TO CELEBRATE AND HONOR OVER TWENTY YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN OUR TWO UNIVERSITIES, WE INVITE INTERESTED FACULTY AND STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR INTERDISCIPLINARY SYMPOSIA IN THE UNITED STATES AND/OR FRANCE IN 2015.
Translation versus Globalization
UNC Charlotte and Université de Limoges
20-21 February 2015, Department of Languages and Culture Studies, UNC Charlotte, USA
Multilingualism was born as soon as men and women began to speak. Nevertheless, throughout history there have been multiple attempts to limit the scope/number of languages--often due to politics or the desire for convenience. This on-going effort has involved the systematic use of a lingua franca (currently English, historically others) or the utopic quest for an ideal vehicular language such as Volapük or Esperanto. In any event, linguistic diversity has never really been threatened and the translation process(es) have always been considered at the very core of human exchange. Yet today translation plays and has to play an even more important role than before in a context where the magnitude of globalization reinforces the hegemonic dream of a neatly constructed homogenized culture whose range is supposed to move us toward the universal.
During our symposium, we will tackle a variety of issues that characterize the complex relationship between translation and globalization. Translation versus Globalization invites 15-20 minute original papers that address:
1. Is translation an instance of resistance and/or a guarantor for linguistic and cultural diversity?
2. Translation and the editorial market: In Why Translation Matters (2010), Edith Grossman points out that writers have to be translated into English to be considered for the Nobel Prize. What has been translated? Why? According to a study (1992) led by Richard Jacquemond, the Southern hemisphere represents a mere 1-2% of the total books translated. What is the north-south (im)balance today?
3. In How Many Languages Do We Need? (2011) Victor Ginsburgh and Sholmo Weber discuss the desire to avoid an excess of societal fragmentation in our rapidly globalizing environment. Does this narrow the focus on a relatively small number of so-called core languages? How do the core languages of academia and/or government and economic structures impact translation and translation studies?
4. For Po Petterson, the postcolonial turn has both opened and foreclosed roads in Literary Translation Studies. Even though there were predecessors like Edouard Said and Frantz Fanon in theory, and Chinua Achebe and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in literature and criticism, it is the “Holy Trinity” of postcolonial criticism--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Homi K. Bhabha--that made current postcolonial translation theory largely entrapped in the poststructuralist jargon of “in-betweenness” and “hybridity.” This supposed liberation from Eurocentric traditions has created a new form of elitist tradition in which translations are theory rather than practice-driven. If one is to see an act of translation as either an act of “rewriting” (André Lefevere) or “domesticating and foreignizing” (Lawrence Venuti), then what does one make of this theoretical knowledge? How can an act of translation be meaningful without full examination of its “socio-cultural contexts” or “interdisciplinary openness” (Petterson)? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a functional theory of translation (David B. Frank, 2008)?
5. Paradoxically, will translations become agents of a growing cultural uniformity and vehicles for cultural stereotypes (by selecting what enters the stereotypical frame of a given culture)? Which languages and bodies of work are the most/least translated?
6. What does it mean to read/translate/interpret the Devil on the Cross by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o as an English translation of an original Gikuyu text (Caitaani mutharaba-Ini) if Gikuyu, “as native language,” is already a language borrowed from the Other? While it is true the mother tongue shapes one’s perception of the world, is it already inhabited by others (Derrida, Monolingualism of the Other, 1998)?
7. Translation and World Literature: Is it enough to read translated books? Is it satisfactory to skip the original version? Consider translation and the international canon.
8. Geocriticism and translation: Geocriticism is established on notions such as transgressivity (permanent deterritorializing process) and multifocality. What might such an approach bring to the field of Translation Studies?
9. Translation and technology: What is the role of the translator with the emergence of globalization trends? How does the relentless rise of technology affect the processes and products of translation? What translation trends may emerge from the human-machine interface? Are translational professions threatened by technology? Or, is their role enhanced instead?
10. Translation profession: How may the profession of translation evolve in the next two decades? Which new sociological agents and cultural exchanges may emerge in the profession?
11. Translation pedagogy: With the emergence of new globalization trends, translation has become more interdisciplinary and application-oriented; thus, requiring broader meta-competences or skills that may not be prevalent in the traditional curriculum. What are the core skills that translators must possess? What program outcomes should a translation degree aspire to? Are there specific key courses that define the program’s success? Should the translation curriculum be standardized?
This symposium is organized both by the Department of Languages and Culture Studies, UNC Charlotte, represented by Sheri Spaine Long, Chair, and the research team E.A. 1087 Espaces Humains et Interactions Culturelles, Université de Limoges, represented by Bertrand Westphal.
Papers addressing the topic of the symposium will be presented in English. Please send a ½ page abstract and bio to EventsLCS@uncc.edu. Deadline for the abstract is 25 Sept 2014. The organizing committee is exploring a published volume and information will be forthcoming.