[CFP] Translation, Interpreting and Culture 2: Rehumanising Translation and Interpreting Studies

Translation, Interpreting and Culture 2: Rehumanising Translation and Interpreting Studies
Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, 23–25 September 2020


Organized by

  • Faculty of Arts, Matej Bel University, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
  • Faculty of Arts, Constantine the Philosopher University, Nitra, Slovakia
  • Faculty of Arts, University of Prešov, Prešov, Slovakia
  • Faculty of Arts, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Institute of World Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Aims and Purpose

Just before the turn of the 21st century, Mikhail Epstein called for a return of the human into the humanities, proposing a Bakhtinian turn from the paradigms of the 20th century, which ascribed “the source of our activity to some non-human, impersonal structures speaking through us” (1999; 113), to a rehumanisation which would help us reappropriate the “alienated sources of our activity and understand them as an indispensable otherness inherent in the nature of human self-awareness” (113). The vision of such humanity-centred research would incorporate the knowledge gained from such systems of thought as psychoanalysis, semiotics and (post)structuralism, while also attempting to transgress the structural determination of action. The kind of rehumanisation translation and interpreting studies now seeks is not a return to a self-endorsing anthropocentrism, but an approach which would make the human agency in translation and interpreting visible as an active force with the potential to shape the social and natural world.

The challenges of globalisation cannot be reduced to debates about the future of translation and interpreting, but this unprecedented movement of people and ideas requires an urgent response from our community, and our particular ability to connect cultures and carry over thoughts and ideas.

The conference strives to bring together scholars from various fields of translation and interpreting studies to share their perspectives on the human factor in their studies. We believe that the human factor in translation technology, literary translation, audiovisual translation, technical translation, conference interpreting, community interpreting and in the education of future translators and interpreters is fundamental. That is why we are asking scholars from around the world to share their experiences. We will pay particular attention to the sociological factors of these professions and the role of “theory” in improving translators’ visibility and social standing. When talking about translators, we refer to “people with flesh-and-blood bodies. If you prick them, they bleed” (Pym, 2014, p. 161). We want to talk about translators and interpreters not as if they were “linguistic machines”, but as they are: human beings. We are also interested in the effects of non-translation, such as the lack of (mainly) community interpreters and the problems it poses for the integration of people seeking refuge. We would like to hear well-structured, data-based presentations, but also sound case and qualitative studies. Together, we will take a closer look at how the human factor (institutional or personal) affects translation and interpreting.

Perspectives from which to address the conference topic may include, but are not limited to:

  • community interpreting
  • sociology of translation and interpreting
  • returning names to anonymous translators
  • (de)humanising media and audiovisual translation
  • consumers and consumerism in media and translation context
  • the human factor in machine translation and post-editing
  • effects of non-translation in (trans)cultural and ecological relations
  • literary translators between determinism and agency
  • translation of literature as a litmus test of cultural priorities
  • teaching translators and interpreters: between education and training
  • agency in translation history


Keynote Speakers

  • Susan Bassnett, Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature, Special Advisor in Translation Studies at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures University of Warwick (Great Britain), Professor of Comparative Literature at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Glasgow (Great Britain), President of British Comparative Literature Association
  • Lawrence Venuti, Professor of English at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
  • Jan Pedersen, Associate Professor in Translation Studies, Director and Chairman of the Board of The Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies (Sweden)
  • Nadja Grbić, associate professor of translation studies, University of Graz

Language Policy

The conference languages are English and Slovak. If you wish to present the paper in German, Spanish, French or Russian, please indicate it in the abstract. However, in view of the later publication we strongly recommend the use of English. All abstracts are to be submitted in English.

Deadline for submission is 10 April 2020. Please send your abstract (200 – 300 words in English) to registration@tic-conference.eu. All abstracts will be double-blind peer-reviewed by the members of the scientific board.

Notification of acceptance: 10 May 2020.



If you would like to present in a language other than Slovak or English (German, Russian, French, or Spanish), please include this request in your abstract. The Organising Committee will decide whether interpreting is possible and you will be informed of the result.

Each participant has 20 minutes to present their paper.

The conference is supported by

State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica

KEGA 026UMB-4/2019 Exaktná učebnica tlmočenia (An Exact Coursebook of Interpreting)

VEGA 2/0166/19 Preklad ako súčasť dejín kultúrneho priestoru III. (Translation as a Part of the Cultural Space History III.)