“Catastrophic Translation, Translating Catastrophes”
ACLA panel, Brown University, Providence, RI
March 29-April 1, 2012
Contemporary translation studies has been moving away from discussions of translation products as being “good” or “bad,” replacing such value-driven judgments with a system of more descriptive analysis that tries to contextualize and account for actual translation practice while integrating that practice into various theoretical frameworks. We still hear, however, of translations or translational moments that cause significant breakdowns in communication in all media that negotiate between languages: books, films, news articles, speeches. This panel invites papers that explore not the “failures” of translation in and of themselves, but the significance of such breakdowns for translation theory as well as for their respective contexts. Indeed, the “errors” of translation often lead to transformative moments in cultures and societies, inadvertently or deliberately opening new spaces for discourse and public exploration. Alternately, translation can help heal other types of breaches caused by different moments of communications failure, extending discussions beyond linguistic boundaries and creating new narratives through the movement of ideas.
Although this proposal seems aimed more at the contemporary global information network, papers will be welcomed that deal with a range of historical periods, as well as those that consider peripheral forms of translation.
Abstracts should be submitted via the website of the ACLA, at http://acla.org/acla2012/?page_id=45, by November 15, 2011.
For more information, please contact Anna Strowe (Ph.D. Candidate, Comparative Literature, University of Massachusetts Amherst) at firstname.lastname@example.org