We are pleased to invite proposals to the I International Conference The (politics of) translation (of politics), to be held at the University of the Balearic Islands, Palma (Spain), 27th -28th June, 2016.
The concept of ideology has been central in Translation Studies, both from a theoretical standpoint (Tymoczko & Gentzler 2002; Baker 2006) and from more practical perspectives (Salama-Carr 2007). Ideology permeates through all forms of linguistic transformation, from AVT to literary translation. This conference would specifically address the connections between politics and translation throughout history, covering textual aspects, but paying particular attention to contextual factors. Thus, contributors will be encouraged to explore what was/is translated, why was/is translated, where and when the translations were/are carried out and who was/is commissioned to perform the task. As recent publications have shown (Valdeón 2014; Wolf 2015), (non-)translation was a key element in the construction of empires. During the early modern period, for instance, English ideologues translated Spanish chronicles into English to promote an English empire in the Americas. However, original English texts were less popular and fewer translations into other languages seem to have been carried out (Mackenthun 1997). This conference aims to delve into the reasons why some texts were translated while others were not: what were the political motivations behind these translations? Were they successful? Were they promoted by the political powers of the time or were they personal endeavours aimed at encouraging the monarchies to address the problems in the colonies? Communications could explore the role of translation in the consolidation of, for example, the Spanish, Austrian and English empires in Europe and the Americas, as well as in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, from the early modern period until the twentieth century. Comunications examining the role of translation in the expansion of other empires are particularly welcome.
In the 21st century, translation continues to play a key role in a globalized world where information is selected and manipulated by media corporations with a strong Anglophone bias, and where domestic news outlets select the information based on corporate interests. International news media use material produced by American and British agencies where the language of communication is English (Bielsa & Bassnett 2009), which shapes both the target languages and the content. Additionally, Anglophone politicians and economists occupy central positions in international digital newspapers (i. e. Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman) as their views are translated into a myriad of languages. Again contributors will be encouraged to explore the questions mentioned above in order to better understand how global corporations and governments impose their political principles upon a majority of citizens worldwide.
Organisers: Caterina Calafat, UIB and Roberto Valdeón, UNIOVI
Contemplant la badia de Pollença des des Castellet a cala Murta, Formentor, 2013. © foto: Gabriel Lacomba.