Alice Guthrie (2014 ALTA Fellow)

Alice GuthrieAlice Guthrie was unschooled as a child, growing up wild and free in a gentle rural backwater in the east of England, surrounded by books and stories and a creative family. At 14 she entered the state school system, another world entirely, where her previous intense love of sciences was efficiently banished from her system for a full twenty years. Her love of languages (she had been studying Latin at home, from some quaint 1950s workbooks, with lipsmacking enthusiasm and deep concentration, and had been exposed to plenty of French by her francophile mother) fared better, merely getting frozen for a couple of years. Despite the barren neo-Victorian paradigm of the conventional school system, and its innate dumbing down function, school was a fascinating and hugely important experience, as it exposed her to people from very different social contexts: her first real taste of the exotic Other, basically. From about the age of 15 she got increasingly excited about the prospect of travelling the world, and on leaving school at 18 she set off out into it, spending the next seven years supporting herself in all manner of amazing and so-called unskilled jobs in Greece, Ecuador, Spain, Morocco, France, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Birmingham and London (almost as different to the UK provinces as anywhere else on the list). Having grown up in a tiny village near a small town, cities have always fascinated her, along with urban slang and dialects – which she found herself learning along the way. It dawned on her, to her amazement, that she was a linguist: a humble but somehow huge revelation. Pretty much all aspects of foreign language have proved to be immensely nourishing, ever since.

She gradually became fluent in Spanish and French and began to pick up bits of Arabic – strongly drawn to its distinctive sounds and its rhythm, utterly vague about what might lie behind them culturally or indeed how difficult it might be to learn a new alphabet. At the age of 24, on realising that living abroad itself was no longer sufficiently stimulating, and feeling the need for a big new project, university education seemed the logical next step. Strangely, translation appealed even then: it seemed to have a unique glamour to it, and a nobility, that she has since learnt is only sensed by translators themselves and certainly not by the wider community! Having heard that Damascus was the best place to learn Arabic, and IFEAD the best institution teaching it anywhere in the world at that time, she managed to find a UK university that would send her there as part of her undergraduate degree, back in the blissful era before tuition fees changed the UK higher education landscape for good. Over the next eight years she wove that degree in and out of all sorts of other adventures and travails and travels – having doubled her mandatory year in Damascus, with her second year of studies at IFEAD funded by a notorious alcoholic lottery-winner from her hometown, having fallen in love with an Algerian and gone to live with his family for several months on the edge of the Sahara, having got drawn into remote travels in Canada and the Mid West – finally graduating in ‘Arabic with Translation’ at the ripe old age of 32.

By this time she was already working a little on commercial translations and some eccentric small literary projects. Since then she has gradually increased her literary and arts media translation from the Arabic, with the projects most dear to her heart being Syrian. Although it turned out that her original love for the sound of Arabic was based around the North African dialect – ringingly absent from the streets of Damascus – Syrian dialect has become one of her most central heartsongs, and attempting to carry that melody over into English has become her passion and her great privilege. Coming from an unconventional background, and from outside of the establishment, she is perhaps predictably hysterical about helping subaltern voices get amplified on the global literary stage. She’s looking forward to loads of intensity and inspiration at ALTA 2014, and is very chuffed indeed to have been selected as a Fellow.

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CFP: Nida School of Translation Studies

Call for participants:  The Nida School of Translation Studies 2014 Symposium
Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
ABS Board/Community Room
1865 Broadway at 61st St.
New York, NY

Please join us for two lectures:

1.  Translating Biblical Poetry: Ancient Hebrew Verse and the Constraints of English by Robert Alter (University of California Berkeley)
2. World Literature, National Markets by David Damrosch (Harvard University)

Adriane Leveen (Hebrew Union College) will respond to Robert Alter’s presentation and Lydia Liu (Columbia University) will respond to David Damrosch.

Conveners:  Stefano Arduini and Philip H. Towner, Co-Directors of the Nida School of Translation Studies
Registration fee: $25.00
Please register by Sept.5, 2014:

Please see attached .pdf for more information.  For questions, please contact James Maxey at

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CFP: NEMLA Translating the Past

Call for papers: New England Modern Languages Association 2015
NeMLA 2015
Toronto, ON, Canada; April 30-May 3, 2015)

Translating the Past: Studies in the Transmission of Literature Across Time and Space

The translation of non-contemporary literary texts highlights a number of difficulties that are distinct from the problems of translation of contemporary texts. This panel will explore cases in which the translation of a text is separated from the source text by significant amounts of time, whether significant for length or for historical events. The work of many translation studies scholars, following the lead of Gideon Toury and the descriptive turn, focuses on translation as a process and translations as cultural artifacts of the target, or receiving culture. This prompts a number of questions in regard to translations that are historically distant from their source texts. How does chronology affect the significance of these processes or artifacts? How does the translation of historical texts constitute a form of historiography? How are current practices of history reflected in translation? What is the cultural effect of layers of re-translations of a single text? Proposals are welcome that deal with modern or historical translations, so long as the object of translation is temporally (as well as linguistically) distant from the moment of translation. Preference will be given to proposals that situate their analysis within the framework of contemporary translation studies or that address particular aspects of current translation studies discourse.

Please feel free to distribute this CfP; apologies as always for duplicate postings.  For questions contact Anna Strowe

Anna Strowe
Lecturer in Translation and Interpreting Studies
The University of Manchester

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CFP: Translating Texts, Cultures, and Values


The international research network investigating English evaluative concepts in translated religious and devotional texts (an AHRC-funded project) is holding a research symposium “Translating Texts, Cultures and Values” on Thursday, 6th November 2014 at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

The topics we want to consider include but are not limited to:

•       Translation as reconceptualization
•       Translation as a means of mediation, negotiation, and contestation of cultural values
•       The centrality of values in translated ideological and persuasive discourse
•       The differences between languages and cultural traditions in the understanding of key evaluative concepts
•       Conceptual ethnocentrism manifested in translation
•       The challenges in negotiating English evaluative concepts (e.g. clarity, commitment, decency, fairness, humility, integrity, justice, etc.) in translation
•       Parallel and conflicting narratives in cross-cultural and cross-religious dialogue

Please send proposals for papers (up to 300 words) by 15 September 2014 to Piotr Blumczynski: p.blumczynski[at]

More information about the project and its research context:  For questios, please contact Piootr Blumczynski at

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CFP: Translating Brazil in the 21st Century

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of TTR (Canadian translation studies journal)
Topic: “Translating Brazil in the 21st Century”
Co-editors: Clara Foz. Associate Professor, School of Translation and Interpretation, University of Ottawa
Christopher Larkosh. Associate Professor of Portuguese, UMass Dartmouth (USA)

Submissions are requested for an upcoming Special Issue of TTR entitled Translating Brazil in the 21st Century.  This issue will include not only academic articles in translation studies, but also translations into French and/or English of key texts on translation from Brazil from Portuguese into French and/or English.

In recent years, interest in Brazilian literature and culture, the world’s largest Portuguese-speaking nation, has grown as its economy and political stature continue to assume ever greater importance on the world stage, both as one of the members of Mercosur and well as one of the emerging BRICS nations. Not only does Brazil’s 200 million Portuguese speakers make the language the 7th most widely spoken language in the world and the 3rd most popular language of the Internet, but also the most widely spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere. Moreover, as interest in South-South translational networks continues to grow, so does the importance of Brazil as a translational hub for re-imagining global transcultural flows at the start of the 21st century. Not only are Brazilian literature and cinema receiving increasing critical attention, both in the original and in translation, but also its status as a mass media powerhouse and the site of both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games will continue to put the international spotlight squarely upon Brazil and its globally translated culture over the next decade.

While the thematic focus allows for considerable flexibility, some of the essential topics that will no doubt be considered for this issue are:
–Translating the colonial encounter and its aftermath, and related challenges in postcolonial thought
–Histories of/in translation
–Translation of literary genres (Romanticism, realism, Avant-garde, modernisms, postmodern and experimental writing)
–Translation and global migrational flows (Europe, Japan, Arab World, North America, Africa etc.)
–Translational flows: Brazil/Anglophone Canada, Brésil/Québec.
–Translating theory
–Translating sexuality/gender and ‘race’/ethnicity
–South-South translation
–Translation networks and the marketing of Brazilian cultural production
–Community interpreting, esp. in indigenous and African diaspora communities

Submissions are welcome in English, French or Portuguese. For more information, please contact Co-Editors Christopher Larkosh ( and/or Clara Foz (

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CFP: International English and Translation

Call for papers: 2as Jornadas em Estudos de Tradução do CEAUL – JET 2
“Inglês internacional e tradução”
2nd ULICES Conference on Translation Studies – JET2
“International English and Translation”
Venue: Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon
Date: 3-4 December 2014
Keynote Speakers
Abram De Swaan, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Stefania Taviano, University of Messina, Italy

The rise of English as an international world language has had a dramatic effect on the practice of translation in all domains. It is even stated that whenever English is involved in the process there can be no illusion of parity between source and target languages. As a consequence, translation into and from English cannot be approached in a neutral way, or as a purely technical matter; instead, it must necessarily be considered within a context of power relations, inextricably linked to questions of culture, history and ideology. This has naturally had repercussions on many aspects of Translation Studies, reigniting debates about (amongst other things) the translator’s ethical responsibility and capacity for intervention in situations of cultural inequality, not to mention the effect that constant calquing from English is having upon other languages. There is, however, another school of thought which views International English as a de-cultured hybrid construction that has ceased to be the property of mother tongue speakers and is therefore no longer the covert vehicle of Anglo-Saxon values. This approach brings a whole new set of issues to the discussion: issues related to source-text hybridity and linguistic simplification; scale-shifting; translating in a cultural vacuum; implications for translation technologies and translator training; and the coexistence of global English with local varieties around the world.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers offering case studies on various text types and translation directions as well as theoretical, methodological and terminological studies. Suggested topics include but are not restricted to:
• The impact of the use of English as an international language on the translation of literary,
audio-visual and scientific and technical texts
• The implications of International English for translator training
• The implications of International English for translator / translation technologies
• Subtitling and fansubbing
• International English as the intermediary in indirect translation
• The relative merits of the various models (English as an International Language; Global
English; World Englishes; English as a Lingua Franca) in the translational context
• Profiling (inter)national literature (in periodicals, volumes, film, radio, TV)
• Presenting (inter)national literature (in prefaces, collections, anthologies, national
historiography, literary / scientific historiography)
• Theoretical, methodological and terminological issues in researching the interplay of
international English and translation

Abstracts (in English) should be no more than 500 words, and indicate title of paper, four key words, author’s name, institutional affiliation, email address, language of presentation (English or Portuguese), audiovisual requirements and a bio-note (max. 100 words, mentioning main research interests, projects and selected publications). Submissions (in English) for double-blind vetting should be sent to . Date for submission of abstract 31 August 2014 Notification of acceptance 19 September 2014

Research Group on Translation and Reception Studies – RG6,
University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (ULICES), Portugal
Scientific Committee
Abram de Swaan
Alexandra Assis Rosa
Fernando Ferreira Alves
Karen Bennett
Rita Queiroz de Barros (Chair)
Organising Committee
Alexandra Assis Rosa
Eduarda Melo Cabrita
Fernando Ferreira Alves
Isabel Ferro Mealha
Karen Bennett
Rita Queiroz de Barros (Chair)
Susana Valdez
Conference Languages
Papers may be presented in English and Portuguese.

For more information, please contact

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CFP: Found in Translation: Transposing Identity Across Space and Time

Found in Translation: Transposing Identity Across Space and Time

Languages Graduate Student Association (LANGSA) – University of Connecticut

Date: November 7, 2014

This year’s LANGSA conference aims to investigate practices of translating, broadly defined, as they pertain to identity, space, and time. This conference seeks to carve a space for both the critical and creative engagements of translators’ work, both in considering the way culture is transposed and in carrying linguistic features from one language to another. Papers need not focus on linguistic translation only, or at all. Papers with a focus on translating culture and in a variety of mediums, styles, and forms are also encouraged. In addition, papers which consider the metaphorical or intersemiotic translation of identity, ideas, or images across space and time are particularly welcome. Readings by literary translators of their recent work in poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction, are also welcome, as long as they are accompanied by brief commentary on translation praxis.

We welcome contributions across all disciplines, including: languages, literature, film, philosophy, political science, linguistics, psychology, education, human rights, American studies, women’s studies, journalism, medieval studies, art, art history, digital media studies, theater, music, sociology, history, science, cultural studies, Judaic studies, Latin American studies, fine arts and cognitive science.

Relevant themes and topics may include but are not limited to:

  • • Adaptations and appropriations
  • • Translation and memory
  • • Translation and retranslations
  • • Testimony, translation and human rights
  • • Linguistic issues in translation
  • • Identity studies and/or identity politics
  • • Post-colonialism
  • • Less commonly translated languages
  • • Multilingual cultures and literatures
  • • Comparative literature
  • • Gender studies
  • • Text genealogy
  • • Studies of culture and theory
  • • Narrative theory
  • • Teaching translation
  • • Medieval studies and history
  • • Cinema, art, and digital mediums
  • • Literary translations
  • • Eco-criticism
  • • Creative writing
  • • Translating non-western languages into English
  • • Law and literature
  • • Area studies, including (but not limited to): Latin American Studies, Asian American Studies, India Studies,

Chinese Studies, Eastern European Studies, Africana Studies, etc.

We welcome submissions of individual papers, posters, and proposals for panels of 3 – 4 papers in English.

Individual papers will be limited to a reading time of 15 minutes (7 double-spaced pages maximum), and panels will be limited to one hour. Abstracts should follow MLA style and be between 100-200 words; they must include a cover letter indicating the title, author’s name, affiliation, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and a short biography.

Please send abstracts to by September 16, 2014.

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