà présent dans la littérature du XXe siècle, a atteint, dans les dernières décennies, une dimension nouvelle et plus vaste. Les migrations massives aussi bien que les nouvelles mobilités et les migrations de retour, en plus d’un marché et d’une pratique de l’écriture qui ont totalement changé, ont certainement contribué à rendre le concept de bilinguisme plus complexe.
Le cas italien – pays d’importante émigration, qui est devenu, au cours des vingt-cinq dernières années, un pays d’immigration – est, à ce propos, paradigmatique. À l’heure actuelle, nous comptons de nombreux écrivains plurilingues qui utilisent, parmi d’autres langues, l’italien. À travers la reconstruction de leurs parcours (parcours d’immigration et d’émigration, bien sûr, mais aussi expériences transfrontalières ou choix purement esthétiques
non liés à des vicissitudes personnelles), nous essayerons de réfléchir à la notion de « littérature italienne contemporaine » qui se présente aujourd’hui comme un ensemble de plus en plus diversifié, non seulement du point de vue de la langue, mais également sur le double plan de la poétique et des choix esthétiques.
Les différentes interventions du colloque nous permettront de nous interroger sur les problématiques suivantes :

1. Écritures transnationales. Le cas des écrivains de la frontière ;
2. Écritures migrantes (d’immigration et d’émigration) ;
3. Le cas du bilinguisme et du plurilinguisme ;
4. L’emploi littéraire de la langue et du dialecte ;
5. La représentation littéraire et la notion d’identité.

Langues du colloque : Français et italien.
Envoi des propositions de communication :
Veuillez envoyer vos propositions de communication sous forme d’un résumé de 20 lignes, avec titre, indication de cinq mots-clés ainsi qu’une courte biobibliographie, aux organisateurs du colloque :
Flaviano PISANELLI (

Date limite d’envoi des propositions de communication : 30 juin 2015
Réponse du comité scientifique : 15 juillet 2015
La participation au colloque prévoit des frais d’inscription.

For more information and the call for papers in Italian Language, please click here.