[CFP] Reframing Realities through Translation

Call for Papers: Reframing Realities through Translation

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to invite translation scholars and researchers worldwide to contribute research papers to an edited volume, provisionally titled Reframing Realities through Translation.

Just as with other people who consciously and subconsciously rely on certain cognitive shortcuts, that is, frames, in an attempt to organize complex phenomena into coherent, understandable categories, thus making sense of them, translators also use these cognitive shortcuts to interpret the world around them by using interpretive frames, and then represent that world to others by using representing frames. These frames are built upon underlying structures of accumulated value systems, beliefs, assumptions, and experiences. Therefore, people in general, and translators in particular, tend to construct them differently, thereby activating some interpretive frames that feed into their accumulated value systems, beliefs, assumptions, and so on, and block others as they appear irrelevant or counter-intuitive.

Similarly, certain representing frames will be activated by them while others are excluded, thus reframing realities and reproducing knowledge in different ways despite the fact that we talk about the same events, participants, and circumstances. These frames are used by people as tools to rationalize their attitudes towards what exists in the real world, on the one hand, and to persuade as many people as they can when representing the event to them. As such, many external factors affect how people understand the world around them and then represent it to others. Others have their own interpretive frames, which are also influenced by their own accumulated value system, beliefs, assumptions, etc. Therefore, to persuade a border audience, one needs to give adequate consideration to others’ “conceptual and/or emotional setting or viewpoint in relation to which a situation is experienced” (Watzlawick et al. 1974).

People belonging to different political systems, religions, and having different beliefs and assumptions, tend to view others through certain characterization frames as having certain stereotypes or characteristics. These characterization frames might be positive or negative. When they are positive, ‘self’ will be influenced by ‘others’ easily. However, when they are negative, ‘self’ will see ‘others’ as a threat to one’s identity by virtue of another type of frame, that is, an identity frame though which people view themselves as having certain identities in the context of specific conflict situations (Rothman 1997), thus criticizing others and condensing them as ‘outsiders’ on the one hand, and focusing on pieces of information and views that forcibly feed into their identity and reinforce affiliations with like-minded groups on the other. Approached from such a perspective, the world is divided into two halves where people may frame themselves as Muslim or non-Muslim, Sunni or Shiai, male or female, liberal or conservative, sectarian or non-sectarian, and so on.

There has never been a time when issues of globalization, culture, identity, power, and master discourses have been more important or more troubling than they are today. “Yet if language and translation have become increasingly important in national and international relations, and in the processes of “globalization” more generally, their role as cultural as well as linguistic entities is only beginning to be theorized” (Bermann and Wood 2005: 1-2).

The chapters in this volume afford an opportunity to reconsider international connections and conflicts along with their histories and futures from the specific standpoint of translation as a dynamic activity, not a static one performed by the translator only. Although the chapters in this volume consider a wide range of languages and cultures, all circle around the following issues:

  1. Translation as re-narration
  2. Translation as cultural re-presentation
  3. Translation and knowledge re-production
  4. Translation and identity
  5. The ethics of translation
  6. (De)globalizing cultures through translation

Looking at translation as an intercultural communicative exercise, one may well assume that translation is a cultural act and a tool for understanding that plays a significant role in exchanging viewpoints and reconciling different standpoints on the one hand. On the other hand, Taking translation as interpersonal and intercultural act, translators’ activities embed the potential for worsening the encounters between the interfacing cultures along with their respective languages. Approached as such, translation provides us with a rich soil where issues related to self and other, such as identitydifferencepower relationscultural clashesracegender, and the like are negotiated and discussed through certain criteria and descriptions. Over time, these criteria and descriptions form established systems with specific norms and conventions for selecting, representing, producing and consuming the foreign materials, thus producing a master discourse of translation. To this end, a number of powerful strategies of exclusion may be adopted through the nexus of translation, thus representing self at the expense of other (translating from powerful cultures to weak ones) or deforming self at the expense of other(translating from weak cultures to powerful ones).

These non-verbal factors may include the relationship between the interfacing cultures/languages (be it imperialist when the target culture is powerful, defensive when the target culture looks at the source culture as a threat to its identity, or defective when the source culture looks at the target culture as a capable culture). In addition to the cultural relations, ideological and poetological issues place extra effort on those social agents involved in the process of translation at its macro level on every step of the process, be they translators, publishers, translation quality controllers, or translation project managers. In his description of the literary system, Lefevere (1992: 15-26) holds that there are three main factors that superimpose certain directionality on the target text. They are:

  1. Professionals within the literary system, such as critics, reviewers, teachers, translators, translation project managers, and so on;
  2. Patronage outside the literary system, such as publishers, distributors, academic journals, educational establishment, the media, political parties, and the like; and
  3. The dominant poetics, which refers to the standards to which a certain literary work is judged good or not in any era. There is a set of dominant poetics that plays a fundamental role in encouraging the translation of certain works and excluding others.

Looking at translation at its micro level, one may well assume that translators should be insiders in the source culture in order to understand the socio-cultural experiences conceptualized in the source language and insiders in the target culture in order to record these socio-cultural experiences in the target language in line with its linguistic and stylistic norms. But the question that jumps into mind here how these different frames (be they characterization frames, interpretive frames, identity frames, etc.) play a fundamental role in forming the final shape of the product.

With this in mind, the proposed publication is collating proposals and papers that aim to achieve the following objectives:

  • To provide a comprehensive, state of the art account of the complex field of translation studies with a focus on cultural representation.
  • To highlight the main frames (be they characterization frames, interpretive frames, identity frames, etc.) in addition to the the non-verbal factors which play a fundamental role in forming the final shape of the product.
  • To shed some light on the actual act of translating in which ‘self’ is well-presented and beautified and ‘other’ is deformed and made ugly.
  • To fill the gaps left unplugged by available publications on translation as intercultural communication and cultural presentation.

Editors’ Affiliation

  • Ali Almanna: Associate Professor of Linguistics and Translation studies, Sohar University, Sultante of Oman
  • Juan José Martínez Sierra: Senior Lecturer of Translation and Intercultural Communication at the Department of English and German Studies, University of Valencia, Spain

Topics may include:

  • (De)globalizing cultures through the nexus of translation
  • Intercultural aspects of idiomatic expression
  • Master discourse of translation
  • Discourse and translation
  • Cultural representation through translation
  • Remapping realities through translation
  • Literary translation versus literary trans-creation
  • Translation and identity
  • Politics of translation studies and professional translation
  • The sound and image of power
  • Translation as re-narration
  • Strategies and constraints of translating culture-specific terms/expressions
  • Audiovisual manipulations
  • Translation traffic from weak cultures
  • Domesticating selfness versus foreignizing otherness
  • The ethics of translation

Contributions to this volume, which is scheduled to appear in October 2018, should be submitted by e-mail to:

Documents should be between 5,000-10,000 words and submitted as a Word document, formatted in Times New Roman with font size 12 and 1.5 spacing.

If you experience any difficulty submitting your abstract, please send an email to admin@cambridgescholars.com

Key dates

  • Submission of Abstracts: End of November 2017
  • Notification of Decisions: End of December 2017
  • Deadline for Chapters: End of April 2018
  • Reviews from External Reviewers and Editors: End of June 2018
  • Deadline for Revised Chapters: End of August 2018
  • Publication Date: October 2018

For enquiries, style sheet, and suggestions or comments, please contact:


Call for Papers: Reframing Realities through Translation