Call for Panelists: Translating (wo)men: Migrant Wrting

Call for participants:  Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations
MLA International Symposia: Translating the Humanities
Düsseldorf, Germany, 23–25 June 2016
Target rubric: Community, nation, migration, mobility, roots

Invitation to participate in the Panel: “Translated/ing (wo)men. Migrant writing in English and Italian”

Experiences of migrancy and exile have more often than not produced high quality works, both in literary terms and as far reflection on human issues and invitation to social renovation are concerned.  The use of certain languages over others, and the writers’ own languages are a precious source of information, as they bear traces of identity formation, destruction, definition and redefinition. Languages express displacement and relocation, they give shape to the fluid subjectivities of border crossers.

This panel will attempt to explore the microcosms of first generation migrant (wo)men writers, whose connection with the homeland is compelling and makes up the substance of narration. These human universes will be looked into through the analysis of their narrative voices and an investigation into their use of language as tools for literary expression with the aim of viewing how the concept of home/land (imaginary or real) is elaborated and trying to comprehend what direction and what shapes the newness implicit in the hybridity that is the necessary constituent of such a writing is taking. This in response to and in order to address one of the questions identified as central to the conference theme:“what processes of rethinking are taking place that are not turned away from the rest of the world but cognizant of the worlds within Europe?”

We, therefore, encourage contributions focusing on 1) the role of language(s) in shaping cultural and linguistic identities, in recounting migrancy and its many implications, but also 2) on (wo)men writers’ voices as reflected in their literary creations. The focus will be ideally narrowed down to works written in Italian or English, but contributions on migrant writing in other languages where narrative samples are accompanied by translation into either of these languages are welcome.

Please send submissions to and All submissions must be received by 11 September 2015. Notification of inclusion into the panel proposal by 15 September. Notification of the outcome of the panel selection process by MLA by 15 October 2015.

Elena Di Giovanni is Lecturer in English Language and Translation at the University of Macerata, Italy. She holds a degree in Translation from the University of Bologna, and a PhD in English and Audiovisual Translation. She has been teaching specialized translation for over 15 years at several universities (Macerata, Bologna, Milano London, Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, New York, Cairo). For 8 years she has been teaching an MA course in Translation and Ideology at the University of Macerata (MA course in Translation for International Communication), focusing on interlingual communication and postcolonialism, neocolonialism, diaspora. Her research interests lie in literature and translation in postcolonial settings, with special reference to Asia and, more recently, Africa. She also specializes in research on audiovisual translation (cinema, television, theatre) and media accessibility for the sensory impaired.

Emilia Di Martino is Lecturer in English Language and Translation at the University of Naples Suor Orsola Benincasa, Italy (associate professor as of the coming academic year). She holds a degree in Foreign Languages and Cultures from the University of Naples L’Orientale, Italy, an MA in Education from University of East Anglia (UK), and a PhD in English for Special Purposes. She sits on the advisory panel for New Voices in Translation Studies and Translation and Interpreting and is an associate member of he Centre for Literature in Translation, CLIV (Centrum voor literatuur in vertaling, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Ghent University). She has published numerous articles and volume publications, and has presented at many local and international conferences on a variety of topics. Her research interests mainly lie in translation criticism and translation ethics.  She also specializes in research on language and identity, language and power.

For questions, please contact Emiliea Di Martino at

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