[CFP] Women and the Politics of Translation in/of the Middle East: ​​​Encounters, Dynamics, and Prospects

About the conference

The Conference will take place at KU Leuven (Brussels Campus) on 19 and 20 October. You can present and receive feedback on your paper, take part in discussions, and enhance your interdisciplinary knowledge. Moreover, you’ll network with academics and practitioners; colleagues from around the world. You do not have to present a paper to attend – all are welcome (registration is obligatory).

Along with an emerging body of scholarly research on the role of translation in the Middle East, this conference focuses on the intersections of Middle Eastern women, translation, and relational views on culture across regional and global levels. The dialogic convergence of those disciplinary territories allows for an in-depth examination of strategies of resistance by and/or representation of Middle Eastern women through the lens of translation, both as a means of domination and as a space of dialogue or a trajectory for thinking and speaking ‘otherwise’.

By taking a situated approach to translation, this conference will provide a scholarly forum to discuss how on the one hand, women in the Middle East fulfill their transformative roles as authors, translators, publishers, and/or social (political) activists by means of translation, and on the other hand to reflect on the (mis)representation of Middle Eastern women in Western media (i.e. news, literature, movies, etc.). Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this conference will challenge the victimized image of Middle Eastern women in Western media and spark a much needed lively discussion on their active role in the dialectics of the nation-states, identity formation, ideological/political power, and resistance through the lens of translation.

The conference organizers invite contributions from wide range of disciplines working at the intersection of Women and Translation in the Middle Eastern Context. The main topics includes but not limited to:

• Locate translation (literally or metaphorically) by/of Middle Eastern women in a larger social, political, and ideological dynamics;
• Discuss how the production and circulation of meanings associated with translation can be approached as a modality of power, subject to generating multiple relations of domination and subordination;
• Foreground the concept of ‘translation as representation’. On the one hand, how “the other” has been represented in the work of female translators in the region. On the other hand, how Middle Eastern women have been portrayed and represented in the Western world;

We hope the discussions bring regional and global scholars into dialogue and, in doing so, contribute to the expansion of critical understandings of translating as representing “the other” and challenge the legacies of hegemonic (mis) representation of Middle Eastern Women.

We welcome proposals in English, providing a basis for 20-minute papers (which will be followed by 10-minute discussions). Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words and a 100-word bio note to translatingwomen@kuleuven.be by 30th April 2023. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 1st June.

Key dates
Call for participants: February 2023
Deadline for submissions of abstracts: 30 April 2023
Abstracts acceptance: 1 June 2023
Registration opens: 1 June 2023
Deadline for funding letters: 1 July 2023
Conference at KU Leuven: 19 & 20 October 2023