CfP for EST Panel on ‘Exploring translation policy in translation publishing’

Conveners: Paola GentileJack McMartinReine Meylaerts 

This panel seeks to explore translation policy in literary publishing settings. As a concept, translation policy has most recently been used to explore legal, institutional and administrative aspects (Meylaerts 2011), e.g., how translation policy is enacted in the European Union, or how it is used by governments to guarantee or limit citizens’ right to understand information and access public services (González Núñez & Meylaerts 2017). However, translation policy also operates in “a wide range of relatively informal situations related to ideology, translators’ strategies, publishers’ strategies, prizes and scholarships, translator training, etc.” (Meylaerts 2011, 163). In recent years, researchers working at the intersection of translation publishing and the sociology of translation have foregrounded translation policy in the literary sphere by focusing on the transnational processes and institutions involved in the publication of translated works from the ‘periphery’ (McMartin & Gentile 2020), which are often facilitated by state-sponsored institutions with clear strategies for international literary circulation and promotion (Heilbron & Sapiro 2018). This panel seeks to further explore the link between translation policy and the publishing industry, with a special focus on the selection, acquisition, production, and marketing of translated literature, the institutions facilitating the production of translated literature, and the overlapping social spheres (cultural, commercial, political) and scales (local, national, regional, global) that shape how translated literature comes into being in the contemporary, globalized book market. Relevant topics include but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical and methodological reflections on translation policy in relation to the publishing industry
  • Case studies examining the translation policy of specific publishing houses or governmental institutions, or clusters thereof
  • The role of government organizations in literary transfer to and from (peripheral) cultures and languages
  • Links between the various institutional actors involved in the publication of a translated book
  • Translation policy as it relates to literature in contexts in which censorship is practiced.


González Núñez, Gabriel, and Reine Meylaerts. 2017. Translation and Public Policy. Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Case Studies. London/New York: Routledge.

Heilbron, Johan and Gisèle Sapiro. 2018. “Politics of Translation: How States Shape Cultural Transfers” In Literary Translation and Cultural Mediators in ‘Peripheral’ Cultures, eds. Diana Roig-Sanz and Reine Meylaerts, Palgrave Macmillan, 183-208.

McMartin, Jack, and Paola Gentile. 2020. “The transnational production and reception of ‘a future classic’: Stefan Hertmans’ War and Turpentine in 30 languages”. Translation Studies 13 (3): 271–90.

Meylaerts, Reine. 2011. “Translation policy”. In Handbook of Translation Studies – Volume 1, eds. Yves Gambier and Luc van Doorslaer, 163–68. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

To submit a proposal, please follow the instructions on the official EST webpage. The deadline is 15 October.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s