Saturday, December 27, 2014

Alexakis on self-translation

Vassilis Alexakis talked about his experience as a self-translator at the Festival VO-VF in October earlier this year. Thanks to Clotilde Monteiro we can now read what Alexakis has said on the website of BULAC (Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations).

Please continue here. [In French]

Interview with Francesca Duranti on self-translation

Francesca Duranti (*1935) is an Italian author who lives in New York and Italy.
She has self-translated her novel Sogni Mancini (1996) into English as Left handed dreams (1996).
In a recently published interview (in Italian) she talks about this experience. The interview tackles the following aspects: the reasons for self-translation, her experience as a translator, her translation strategies, identity & multilingualism.

The interview has been published on 18.11.2014 and has been conducted by Translation Designers. 3 more interviews with other self-translators have been announced but not yet published.

To read the interview with Francesca Duranti please click here

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Conference: Literature and Global Culture

Self-translation will be a topic at the conference Literature and Global Culture, taking place in Santa Barbara, January 23-January 24, 2014. Among the keynote speakers is the self-translator Ngugi Wa Thiong’o. Also there will be a panel devoted to self-translation:

Januar, 24
11:00-12:30: Collaborative and Self-Translation: Authors as Translators, Translators as Authors Chair: Suzanne Jill Levine, University of California, Santa Barbara
-“Co-Translating Untranslatability,” Rose Réjouis and Val Vinokur, The New School
-“Queer Collaboration,” Amanda Powell, University of Oregon
-“Self-translational Self-fashioning,” Rainier Grutman, University of Ottawa

To see the complete conference program, please click here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

CFP: Translation in Exile

International Conference organized by the Centre for Literature in Translation of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University, in cooperation with the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Federal University of Santa Catarina.

Venue: Vrije Universiteit Brussel, December 10-11, 2015

Bringing together scholars from different disciplines such as cultural studies, translation studies, area studies, comparative literature and anthropology, this conference aims at providing a new understanding of exile as a theoretical concept, analytical category, and lived experience in the study of the translation of (literary) texts. 
This conference will touch on questions of multilingualism and displacement, and on their methodological implications for translation studies, first and foremost with regard to translating literary texts as a political and cultural practice. This conference wants to plead for a less metaphorical and more empirical understanding of translation. The focus will thus be on the interlingual nature of translation and exile as an interstitial locus of enunciation. The aim of the conference is to further our understanding of the authors’ experiences of exile, their function, opportunities and problems as (self-) translators, as well as explore how these émigrés have documented and represented their stories. It aims at circumnavigating a broad spatial and temporal spectrum. The focus of the conference is neither limited to the analysis of translation in the context of European languages and cultures, nor to one specific historical period.

Submissions for 20-minute papers may include, but are not restricted to:
- theoretical approaches to the concept of ‘exile’ in translation
- translation as agency and medium of political commitment in exile (issues of freedom, resistance and human rights)
- the relation between the translator/publisher and the exiled author
- translation and diasporic communities
- ‘inner emigration’ and translation
- Samizdat and translation
- influence of translation in exile on canon formation
- postcolonial studies in relation to translation and exile
- imagology and translation in exile
- translation, censorship and persecution
- exile journals as media establishing a critical counter-hegemony of literary texts and their translations
- self-translation and the question of exiled authors writing in adopted languages
- the role of remigrés in the post-World War II professionalization of the translator

300 word abstracts and a 100 word bio should be submitted by January 15, 2015. Please send your abstracts and bios to Graduate students are also welcome to submit their proposals and participate in the conference.

Please note there will be a conference fee of 100 Euro.

The language of the conference is English, but other languages (French, German, Portuguese and Spanish) will be considered. A publication of the proceedings with selected contributions is planned.

To read the full text of the call for paper please click here

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trilinguisme et autotraduction

May Telmissany is giving a talk with the title "Trilinguisme et autotraduction" at the University of Ottawa, Canaday on Monday, 3rd November 2014 at 5:30 pm (local 129 du pavillon des arts de l'Université d'Ottawa). Free entry.

Moving Bodies across Transland

Self-translation is the topic of two talks at the conference "Moving Bodies across Transland", taking place 30-31.10.2014 at the University of Lissabon.

  • Alexandra Lopes (Catholic University of Portugal): Ilse Losa translates back. Notes on migration & self-translation
  • Nout Van Den Neste (CEC, University of Lisbon) The refusal of cultural memory in Ruth Klüger’s Weiter leben. Eine Jugend (1992) and Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered (2001)
To see the full program, please click here.

Literature and Global Culture: The Voice of the Translator

The conference Literature and Global Culture: The Voice of the Translator taking place January 23-24,2015 at the University of California, Santa Barbara will have on session on Saturday dedicated to "Collaborative and Self-Translation: Authors as Translators, Translators as Authors". Also the self-translator Ngugi Wa Thiong’o has been invited as plenary speaker.

For more information please click here.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Appel à contributions – “Figures du traducteur/de la traductrice”

Pour son deuxième numéro (juin 2015), la revue Convergences francophones (ISSN 2291-7012) recherche des articles portant sur le thème suivant : Figures du traducteur/de la traductrice.

Il s’agira d’interroger dans une perspective diachronique les représentations du traducteur/ de la traductrice émanant au niveau social mais aussi personnel ainsi que leurs conséquences :

  • Comment le traducteur/la traductrice et son activité sont-ils perçus ? 
  • Comment se perçoit-il lui-même ? 
  • Comment la propre perception du traducteur joue-t-elle sur la traduction ? 
  • Qu’en est-il de l’autotraduction où la séparation traducteur/auteur est plus que jamais remise en question? 
  • Quels peuvent être les effets d’un discours social ou épitextuel sur le traducteur et son activité ? 

Domaines envisagés : traduction littéraire, traduction audiovisuelle, traduction technique, autotraduction.

Les propositions ne devront pas dépasser 300 mots et doivent être envoyées à Antoine Eche ( et Justine Huet ( Leurs auteurs enverront également une brève notice bio-bibliographique.

  • Date limite de soumission des propositions : 24 octobre 2014
  • Notification des propositions retenues : 14 novembre 2014 
  • Date limite de soumission des articles retenus : 30 janvier 2015 

Les articles soumis seront ensuite évalués par deux membres du comité de lecture ou spécialistes sollicités pour l’occasion. Convergences francophones ( est une revue semestrielle, pluridisciplinaire, en libre accès.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Update Bibliography

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated. To download the pdf file please click here.
The next update is scheduled for January 2015.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Jon Gower on translating his novel Dala’r Llanw / Uncharted

Jon Gower is a Welsh autor who has self-translated his novel Dala’r Llanw (2009) into English as Uncharted (2010) In an essay and an interview he reflects upon his experience, in which he also chose to alter the ending of the novel:

"I usually try to write prose that has a melody and found writing the English translation difficult at first as I was trying to impose the Welsh "music" on the English version, that is until I decided to go with the English music. Adapting the book also gave me a chance to winnow out some weaknesses, and to alter the ending." (interview AmeriCymru)

Continue to read:
Jon Gower: The dynamism of switching between languages
AmeriCymru (2010): An Interview with Welsh Author - Jon Gower

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tradução em revista: Special issue on self-translation

Tradução em revista: Special issue on self-translation edited by Maria Alice Antunes and Rainier Grutman has just been published!

Content overview:

All articles are available as pdf files on the website of the journal. I have provided the link to each article.

Access to the journal: Please click here.
Abstracts of the articles: Please click here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Update Bibliography on self-translation

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated. To access the pdf-file, please click here.
The next update is scheduled for October 1, 2014.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Alexakis at the Festival Vo-Vf

The festival Vo-Vf La Parole aux Traducteurs will take place from 10 to 12 october 2014 in Gif-Sur-Yvette, France. On Sunday afternoon Vassilis Alexakis will talk about his self-translations:
14h - 15h15 Carte blanche à la Bulac
Conférence animée par Clotilde Monteiro sur l'autodraduction, avec l'écrivain Vassilis Alexakis dont l'œuvre, dans ses versions grecque et française, est présente dans les collections de la BULAC. Grand habitué des aller-retours entre le grec et le français, cetaficionado s'est mis un jour en tête d'apprendre une troisième langue, le sango. Vassilis Alexakis qui se définit comme Grec par ses parents et Français par ses enfants a aussi coutume de dire « j'ai une langue pour rire qui est le français, une langue pour pleurer qui est le grec et une troisième le sango, l'idiome de la république centrafricaine, pour jouer ». Comme d'autres noms prestigieux avant lui, tels que James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, Julien Green ou Samuel Beckett, Vassilis Alexakis a fait le choix de l'auto-traduction, un exercice qu'il considère comme faisant partie intégrante de son travail d'écriture. Au cours de cette rencontre, il lèvera le voile sur sa pratique de la traduction tout en abordant une question essentielle à ses yeux : « Y a-t-il une vie en dehors du roman ? ».
To see the full programm and for more information on the festival, please click here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Doireann Ní Ghríofa: "My translation process went from exhausting and difficult to exciting and nourishing."

The Colony Literary Magazine conducted a very interesting interview with the poet Doireann Ní Ghríof (*1981), who writes in both Irish and English. She talks about language choice, translation strategies and how her approach to self-translation has changed over the years.

To read the full interview please click here. You can also read a couple of her poems in both languages.

Cfp: Tracing Self-Translation : discursive perspectives in context

This is a call for paper for panel 11 at the IATIS Belo Horizonte Conference. The panel is being organized by Maud Gonne, Klaartje Merrigan, Reine Meylaerts and Katarzyna Szymanska.

Deadline for abstracts: 1st August 2014

Once known as a marginal field of study, self-translation has recently attracted a considerable amount of scholarly interest. Current theories vacillate between opposing understandings of self-translation, depending on whether the focal point consists of the self-translator as a unique, 'privileged agent of transfer' (Tanqueiro 1999), or of the self-translated text as the result of an act of re-writing, and thus essentially no different from any other text that is reshaped or 'fragmented' in view of a new readership (Lefevere 1992, Bassnett 2013). The focus on the agency of the self-translator has led to passionate pleas to 'move beyond Beckett' in order to place reflections on self-translation in a broader sociological framework of a competing world system of languages (Grutman 2013). Theoretical reflections on the self-translated text have, in turn, defined the latter as a complex cultural artifact which constantly questions binary oppositions underlying key-concepts of translation studies (Cordingley 2013).
Nevertheless, current approaches tend to neglect the specificity of the self-translation process, which implies a cross-fertilization between writing, translating, reading and often re-writing between languages as well as an act of world-construction across languages. While self-translators are often exceptional 'cultural brokers', they are also the creators of complex literary scenographies, which necessarily bear the traces of the multilingual enunciative conditions out of which they emerge. By focusing on literary scenographies, this panel aims to extend current research on bilingualism within linguistic theories of discourse by reflecting on the ramifications of the 'bilingual condition' on the literary discourse of self-translating authors. The term scenography, as introduced by Maingueneau (2004) refers here to the narrative scene constructed in a fictional text, which reflects and legitimate the genre in which it partakes and in turn influences the 'image' of the author perceived as the creator of that particular scenography. In the case of literary self-translation, we believe these scenographies need to be linked to (i) the specific language(s) in which they are written and (ii) the complex author-translator status of the writer who created them.
The purpose of this panel is therefore to study self-translation as both a translational and literary activity, with highly complex modes of interaction which can be traced discursively. Concretely, we aim to (1)open up new methodological questions on how translation strategies between versions can be linked to narrative and/or discursive structures which concur across versions (2)study the continuities (and not only the dissimilarities) between versions and analyze how these deepen or problematize the relationship between a given literary scenography and its double context of reception.

Possible research questions are:
- Are there recurring topoi, stereotypes, discursive strategies within the self-translated text/discourse? What kind of discursive 'traces' (narration, voice, time, space, ...) emerge out of the conditions from which self-translators write?
- Is it possible to speak of a self-translating 'ethos', at once inscribing itself in authorial and translational discourses?
- To what extend does self-translation constitute a meta-literary or meta-translational practice? Can it be analyzed as the (self-)translator's comment on either the original or translation process?

Timeline for submission within a panel:
By 1st August 2014: Deadline for submissions of abstracts
By 25th October 2014: notification of acceptance of abstracts

For more information and for the modalities of submission, please click here.

New book on self-translation: Brodsky translating Brodsky

Bloomsbury has published Brodsky translating Brodsky. Poetry in Self-translation by Alexandra Berlina.
For more information on the book please click here. The book contains a foreword by the poet and translator Robert Chandler.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

7th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics, 7-10 July 2014, Athens, Greece

Self-translation will be a topic at the 7th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics, taking place from 7-10 July 2014, Athens, Greece.

Yu-Fen Tai, Assistant Professor, Tamkang University, Taiwan:Rewriting or Creation: Self-Translation of Eileen Chang´s the Rice Sprout Song

For more information on the conference, please click here.

3rd International Conference on Itineraries in Translation History

Self-translation was a topic at the 3rd International Conference on Itineraries in Translation History, which took place June 13-14, 2014 at the University of Tartu, Estonia. 

Janika Päll: The role of translation and self-translation in Early Modern society: the examples from Estonia and Livonia in the context of European learned practice 

The paper consists of three parts: at first it presents the main contexts and uses of translating in the publications from Tartu, Riga (and Tallinn) from the 17th century; secondly it turns its attention to one specific translation type, namely the phenomenon of self-translation (author’s own translation of his/her works) both regarding its contemporary roles and practices and the difference of this practice in early modern society. The third part consists of the discussion of some examples of poems, presented in two languages (Latin and Humanist Greek) by Martinus Herzog, Reinerus Brockmann and Martinus Henschelius (in comparison to European practice, e.g. by F.Virdungus), as well as a treatise on rhetoric by J.Witte and M.Heno, which appeared both in Tartu (in Latin) and Riga (in German). Finally some conclusions will be drawn on the general practice, firstly regarding the role of multi-language texts in society, as well as the reasons of occasional preference of translating the texts into ancient and not vernacular languages.

For more information on the conference, please click here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New book on self-translation

Josep Miquel Ramis has published a book on self-translation in Catalan with the title Autotraducció. De la teoria a la pràctica. You can read an extract here. For more information on the book please click here.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Interview with Syed Manzoorul Islam (World Literature Today)

The current issue of the fantastic journal World Literature Today includes an interview with Syed Manzoorul Islam, a Bengali author who writes in both English and Bengali. He has self-translated his short stories from Bengali, published in English as The Merman's Prayer and Other Stories. Dhaka, Bangladesh. Daily Star Books. 2013.

Rifat Munim and Syed Manzoorul Islam
"The author as self-translator. A conversation with Syed Manzoorul Islam".
World Literature Today Vol. 88, No. 3-4 (May/August 2014), pp. 66-68

A review of the short story collection, can be read here.

Annual Conference Canadian Association for Translation Studies

Self-translation will be a topic at the 27th Conference Canadian Association for Translation Studies taking place in Ontario, 26-28 May 2014.

10 h 30 – 12 h 00 (Salle/Room Plaza-500-A)
Président / Chair : Nayelli Castro

FOGLIA, C. : « Nos racines sont nos antennes » : Marco Micone et la cosmopolitisation intérieure des immobiles.
VAN BOLDEREN, T. : Self-Translation in Canada: A Preliminary Prosopography

FOGLIA, Cecilia «Nos racines sont nos antennes»:
Marco Micone et la cosmopolitisation intérieure des immobiles. L'installation dans le pays d'accueil ne se solde pas obligatoirement par un oubli de leur terre d'origine, mais peut entraîner un enracinement physique contrebalancé par un retour mental et volontaire au pays natal. Ce cosmopolitisme, ayant à la fois des ailes et des racines, reflète la condition de certains migrants tels que Marco Micone, qui n'ayant que leurs bras à vendre, se métamorphosent en artistes transfrontaliers dont l'art consiste à défier les frontières visibles et invisibles, à les franchir, les utiliser, les contourner. Dans cette communication nous explorerons le potentiel créatif de cet écrivain issu de la migration et, par l'adoption d'une perspective cosmopolite inspirée principalement du sociologue allemand Ulrich Beck, nous analyserons comment Micone a produit des espaces littéraires hétérotopiques. Immobile physiquement, mais muni d'antennes syntonisant toujours les fréquences italiennes, Micone écrit et traduit pour la scène ce cosmopolitisme qui le traverse, le déchire et le fait renaître en même temps.

VAN BOLDEREN, Trish Self-Translation in Canada: A Preliminar Prosopography
In this conference paper, Ipresent a prosopography of self-translators in Canada. After briefly contextualizing self-translation research in order to expose certain gaps, I define prosopography and discuss its merits for examining large groups of people from an historical perspective. Subsequently, I outline my methodology for this research. On the one hand, how has "self-translation in Canada" been defined? And how have the self-translators included in the study been identified? On the other hand, what specific data has been collected?Why have these variables (and not others) been selected? And what methods have been used for gathering these data?I then discuss the results of the research, in terms of observable patterns and their broader implications for self-translation research, both within and outside of Canada. Finally, I reflect on the methodological value (benefits, drawbacks) of prosopography.

Program available under: f
All abstracts available under:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Between Policies and Poetics: Itineraries in Translation History

Self-translation will be a topic at the conference Between Policies and Poetics: Itineraries in Translation History, taking place at the University of Tartu Centre for Translation Studies and Tallinn University, 13.-14.06.14.

Friday 13.06.14 at 11 am:
Janika Päll:  The role of translation and self-translation in Early Modern Society: the examples from Estonia and Livonia in the context of European learned practice.

The preliminary conference programme is available here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Translation in Russian Contexts

Self-translation will be a topic at the international conference Translation in Russian Contexts: Transcultural, Translingual and Transdisciplinary Points of Departure taking place at the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies Uppsala University, Sweden 3-7 June 2014.

Wednesday, June 4
  • 13.30-14.30    Keynote address: Beyond Nabokov and Brodsky: Russian Self-Translation in the 21st Century by Adrian Wanner
Thursday, June 5
  • 14.00-15.30 Panel VIII: Translingualism, Self-Translation and Collaboration

Friday, April 18, 2014

Self-translation in Essays – Vilém Flusser in Brazil

Manuela Fantinato will give a talk about Vilém Flusser at the conference Key Cultural Texts in Translation taking place on April 29th and 30th, 2014 at the Research Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies University of Leicester.

Here is the abstract of her talk:
Exile – forced or voluntary – has a major importance in contemporary history. This is evidenced by the massive expulsion of Jews from Nazi Germany, Soviet Pogroms, the decolonization of Africa and the recent Middle East wars. The process of migration has been equally affecting the five continents, promoting political, social or even philosophical consequences. It is estimated that the majority of Germans and Austrians who escaped the World War II have chosen the Americas as their new home.
Among them, many artists and intellectuals, such as Hannah Arendt, Edward Said, or Mira Schendel. These “refugees” have deeply influenced the new countries’ cultural life. Most of them wrote about their experiences, especially in regards to the cultural exchanges they have experienced. Many times, giving us a unique perspective on our culture, environment and people. This is the case of Vilém Flusser, who went to Brazil after spending one year in England running away from Nazi threat in Czechoslovakia. After years of struggle, he became an important writer and professor in Brazil, and ended up his life in Europe as a worldwide known philosopher that used to write and translate himself for the four languages that he was versed on. Writing was his way of overcoming his condition of strangeness, especially through the form of essay and self-translation. This presentation aims to reflect on his life and work, and how it unveils layers of cultures in translation.

For more information please click here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Strindberg à la conquête de la France. L'auto-traduction française du Père.

Giuliano D’Amico (Volda, Norvège) will give a talk about the French self-translation of the play Fadren by Strindberg at the University of Strasbourg, France on 17th April 2014 at 6pm.

Place: Université de Strasbourg, Le Patio, s.4307.

For more information, please click here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Update Bibliography on self-translation

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated. To access the pdf-file, please click here.
The next update is scheduled for July 1, 2014.

Conference: Entre liberté et contrainte : La traduction et la question du choix

Self-translation will be a topic of several talks at the conference Entre liberté et contrainte : La traduction et la question du choix taking place in Paris, France, 25-26 April 2014. To see the full programm: Please click here.

25. April
11.30-12.00 Olga ANOKHINA (ITEM) : Traductions vers l’anglais et le français de Vladimir Nabokov : traduction ou auto-traduction ?
Après avoir présenté rapidement la typologie des pratiques scripturaires des écrivains plurilingues, nous nous arrêterons sur l’autotraductionque nous considérons comme l’écriture consécutive, par opposition avec l’écriture parallèle, le code switchingou encore la séparation fonctionnelle des langues, stratégies créatives que nous avons pu observer dans le processus d’écriture de ces écrivains. L’autotraductionpermet à l’écrivain de prolonger le travail d’écriture, en créant un continuum créatif grâce au passage à une autre langue. En nous appuyant sur le cas de Vladimir Nabokov, qui avait pour l’habitude de superviser la traduction de ses œuvres du russe vers l’anglais et vers le français, nous interrogerons la frontière difficile à déterminer entre l’autotraduction et la traduction.

15.00-15.30 Rainier GRUTMAN (Université d’Ottawa): Autotraduction et génétique. Regards croisés
Dans cette communication, nous voudrions continuer le dialogue, récemment entamé ici même à l’Institut des Textes et Manuscrits par différents membres de l’équipe « Multilinguisme, traduction, création » (Olga Anokhina, Chiara Montini), entre l’étude génétique des textes et l’autotraduction comme objet d’étude. Après avoir examiné la nature spécifique de la contribution que peut faire l’approche génétique à l’étude du processus autotraductif (direction, part de cotraduction, augmentation/effacement de l’hétérolinguisme etc.), nous nous arrêterons à l’energeiapropre à l’autotraduction comme réécriture et comme chaîne (inter)textuelle, dynamique qui permet de faire un retour sur la notion d’inachèvement (fondamentale dans la philosophie sous-tendant les travaux génétiques).

26. April
12.00-12.30 Dirk Van HULLE (Université d’Anvers) : Twin Geneses: Hesitation, Decision Making and Creative Undoing in Beckett’s Selftranslations
Making use of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project’s first two modules (Beckett’s L’Innommable / The Unnamableand his last works;, the paper explores the exo-, endo- and epigenesis of Beckett’s bilingual works, paying special attention to moments of doubt and decision making in the translation process, as manifested in traces of creative undoing (cancellations, omissions, cuts, revisions). The awareness of manuscripts’ intellectual value culminates in the work of twentieth-century authors such as Samuel Beckett, who presented a new image of writers who fumble for words and therefore keep looking for them. This notion of continuous incompletion becomes even more striking if the genesis continues after publication, e.g. in the form of self-translation. A particularly interesting facet of genetic translation studies is the process of linguistic decision-making. The special case of Samuel Beckett’s works, however, forces us to also take into account the notion of ‘indecision-making’ and to investigate its interpretative relevance. The paper suggests a cognitive approach to genetic translation studies, to examine the role of hesitations and cancellations in enactive cognition on the basis of notebooks and drafts; and to explore the ways in which (and to what extent) this process of cognition can be made accessible to students and researchers in the form of a digital genetic edition.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Call for abstracts: Self-Translation as Transfer of Knowledge

Call for Abstracts: Self-Translation as Transfer of Knowledge
Conference in Berlin, Germany, 27.11.2014.
Deadline: March 31, 2014

As today’s knowledge society grows increasingly international—both in terms of medial acceleration and global networks—it demands more and more language skills from its actors. Quite often scholars and scientists completely or partially translate their own texts from one language into another. Given the practical implications of these developments, the time has come to reflect on their methodological and historical significance, and this is precisely the aim of the workshop »Self-Translation as Transfer of Knowledge.«
At the workshop, participants will present case studies on individual authors/translators. Specific attention should be given to the historically variable status of scientific and scholarly authorship and to the transitions between self-translations and non-authorial, external translations (e.g., ›assisted‹ self-translations). We have already accepted papers on Carl von Linné, Wilhelm and Alexander von Humboldt, Hannah Arendt, Kurt Goldstein, and Wolfgang Iser. We look forward to expanding this list with additional contributions.

The workshop will examine the following systematic aspects of self-translation:
  • What pragmatic conditions lead to the production of self-translations? (Changes in the prestige of scientific idioms; changes of addressees, e.g., for the purpose of popularization; shifts in other scientific cultures due to exile/emigration; etc.)
  • How are self-translations being received and commented upon within scientific communities in different cultures?
  • What semantic, terminological, and structural qualities do the respective self-translations have? Have the original texts been radically changed, maybe even completely reworked?
  • What kind of reflection on language arises from self-translations?
  • What concepts are suitable for this field of research? Currently in translation studies, we find terms such as equivalence, imitation, representation, appropriation, assimilation, adaptation, amplification, substitution, transformation, interpretation, intention, inculturation, acculturation, compensation, as well as metaphors such as alienation (with regard to the source language) vs. naturalization (with regard to the target language), freedom, service, fidelity, and refashioning. At the workshop, we would like to test and discuss the interpretive capacity of these and other terms.
Conference languages are English and German. Presentations should not exceed 30 minutes.
Please send your abstracts (max. 500 words) by March 31, 2014 to Stefan Willer (

To read the full call for abstracts, please click here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Second call for papers: Self-Translation and Power: Negotiating Identities in European Multilingual Contexts

Self-Translation and Power: Negotiating Identities in European Multilingual Contexts

Dr Olga Castro, Aston University, Birmingham –
Dr Sergi Mainer, the University of Edinburgh –
Dr Svetlana Skomorokhova, the University of Warwick –

The question of power has been central in the development of Translation Studies as a discipline in the last few decades. Edited collections such as Translation, Power, Subversion (Álvarez and Vidal 1996) or Translation and Power (Tymoczko and Gentzler 2002), published in the wake of the cultural/ideological turn, put the word ‘power’ in the axis of debate in Translation Studies. Ever since, the symbiosis between ‘power’ and translation has yielded fruitful academic outcomes.
When focusing on the topic of self-translation, the growing scholarly attention it has received in the last few years also proves its dynamism, strength and potential for further research. Different conferences have recently taken place in Europe (Barcelona, Pescara, Bologna, Perpignan, Cork) and a number of special issues and collections of articles have been published focusing mainly on the Iberian Peninsula and touching upon power relations and the specificities of self-translation.
The forthcoming collection of essays Self-Translation and Power: Negotiating Identities in European Multilingual Contexts seeks to contribute to current debates on self-translation by placing an emphasis on the role of power within it and by opening new avenues of enquiry to encompass different milieus in Europe. Multilingual situations in Europe offer a prolific intercultural and intracultural context to examine power relations with regards to the political, social, cultural and economic implications and consequences of self-translation. Indeed, the interactions between official state languages and both non-state official and unofficial languages tend to generate a series of cultural and linguistic tensions affecting the notions of hegemony, resistance, dominance, subversion and (inter-)dependency between literary polysystems. Given their double affiliation as authors and translators, self-translators are placed in a privileged position to problematize power and to scrutinise minorized/peripheral and hegemonic/central cultural identities. Self-Translation and Power: Negotiating Identities in European Multilingual Contexts aims to explore the self-translators’ powerful role as cultural and ideological mediators between languages and literatures of disparate status in Europe from interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches.
The volume pursues a balance between theoretical/methodological chapters and empirical chapters focused on contextualised case studies.

Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Power relations between translations and self-translations
  • Self-translator as an Empowered Translator 
  • Conflicting ideologies in self-translation  
  • (In)visibility in self-translation
  • Language politics: diglossia, bilingualism, multilingualism 
  • Language and cultural planning 
  • The book market and reception 
  • Cultural mediation 
  • National/territorial identities 
  • Hegemony and resistance 
  • Self-Translation as rewriting 
  • Authorial voice/intervention/representation

NEW DEADLINE - All potential contributors are requested to send in a detailed summary of their proposed paper by 15 March 2014 to the editors.


  • Title of the article
  • Author’s name, affiliation, e-mail
  • Proposal of 500 words, including:
    • the description of the proposed article
    • the ways in which it fits with the general aim of the edited collection.
  • Keywords
  • Short biographical statement (approx. 150 words)
  • Times New Roman, 12 pt, single space

The language of the publication is English.


  • Deadline for submitting proposals: 15 March 2014
  • Notifications of provisional acceptance will be sent by: 15 April 2014
  • Deadline for submitting full articles: 15 December 2014

Please email enquiries to the editors. See contact details above.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Interview Rolando Hinojosa-Smith

Novelist and bilingual self-translator Rolando Hinojosa-Smith has recently been interviewed by Gábor Tillman. Rolando Hinojosa-Smith talks about his first self-translation experience, the reasons for not self-translating his English work into Spanish and the adopted translation strategies in his self-translations from Spanish to English:
"Whenever I’m to translate from Spanish to English, I always stop to think of the what but, just as importantly, of the how I’m going to translate what is said by the characters or what is in the narration.[...] I think it’s a rendition more than a translation, but there is translation, of course. So, it’s a rendering of a society, a linguistic sect with another society (English-Spanish/Spanish-English). It’s presenting two societies who live in close, at times, intimate proximity." 
The interview has been published in the journal Americana in Spring 2013 and is available online.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Update Bibliography on Self-translation

The bibliography on self-translation has been updated. To access the pdf-file, please click here.
The next update is scheduled for April 1, 2014.