Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sea of Languages

Not sure if I posted this or not, more ancient than medieval despite the title:

A Sea of Languages: Rethinking the History of Western Translation

Translation in the multi-lingual and multi-cultural world of the ancient
Mediterranean was a manifest necessity, and yet there have been very few
studies on the role of translation and translators in this rich linguistic
environment. Even when authors such as Cicero and St. Jerome are discussed
they are too often seen primarily as archaic precursors of modern Western
translation theory and divorced from their cultural context. With the
current upsurge of interest in translation and the explosive growth of the
field of translation studies, we feel that this is an opportune time for
scholars of the ancient Mediterranean to contribute to the present debate by
complicating the too-often monolithic representation of ancient translation
practices and to examine translation in this region as a field worthy of
investigation in its own right, as a multifaceted historically and
culturally grounded activity.

We invite contributions to a proposed volume on translation and translators
in the ancient Mediterranean which will place both in their historical,
linguistic, literary, and cultural contexts. We seek papers from all regions
and all time periods up to the 5th century CE. Questions we would like
potential contributors to consider are: how did ancient translators
function? Under what constraints did they operate? How did literary
translators position themselves vis-Ã -vis other forms of translation? What
role did official translation play? Can we recover ancient theories of

We seek particularly seek papers that touch on the following topics, though
papers on all subjects are welcome:

- ancient theories of translation
- translation and cultural appropriation
- official translations and translators
- interpreting and oral translation
- translation as literary transformation
- the physical and temporal environment of translation
- translator loyalties and translators as social agents
- religious translation and its constraints
- pseudo-translations

Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted to either Siobhan McElduff
(mcelduff AT or Enrica Sciarrino (enrica.sciarrino AT
by September 15, 2008. Notification of acceptance will be sent out by
October 15, 2008. Please provide abstracts within the email itself or as
attachments in MS Word.

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