[Event] Translating Women: Breaking Borders and Building Bridges in the English-Language Book Industry

Translating Women: Breaking Borders and Building Bridges in the English-Language Book Industry

Dates: 31 Oct-1 Nov 2019

Venue: Institute of Modern Languages Research, London (UK)

Conference website: http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/translatingwomen/conference-2019/

Deadline for proposal submission: 17 May 2019

Notification of acceptance: by the end of June 2019

Public sessions are free and open to all.

Keynote speaker:

Dr Margaret Carson, co-founder of the Women in Translation tumblr

Dr Olga Castro (Aston University), co-editor of Feminist Translation Studies (Routledge, 2017).
Dr Helen Vassallo (University of Exeter), principal investigator of the Translating Women project.

Authors and translators in conversation:
Author Négar Djavadi (Disoriental, 2018) and translator Tina Kover.
Author Ariana Harwicz (Die, My Love, 2017; Feebleminded, 2019), and translators Carolina Orloff and Annie McDermott.

Call for papers:

Translated literature notoriously accounts for only 3.5% of published literature in the English-language book market, and less than one-third of this is women-authored. Women writers in translation occupy a difficult border space in literature, variously affected by lack of recognition in their home country, fewer women being entered for literary prizes, and less criticism and column space dedicated to women writers. Yet, recent phenomena such as Kamila Shamsie’s call for a ‘Year of Publishing Women’, Meytal Radzinski’s advocacy of ‘Women in Translation month’ each August, and the creation of the Women in Translation Tumblr and the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation indicate the urgency of confronting the lack of gender equality in the English-language publishing industry with regard to translated literature.
This conference will explore the circuits of translation of women-authored literature into English, with the aim of promoting synergies between academic and publishing contexts. By questioning the power dynamics of the English-language book industry, it seeks to offer fresh insights into the cultural, social, economic and political implications of making foreign women writers available to English-speaking readers, considering where ‘borders’ lie in translated literature, and how and why women might destabilise them. Our feminist perspective challenges the lack of recognition and influence of women writers, and our transnational and geopolitical focus encourages a cross-cultural understanding already fostered by translation and by the pioneering work of organisations such as English PEN and Literature Across Frontiers. We aim to break through ‘borders’ – both real and figurative – and build ‘bridges’ between research areas and industry initiatives, bringing together representatives from all key groups of stakeholders to discuss and redress the imbalance affecting women writers in translation.

Suggested topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • The geopolitics of translating women: which women writers are being translated, and who is translating them?
  • Where do borders lie in translated literature?
  • The impact and legacy of the Year of Publishing Women
  • ‘Travelling women’: gender in/and the publishing industry
  • Translation as hospitality
  • Intimacy and distance: women writers exiled from their literary traditions
  • (Dis)integration in and through translation
  • Circuits of translation: new approaches to ‘translating cultures’
  • Transnational Feminist Studies: solidarity and sorority
  • Translation as activism: resisting borders and building bridges between cultures