Category Archives: Calls for Papers

Normativity and Resilience in Translation and Culture-conference, May 27-29 2019 in Warsaw

Normativity and Resilience in Translation and Culture

University of Warsaw
12-13 April 2019

Norms can be broadly defined as some kind of protection from change, a prescribed standard whose violation involves distortion and deformation, a transformation into something which the normal thing is not. Though derived from carpentry, the art of construction of rigid objects (norma is the Latin word for carpenter’s square), normativity has become a measure of things more evanescent than furniture – of ethical, social, aesthetic or political judgements, of certain cultural norms which may seem to be universal only given that they survive the test of being transferred, or translated, to other cultures. If, as Yuri Lotman noted in his Universe of the Mind (1990), “the elementary act of thinking is translation” (143), then translation can be viewed as a crucial activity involved in the formation of cultures along with their concepts, conceptualizations and norms. However, since translation, as a kind of dialogue, is inevitably asymmetrical and assumes only “a degree invariancy” (143), this degree seems to be an effect of culture’s resilience to the inadequacy and change involved in any kind of translation. Paradoxically, it is the change, the rupturing of the norm in and through translation which is a constitutive element of normativity. This “rupturing of the norm,” wrote Lotman, “is what builds up the image of the truly essential but unrealized norm” (90). Thus normativity is both a matter of representation and something which may be called a feature of the world, the latter possibility figuring as an unrealizable effect of broadly understood translation which simultaneously protects and disrupts it. Looking at the ideas of norm and normativity in culture in the context of translation we would like to think about various locations of what may be called normative ‘ought’ statements, sometimes implicitly dictating our choices of words and ideas; the quiet demands of discourse to a force to be reckoned within the realm of hegemonic ethics of and truths about the self” (53). One of the tasks of the conference is to attempt, at least provisionally, to locate the whereabouts of such ‘ought’ statements, the teachings of imaginary security and certainty consisting in the ability of jumping into prior shape.
We invite papers and presentations approaching the issues of translation, normativity and resilience from possibly broadest theoretical and methodological perspectives such as Translation Studies, Linguistics, Literary Criticism, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, Feminist and Gender Studies, Queer Theory, Philosophy, Sociology, History of Ideas, Colonial and Postcolonial Studies …, realizing that a strictly single-disciplinary approach is nowadays hardly thinkable. We suggest the following, broad, thematic suggestions as a map showing a few orientation points of the conference:
retain norms despite various perturbations. The ‘ought’ statements of normativity, of retaining the norm, seem to be an important aspect of management of resistance whose significant function is, as Judith Butler claims in Vulnerability in Resistance, concealment of destitution (8). The ‘ought’ of resilience has become not only the desired good of neoliberalism, but also, as she puts it, “resilience as adaptation norm and nature normativity and originality normativity and creativity normalcy and creativity normative translation normativity and ethics norm and its others language of the norm normativity and meaning limits of normativity normal / accepted
rules / norms / idiosyncrasy
rules / norms / transgressions adherence / infringement / violation resilience / conformity
resilience / immunity
resilience vs. resistance
normative modification resilience and standardization resilience and empowerment resilience and retaliation
norm as domination
resilience and change prescriptive vs. normative normality and monstrosity resilience and adaptability resilience and plasticity resilience as vulnerability uncertainty and norm
control and resilience translation and adaptation translation and change cultures in translation resilience as recovery normativity, resilience, survival 

  • Keynote speakers:
    Professor Tomasz Basiuk, University of Warsaw Professor Luise von Flotow, University of Ottawa Professor David Malcolm, University of Gdansk
  • Proposals for 20-minute papers (ca 250 words) should be sent to by 10 March 2019. We also encourage panel proposals comprised of 3 to 4 papers, and an additional 100-150 words explaining how they are interlinked in addressing the panel theme.
  • Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 March 2019.
  • The deadline for registration and payment of the conference fee: 15 April 2019.
  • Participants will be invited to submit extended versions of their presentations to be published in an edited volume.

The conference fee is 590 PLN | 140 EUR | 160 USD for all participants.

Conference organizers: Dr. Agnieszka Pantuchowicz, Dr. Anna Warso, Dr. Paulina Grzęda

Conference website:


CFP: The Interpretation of Nizami’s Cultural Heritage in the Modern Period

The Interpretation of Nizami’s Cultural Heritage in the Modern Period, Nizami Ganjavi Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan, 13th March, 2018

The Nizami Ganjavi International is seeking paper, panel and roundtable proposals for an interdisciplinary conference to be held at the Nizami Ganjavi Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan on 13th March, 2018. We are looking for presentations within the broad topic of the interpretation of cultural heritage in the recent stage(s) of history based on the example of Nizami’s poetry. The topic encompasses questions of identity in cultural heritage: for example, the interaction of new identities with existing identities or the change in the parameters of identity over time – from the criterion of ethnicity to that of the state, from religion to language.

The conference aims to cover both theoretical and practical aspects of the topic, such as the criteria for the national attribution of literature and culture, irredentism, shared cultural past, and the aesthetics of Nizami’s poetry. We encourage consideration of irredenta within the literary-cultural framework rather than the political one, both from the point of view of the metropolis, and the peripheries, including in post-socialist countries, and Canadian Quebec, Belgium, from local and global perspectives. We welcome papers on all areas relevant to the topic, viewed through various spatial and temporal prisms, and from participants from different backgrounds, with special focus on the following topics:

Regional motifs, symbols in Nizami’s literary work (recycling cultures in literature, Khizr, the reversed love story of Shamash and Enkidu)
Ethical and philosophical values in Nizami’s literary heritage
Folklore elements and esoteric symbols; common elements and symbols
Islamic and regional elements
Nizami and his contemporaries
Nizami’s influence on modern literature (e.g. Ptisin’s “Khosrov and Shirin”, Khlebnikov’s “Medlum and Leyli”)
Collapsing countries, transitional periods and new approaches to cultural and national identity
Shared pasts, irredentism and new approaches to classical heritage
Splitting identities, migration and the rethinking of new identities
Established identities: between classical culture and folklore
Criteria for the identity of literary and cultural heritage
Interpretation and re-interpretation of the past based on the example of Nizami’s heritage
Paper proposals (no more than 150-word abstract for a paper to last 15 minutes, brief CV, contact information) should be sent by 18th December 2017 to:

Abstract deadline: 18th December 2017
Notification of acceptance: 25th December 2017
Deadline for full paper submission for conference: 15th January 2018
Conference Date: 13th March 2018  (arrival: 12th March 2018)

CFP: Balzac and England (Maison Française d’Oxford)

Balzac and England / Balzac et l’Angleterre, Maison Française d’Oxford

12th – 14th April 2018

Balzac’s is one of the world’s greatest authors. One of the main realms of his influence is Britain, in and through English, and the Anglophone world. This, the first ever conference on Balzac and ‘England’, organized at the Maison Française d’Oxford by the University of Oxford, the University of Birmingham and the Groupe d’Etudes balzaciennes, explores the nature of his engagement with Britain, but also of Britain, and of the world’s engagement with Balzac. Papers may cover, but are not limited to, a number of key themes: 1) The presence and influences of British thought and writers in and on Balzac: philosophy, politics, economics, law; Shakespeare, Milton, Sterne, Locke, Scott, Otway, Richardson, Byron, Adam Smith; 2) Britain and the British in and through La Comédie humaine and Balzac’s wider work: British characters, landscapes, politics, economy, mores; 3) British responses to Balzac in his own age: Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, Wilde, James; Permissiveness and Censorship; Nationalism and Morality; nineteenth-century reception and criticism of Balzac; translation, press, publishing and pedagogy; school and university editions). 4) The responses of posterity: Balzac criticism and creation in Britain; novelistic and non-novelistic and non-literary (artistic, musical, poetic, political) responses; theatre, film, TV, radio and Internet adaptation; Balzac criticism and theory; school and university syllabuses and teaching; press, publishing and translation; individual and series publications. 5) État présent and future perspectives: the Anglo-American critical tradition; English translation as a vector for world-wide appreciation, criticism and theory. In asking in relation to this greatest and most penetrating of novelists the trans-linguistic, trans-cultural question of what, precisely, yet diversely, Angleterre and ‘England’ might designate, the conference raises fundamental questions about identity, literary conception and nationality which led the nineteenth century, and may still yet shape the twenty-first.

Proposals for individual papers or panels (250 words maximum) should be sent as an e-mail attachment in Word, in English or French, to the conference organisers (Tim Farrant, University of Oxford; Owen Heathcote, University of Bradford; Michel Lichtlé, Université Paris IV Sorbonne; Nathalie Preiss, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne; and Andrew Watts, University of Birmingham) at The deadline for proposals is 10th November 2017.

Balzac et l’Angleterre, Maison Française d’Oxford

12 –14 avril 2018

La réputation de Balzac n’est bien sûr plus à faire. Si son influence mondiale est énorme, l’un de ses domaines majeurs est la Grande-Bretagne, par la présence des versions originales de ses œuvres, et par le biais de la traduction de ses œuvres en Anglais et leur dissémination à travers le monde anglophone. Le Groupe d’Etudes Balzaciennes propose maintenant en collaboration avec les Universités d’Oxford et de Birmingham le tout premier colloque sur « Balzac et l’Angleterre ». En réunissant des spécialistes français, britanniques, américains et mondiaux il se donne pour objet de considérer la nature de l’engagement de Balzac avec l’Angleterre, mais aussi de réfléchir sur l’identité de l’« Angleterre » et sur la nature des interférences entre l’Angleterre, la littérature anglophone et Balzac. Les communications pourront traiter, entre autres, les thèmes suivants : 1) Présence(s) et influence(s) sur Balzac de la pensée, de l’imaginaire (philosophique, politique, juridique, économique – voir A. Smith) et des écrivains britanniques (entre autres Shakespeare, Milton, Locke, Otway, Sterne, Richardson, Byron, Scott); 2) La Grande-Bretagne, l’Angleterre et les Anglais dans La Comédie humaine et les autres œuvres de Balzac (personnages, paysages, mœurs, langages) ; 3) réception britannique ou quasi britannique contemporaine de Balzac (Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, Wilde, James, Wharton…) ; permissivité et censure ; nationalisme et moralité ; réception et critique de Balzac au dix-neuvième siècle : traduction, presse, édition et pédagogie ; éditions scolaires et universitaires ; 4) Réponses et réception de la postérité : critique et création balzacienne en Angleterre ; réactions romanesques, littéraires et autres (artistiques, musicales, poétiques, politiques, Internet ; adaptations théâtrales, cinématographiques, télévisuelles, radiophoniques, nouveaux médias ; Balzac, critique et théorie ; cursus et programmes scolaires et universitaires ; presse, édition et traduction ; éditions individuelles et en série ; état présent et perspectives futures : la tradition critique anglo-américaine ; traductions anglaises comme vecteur de réception et d’appréciation, de la critique et de la théorie mondiale. En posant, à propos de ce romancier entre tous le plus grand et le plus pénétrant, la question translinguistique et transculturelle de savoir à quoi précisément pouvaient, peuvent et pourront renvoyer les termes « Angleterre », « England » et « Grande-Bretagne », il soulèvera des questions fondamentales sur l’identité, la conception et la création littéraire et sur la nationalité, questions qui ont conduit le dix-neuvième siècle et pourraient encore façonner la nôtre.

Les propositions (250 mots maximum) pour des interventions individuelles ou des séances entières sont à adresser par courriel, en anglais ou en français, au comité d’organisation (Tim Farrant, University of Oxford; Owen Heathcote, University of Bradford; Michel Lichtlé, Université Paris IV Sorbonne; Nathalie Preiss, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne; and Andrew Watts, University of Birmingham) avant le 10 novembre 2017 à l’adresse suivante :

CFP: Translating for the Stage: Translating on the Stage (Oxford)

Translating for the Stage: Translating on the Stage, Symposium: 13th January, Workshop: 11-13th January, University of Oxford, Maison Française

Special Guest: Catherine Hargreaves, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre, Lyon

The symposium will take place after a three-day practical workshop run by director, actor and translator Catherine Hargreaves, professor at ENSATT, France. Speakers are invited to register for the workshop in addition to the symposium if they wish (see description below).

Call for Papers

While the domestication of cultural references is often seen as crucial in theatre translation, pursuing efficacy in speeches is just as important: the translator needs to have an ear for the potential performance of the text and its ‘speakability’. The demands of the stage tend to cut short the ethical debates on the positioning of translation between source and target text, and justify the choice for adaptation rather than translation. Over the past decades, translators and critics have defended the need to test translations on the stage, and the cooperation between the different agents of the theatrical project – in other words, the interdependence between translation, adaptation and interpretation. Collaborative translation benefits the actor by alleviating their verbal obstacles (Johnston 2004), and the director by assisting them in the interpretation of the text, as well as its reception, favouring the clarity and credibility of the text (Peghinelli 2012).

Sometimes collaborative translation also benefits the translators themselves, as it elevates their subaltern status and gives them visibility (Fernandes 2010); or benefits the source text, as it helps to retain the effects produced by the original (Zatlin 2005). This practice also benefits theatre translation as a discipline, as it can open up several avenues of research. For example, because the idiom generally aspires to embrace the target culture’s sociolect in a given time and to be as efficient as possible, studying the history of all available translations prepared for performance of a particular play could bring some insights into the evolution of language usage and the norms of theatrical efficacy. Just as the practice and the study of stage-oriented translations have entailed the emergence of theatre anthropology as an almost autonomous area of research, such historical study has the potential to open up to theatre sociolinguistics as a new subfield of the discipline.

This study day may also focus on the flaws of collaborative translation, and aims to foster debate on the practice. First, collaborative translation relies heavily on the notions of ‘speakability’ and ‘performability’, which are still under-conceptualised and sometimes controversial. Second, the necessity and the legitimacy of collaborative translation and naturalistic-driven theatrical writings can legitimately be criticised.

While case studies are welcome, we will favour proposals that particularly contribute to the theoretical reflection on collaborative translation. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes and suggested themes are as follows (although this list is not prescriptive):

–  Mechanisms and purpose of collective translation

–      Politics of rehearsals: power struggle and visibility of the translator

–    Collective translation and commercial theatre

–    Ethical considerations

–    Social sciences: sociolinguistics, historiography, anthropology, rehearsal ethnography

–    Defining, pursuing or rejecting ‘speakability’

Please send your abstract or any questions to by 1st November 2017. The committee will review the abstracts in the following week.

The symposium will end with an open workshop in which speakers will be given the opportunity to join for free or to attend (knowledge of French not essential for this workshop), followed by a round table.


The workshop will explore the relationship between language and acting. How can the use of different languages influence an actor’s presence, develop his practical skills and sensitivities and modify meaning? What happens on stage when a same scene is played in different languages? Or in several languages at the same time?

After a series of exercises, designed to reveal how the rhythm and sound of a given language carry the history and cultural background of a society, the participants (theatre practitioners and literature students) will work on performing English and French versions of the same scenes and on improvisations linked to multilingual devised theatre. Time will be spent on analyzing the different performances and figuring out together if the stage can and/or should influence the translation of a play. The authors and translators of the plays will be invited to join the workshop.

The scenes will be taken from English and French contemporary plays. Knowledge of French is required to participate, but no theatre experience is required.

Lunches will be provided.

Registration for the workshop (11th-13th January, 10am – 4pm): £15

Registration for the symposium: (13th January): Free


Fernandes, Balduino Alinne Pires, ‘Between Words and Silences: Translating for the Stage and the Enlargement of Paradigms’, Scientia Traductionis, n° 7, 2010, 119-133.

Johnston, David, ‘Securing the Performability of the Play in Translation’, in Sabine Coelsch-Foisner and Holger Klein (eds),Drama Translation and Theatre Practice, Frankfurt, Peter Lang, 2004, 25-38.

Peghinelli, Andrea, ‘Theatre Translation as Collaboration: A Case in Point in British Contemporary Drama’, Journal for Communication and Culture 2, n° 1, 2012, 20-30.

Zatlin, Phyllis, Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner’s View, Clevedon, Multilingual Matters, 2005.

CFP: Decentering Commemorations (Nancy and Musée des Beaux-Arts)

Call for Papers: « Decentering Commemorations »  Literary, Cultural, Historical and Political Celebrations across and beyond the British Isles. Friday 20th October 2017 Campus LSH, Nancy and Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nancy

The year 2017-2018 marks multiple anniversaries that will be commemorated transnationally: the deaths of Mme de Staël and Jane Austen, the birth of Stanley Kubrick, the release of The Beatles album “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the end of World War One and the subsequent creation of new nation states, the Russian Revolution and the signing of the Maastricht Treaty.

Why and how will these literary figures, cultural productions and historical events be remembered/celebrated in individual countries and across Europe? In what ways and to what extent are these commemorations transferred from one cultural space to another across and beyond the British Isles? At a time of crisis concerning Europe’s identity and ideals, commemorations are not only intended as a nation-building process, they can also be appropriated by social or political groups. There is, indeed, a variety of actors at national, regional, and local levels, such as cultural institutions, museums, political parties and social media. The increasing mobility and instability in today’s world triggers off the opposite tendency of going back to one’s past, roots and heritage.

Governments and lobbies/corporations (such as Google) use landmarks to impose their readings of literary, cultural, and political history, while grassroots and communities gather together to organize their own celebrations or to celebrate differently and sometimes more informally and spontaneously (like Halloween, Woman’s Day, National Day, Labour Day, Earth Day).

Papers discussing the following topics from a theoretical or practical perspective are welcome:
-forms and modes of commemorating
-commemoration as an expression of soft power or a means of empowerment
-commemoration and technology (the choice imposed by search engines, social networks, e- media etc.)
-commemoration and cultural policies (celebrations through tourism, bilateral agreements, literary festivals etc.)
-commemoration and hyphenated/conflicting identities (bi-nationals, and “European nationals”) in the British Isles due to Devolution and Brexit
-posterity and literary canon (celebration of national and foreign authors)
-literary and visual adaptations
-publishing policies (book series, collected works, news items etc.)

Submission information: Proposals should not exceed 300 words (references excluded; 3 to 5 keywords and a short biography) and be submitted to by Sept, 3rd 2017.

You will find the relevant information about the Conference at the following website:

Organising Committee:
Antonella Braida-Laplace
Céline Sabiron 
Roseline Théron
Jeremy Tranmer