Call for papers: Translating Minorities and Conflict in Literature

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UPDATE: The international conference “Translating Minorities and Conflict in Literature” has been postponed to 10-11 June 2021. The call for papers has been re-opened: the new deadline for abstract submissions is 15 September 2020.

Our alumna Luisa Rodríguez Muñoz is happy to announce that the 1st International conference: Translating Minorities and Conflict in Literature will be held in Cordoba, 10-11 June 2020. More information is available on the conference website:

First confirmed keynote speaker: Maria Tymoczko

Following in the footsteps of recent conferences (Translation and Minority, University of Ottawa, 2016; Justice and minorized languages under a postmonolingual order, Castelló de la Plana, 2017) and publications (Translation and minority, lesser-used and lesser-translated languages and cultures, JoSTrans, 2015), the aim of this conference is to explore the ways in which translating literature can serve to protect and empower minority, minor and lesser-used languages, both in contexts of multilingualism where the power balance of the languages spoken in the same country is often unequal, and in situations of conflict, where authors and translators face the threat of physical harm, coercion, censorship and/or exile. In this way, “the struggle to sustain languages in danger often equally implies the need to redress longstanding problems of marginalisation, stigmatisation and misrepresentation” (Folaron 2015: 16). Moreover, in a world where ‘minority’ is understood as a struggle against the mainstream and where Anglo-American-led processes of globalization and cultural export are reshaping transnational literary production and circulation, translation flows from minor and minoritized languages are largely uneven.

Since the publication of The Manipulation of Literature (Hermans, 1985), Comparative Literature scholars have been obliged to confront the manipulation involved in any cultural transfer, particularly through translation. Institutions of culture and the state play an important role in determining the ways texts cross tangible and intangible borders. Hermans denounced three types of marginalisation: the status of translation in Literary Studies and Comparative Literature, the peripheral position of translations in literary corpora, and the absolute supremacy of the source text. Underwriting these critiques, we welcome proposals dealing with non-canonized literature, objects of study rejected by dominant circles of culture and literary movements that aimed to destabilise
established literary repertoires.

More than three decades after their arrival, we want to (ap)praise the Manipulation school and Polysystem Theory for the vital role they played in the discipline of Translation Studies. Indeed, the Polysystem Theory focused on the target text as a manipulated text that was produced in a specific literary, historical, political and social context. As Snell-Hornby points out: “Translation is seen as a text type in its own right, as an integral part of the target culture and not merely as the reproduction of another text” (1988: 24).

Their legacy was to help abolish epistemological slaveries that biased Otherness and made room for countercultural manifestations. Their heuristic tools enabled the analysis of literature as a complex and dynamic system, stressed the necessary interaction between theory and practice, introduced a descriptive, target-text-oriented approach and laid the groundwork for the study of norms that condition the production and reception of translations within a specific context, the position of translations within the literary system and the interaction between different national literatures.

With the cultural and the current sociological turns in mind, we would like to stress Bassnett and Lefevere’s words “Rewriting can introduce new concepts, new genres, new devices, and the history of translation is the history also of literary innovation, of the shaping power of one culture upon another. But rewriting can also repress innovation, distort and contain, and in an age of everincreasing manipulation of all kinds, the study of the manipulative processes of literature as exemplified by translation can help us toward a greater awareness of the world in which we live” (1993; vii).

In this spirit, we welcome contributions on the following (or related) topics:
 Translation from/into indigenous languages
 Literary translation and sexual minorities
 Translation in Gendered Contexts
 Migrant literature
 Postcolonial literature
 Translation from peripheral languages and cultures
 Translation in situations of censorship and war
 The literary translator as an activist
 The manipulation of national images through translation


Paola Gentile, Università degli studi di Trieste
María Luisa Rodríguez Muñoz, Universidad de Córdoba


Pilar Castillo Bernal, Universidad de Córdoba

Scientific committee

Leo Tak-Hung Chan, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
Haidee Kotze, Macquarie University, Australia
Luc van Doorslaer, University of Tartu/KU Leuven/Stellenbosch University
Ilse Feinauer, Stellenbosch University
Dirk Delabastita, Université de Namur
Elke Brems, KU Leuven
Lieve Behiels, KU Leuven
Dolores Ross, Università degli studi di Trieste
Juan Pedro Monferrer Sala, Universidad de Córdoba
María Teresa López Villalba, Universidad de Málaga
Reyes Lázaro, Smith College, Massachusetts
Ester Torres Simón, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
Suzanne Jill Levine, University of California
Nicolas Froeliger, Université Paris Diderot (Paris 7)
Michaela Wolf, Universität Graz, Austria
Pekka Kujamäki, Universität Graz, Austria
Fruzsina Kovács, Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem, Hungary
Maria Tymoczko, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Organizing committee

María del Carmen Aguilar Camacho, Universidad de Córdoba
Carmen Arnedo Villaescusa, Universidad de Córdoba
Soledad Díaz Alarcón, Universidad de Córdoba
Carmen Expósito Castro, Universidad de Córdoba
Martha Gaustad, Universidad de Córdoba
María del Carmen López Ruiz, Universidad de Córdoba
Manuel Marcos Aldón, Universidad de Córdoba
Beatriz Martínez Ojeda, Universidad de Córdoba
Jack McMartin, KU Leuven
María Luisa Montes Villar, Universidad de Granada
Leticia Moreno Pérez, Universidad de Valladolid
Manuel Moreno Tovar, University of Tartu
María del Mar Ogea Pozo, Universidad de Córdoba
Rafael Porlán Moreno, Universidad de Córdoba
Francisco Rodríguez Rodríguez, Universidad de Córdoba
Robert Piotr Szymyślik, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville
Azahara Veroz González, Universidad de Córdoba

Submission Guidelines

Scholars are invited to submit a 300-word abstract, excluding references, in Word format (Times New Roman, 12 pt). Please make sure to include the following information (in this order): the title of your presentation, abstract, 6 key-words, and selected bibliography. All submitted proposals will undergo a double-blind peer-review process.

Each presentation will be allotted 20 minutes, followed by a 10-minute question period. The working languages of the conference will be Spanish and English. Please send the documents above to the following address: by 15 October 2019.

Notification of acceptance will be sent on 15 January 2020.


Early bird fee (until 30 March): 125 euros
Last call (from 1 April to 1 May): 150 euros
Early bird fee (until 30 March): 50 euros
Last call (from 1 April to 1 May): 75 euros
Students from Universidad de Cordoba/Università degli studi di Trieste: 30 euros

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