CFP: MLA 2013 “Translation Unbound”

Call for Papers / MLA 2013 / Division of 20th Century German literature

Translation Unbound

For the 2013 meetings of the MLA Division of 20th century German Literature we invite papers that explore translation as a mode of textual expansion. How does translation insist on the very unboundedness of text? How does it expand the frame/margin of the (visual or literary) text? The existing scholarly and popular discourse about translation has defined loss as constitutive of translation: in this model, the translated text exists in the space “after,” as elegiac memory of what comes before, always in a state of belatedness in which the “original” is forever irretrievable. Rather than approaching translation as an inevitable process of textual loss, can we consider the “lostness” that lies at the center of their poetic texts, a loss that is tied to traumatic memory and the desire to find, to recover, recuperate, rehabilitate, reinvent and archive texts. Submissions invited that reflect on translation not simply as the act of moving from one language to another, but more broadly on the translation between different textual forms (visual and print text; place and text; sound and image) and that explore aesthetics, art, trauma, and the role of “translation” in mediating these modes.

Abstracts (200 words) by March 9 to Leslie Morris (

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