CFP: Translation into Theatre and the Social Sciences

Translation into Theatre and the Social Sciences

16th-17th June 2017

University of Oxford, St Hilda’s College/ Faculty of Classics

Keynote speakers:

Carole-Anne Upton (Middlesex University London)

Margherita Laera (University of Kent)

Lorna Hardwick (The Open University)

Liliane Campos (Université Paris Sorbonne-Nouvelle)

The poetics of theatre translation and adaptation is often dependent on the intimate knowledge of the expectations of the target audience. Understanding the evolution of theatre translations, the success or failure of some productions or texts requires a full understanding of the social context, and should therefore not be limited to a textual study alone.

In our current world, where individual countries are becoming more and more multicultural within themselves, understanding the societal implications of cultural exchanges becomes ever more complex and fundamental. Although one tends to rely primarily on the social sciences to reflect on society thanks to their quantitative and empirical investigations, the aim of this conference is to show that the theory and practice of theatre translation can significantly benefit our understanding.

In turn, we hope to see how the field of theatre translation can benefit from the methodologies of social sciences. In recent decades, the concepts and methodologies of theatre translation have recurrently been questioned. For instance, the popular terms ‘performability’ and ‘speakability’, conveniently used to describe a poetics of reception and often criticised for their lack of theoretical framework, could be conceptualised further in light of these new tools.

Focus of scholarship on theatre translation has recently departed from the European-American sphere and developed a welcome extension into new geographical spaces. It is, therefore, all the more necessary to incorporate an input from the social sciences (anthropology, ethnography, sociology, history, politics, international relations etc.) into the discussion.

A particular focus will be given to stage performance, from the point of view of both the performers and the audience. Because performances tend to be historically and culturally-rooted, translations in performance bring practical insights into the target society. The recent thriving interest in performance of Latin and Greek plays, which obeyed radically different cultural codes to ours, could be of particular relevance to this conference.

Proposals from across humanities and social sciences are welcome. Papers should be 20 minutes long, and potential speakers are very welcome to propose a case study which may be open to new possible theorisations in the field of Translation Studies. They may want to consider the following themes, but need not treat the list as prescriptive or final:

Links between theatre translations/adaptations and shaping identities as a social group

          Relevance of quantitative research and theatre translation

          Lines of connections between theatre anthropology and theatre translation

          Translating ideology and political resonances

          Theatre translation as a political/social engagement

          Theatre translation and the history and theory of international relations

          Staging intercultural translations

          Rehearsal ethnography

          Theatre translation and sociolinguistics

          Multilingualism

          Theatre translation and comparative cultural studies

          Theatre translation and modern economics

          Theatre translation in history

          Cultural/social determinism in theatre translation

          Promotion of endangered cultures/social minorities through theatre translations

Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief biography to
oxfordtheatretranslation@gmail.com before the 9th April 2017.