Scroll down for our programme (subject to change). If you prefer, you can also download our programme here.
THE TRANSLATOR MADE CORPOREAL:
TRANSLATION HISTORY IN THE ARCHIVE
BRITISH LIBRARY KNOWLEDGE CENTRE
8 MAY 2017
In 2001 Theo Hermans suggested that while we have recognised that there can be no text without the human translator, translators are still expected to remain “hidden, out of view, transparent, incorporeal, disembodied and disenfranchised”.
Anthony Pym describes the need to look at the “flesh and blood” translator if we are to gain a deeper understanding of translators as cultural agents. D’Hulst suggests that we should ask Qui? – who is the translator? To answer this question he suggests we need to investigate the biographical detail of the translator, including his/her educational, social and economic background. More recently, Jeremy Munday, Outi Paloposki and others have suggested that we should research translators’ archives to reveal their every-day lives, struggles, networks, and even friendships. Munday has further suggested the creation of micro-histories of translators.
This conference sets out to explore current progress in studying the human, flesh-and-blood translator in an historical and cultural context. A final panel, chaired by Theo Hermans, will focus on the future potentials, limitations and risks of biographical research of translators in Translation Studies and the humanities.
8.30-9.15 Registration & Morning Coffee
9.30-10.15 KEYNOTE: JEREMY MUNDAY
10.15-11.45 PANELS SET ONE (details below)
11.45-12 Coffee Break
12.00 -1.30 PANELS SET TWO (details below)
© Julia Schönstädt
Showing: A photographic project The Translator Made Corporeal: Through the Lens by Julia Schönstädt.
2.30-4.00 PANELS SET THREE (details below)
4.00-4.30 Afternoon Tea Break
4.30-5.45 FINAL PANEL AND OPEN DISCUSSION: CHAIR THEO HERMANS
This programme may be subject to change.
1A: TRANSLATORS WHO REVEAL HISTORY: THREE MICROHISTORIES
Woods, Michelle: State University New York at New Paltz, USA
Women’s Agency in the Archives: Gender and the Materiality of Translation
Using case studies of women translators, this paper suggests that correspondence, contracts, translator’s writings complicate the notion of translation as mere linguistic transfer, revealing micro-histories of women subject to patriarchal demands, but also creating agency.
Leonard, Cormac: Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
A Chum of the Accused: An Exploration of Crime, Court Interpretation, Friendship and Enmity in 19th Century Ireland.
Using contemporary court records and newspapers covering a period of 30 years in the 1800s, this investigates the story of an uneducated, deaf man who was sent jail over seventy times, and his friend, neighbour who regularly acted as his interpreter.
Mairs, Rachel: University of Reading, Reading, UK
A Translator’s Archive: Solomon N. Negima in Palestine and Egypt (1885-1933)
Dragoman Negima worked as a translator and tourist guide. A recently discovered scrapbook and correspondence allows the reconstruction the life and career of this non-elite Middle Eastern translator, and sheds light on his international, multi-cultural clients.
1B: TRANSLATORS AND THEIR PERSONAL NETWORKS
Bogrdanova, Tatiana: University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland
Letters offer Insight into a Translator’s Life and Work: Arthur Ransome and W.R.S. Ralston.
Investigating personal correspondence of two translators of Russian folk tales into English; how personal relationships contributed to their work and their role as agents of cultural mediation.
Maguire, Muireann: University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
Pushkin in Grafton Street: The Legacy of Maighréad Nic Mhaicín
The first translator from Russian into the Irish language, Mhaicín’s life as a translator was deeply influenced by, and entwined with her social circle and personal decisions in her life.
Sessa, Delfina: University of Turku, Turku, Finland
The Unknown Translator of Aino Kallas’s Eros the Slayer into Italian: Paola Faggioli
Due to her close association with the fascist regime, Faggioli fell into oblivion and much of her correspondence has disappeared. Extensive research in Italian archives, however, reveals a complex set of relationships among different agents of the translation process.
1C: WHEN THE TRANSLATOR’S BACKGROUND OR OPINIONS AFFECT THE TEXT
Castagnino, Alessia: European University Institute of Florence, Florence, Italy
The Politics of Translators. The First Italian Versions of David Hume’s History of England
Combining different approaches including the cultural history of translation, history of reading and material bibliography, this paper investigates three translators of History of England working between 1818-1837 and how their biographical profile affected their texts.
Gibson, Helen: University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
What Are My Own Words? Three Northern Irish Poets, Translation and Linguistic Self-reflection.
Reading the linguistic mix in Heaney’s Beowulf, Carson’s The Inferno and Paulin’s The Road to Inver to reveal links between the social/cultural profile of translators and their texts.
Charlston, David: Translator, researcher, PhD Manchester 2012, Co-Editor New Voice
Biography, Narrative and the Translation of German Philosophy.
Using the case study of two translations of On War by Clausewitz, by a Russian peace activist, and by British and American military experts, this paper argues that biographical research and an understanding the positioning of translators of philosophy may enhance our critical engagement with the texts,.
Zieman, Zofia: Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
The Ambassador: Celina Wieniewska, Translator of Bruno Schulz
While successful in their time, Wieniewska’s translations of Schulz into English have been criticised for inaccuracies and simplifications. Looking at biographical details this paper sets out to show that her domesticating strategy was both deliberate and informed.
1D: THE TRANSLATOR IN THE LITERARY WORLD
Akbaş, Merve: Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
A Misfits Biography
Investigating the biography of Turkish author and translator Tomris Uyar (1941-2003) who, despite being a woman in a male dominated society, was at the heart of the literary world of the time.
Mansell, Richard: University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
‘I loved Barcelona with all my weak heart’: Friendship, and the Translations of Pearse Hutchinson
Researching Hutchinson’s (1927-2012) correspondence reveals his work as a translator grew out of his growing network of poets, publishers, media figures and other translators.
Hastenplug, Marlene: Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany
Mathilde Mann (1859-1925): Mediating Literature. Translating for a Living.
Investing the role of Mann as a mediator of literature between Scandinavia and Germany, through her correspondence with a plethora of contemporary authors.
2A: THE TRANSLATOR AS POLITICAL AGENT
Van Gerwen, Heleen: KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
The Hybrid Micro-history of Flemish Translator Karel Ledeganck (1805-1847)
Largely known as a romantic poet and forerunner of the Flemish Movement, Ledeganck also translated literature. This paper reveals, however, that he actively contributed to Flemish emancipation, not least through his translation of the French Civil Code.
Filanti, Rita: University of Bari, Bari, Italy
Ada Prospero Gobetti (1902-1968): The Woman Translator’s Double Invisibility
Working in fascist Italy Ada Prospero was a women’s rights activist and anti-fascist writer; she joined the “Parttito d’Azione” and risked her life in the Resistance fight. Her work as a translator is revealed here as audacious and innovative.
Ipek, Deniz Cekderi: Boaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey
An Idea Worker: Translator in Babiali, Sabiha Sertel (1895-1968).
Turkish translator, journalist, editor, novelist, publisher Settle called herself “an idea worker”. Her translation work went hand in hand with her political ideals, including her fight for workers and women’s rights and communist beliefs. She died in exile.
2B: TRANSLATORS IN A COLONIAL CONTEXT
Atefmehr, Zarah: Allamen Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran
Constitutional Monarchy of Iran and the Visibility of Translators
A comparison of the changing visibility and status of translators under two regimes in Iran; the reign of Naser-al-Din Shah (1848-1896) and the constitutional monarchy (1906-1926).
Basmutatary, Pompi: EFL University, Hyderabad, India
A Study of the Literary Circle in Colonial Assam: Colonial Administrative Officers as Translators
Colonial administrators posted in India were responsible for a large number of translations, including large numbers of literary works, this paper interrogates the effect of their professional affiliation on their work.
Writers and Linguists: The East India Company’s Persian Factory and Its Translators 1700-1750
This paper explores Armenian and Persian translators working out of the East India Company’s Factory at Bandar Abbas, who rather than being invisible, acted as the Company’s ‘familiar face’, dealing with Persian officials, interpreting for Europeans, and representing their interests independently.
2C: TRANSLATORS AND THEIR EDITORS
Boll, Tom: University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
The Albatross of the Century: Gregory Rabassa, Andree Conrad and the Anxieties of the Relationship between Translator and Editor.
Tracing the breakdown in relationship between Gregory Rabassa and his editor during the translation of Julio Cortázar’s novel Rayuela, revealing the diverse interests to the agents involved in the translation of literature and clashes in the ethics of translation.
Kamovnikova, Natalia: Independent researcher
Worst Friends, Best Enemies: Literary Translators and Their Editors in the Soviet Union.
Based on contemporary interviews with Russian literary translators of the 1960’s-80s, shining light on their working conditions, including their complex relationship with editors and publishing houses, their reactions to censorship, and how they were selected.
McAteer, Cathy: University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
Reds Under the Beds: The Story of a Russian Agent and His Strange Collection of Penguins
Archives reveal the relationship between the Penguin Classics editorial team and their Russian-English literary translators 1949-1977. In particular this paper investigates the career and biographical background of Magarshack who worked with Penguin for 15 years.
2D: THE ARCHIVE OF THE FUTURE: RESEARCHING CONTEMPORARY TRANSLATORS
Figiel, Wojciech: University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
The Habitus of Visually Impaired Translators and Interpreters.
Investigating the day-to-day concerns and struggles of visually impaired translators and interceptors in Poland today through interviews and conversations on the international Internet community, The Round Table.
Heino, Anu: University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland
A Translator in Progress: The Habitus of Contemporary Finnish Literary Translators.
Using the results of a 2016 survey of professional Finnish literary translators, trends in translators’ backgrounds, education and working lives are investigated in the light of the concepts of primary and specific habitus.
Piecychna, Beata: University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland
How Do Contemporary Literary Translators Perceive Their Own Status? Reflections on the Polish Translation Market in ‘Liquid Times’.
Investigating Polish translators perception of their status based on data collected in a 2016 survey, examining the potential and limitations of such research and finally exploring the concept of ‘liquid modernity’ in relation to the working lives of contemporary translators.
Pickford, Susan: Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France
Online Translators’ Groups as an Archive Resource
Translators deemed worthy of the archive tend to be the elite translators. The Emerging Translators Network, in particular it “Who Am I?” introduction thread offers a rich source of data about a wide variety of aspiring translators and the trajectories of their careers.
3A: INTERPRETERS IN THE ARCHIVE
Probirskaja, Svetlana: University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Tracing Military Interpreters in the Archive
Translators and interpreters are marginal in Military archives, using other sources including memoirs we throw light onto Soviet interpreters involved in military conflicts between the Soviet Union and Finland in World War II.
Takeda, Kayoko: Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan
Microcosm of Wartime Interpreters Found in War Crimes Trial Documents
Nearly 90 Japanese interpreters were convicted of war crimes in the Asia Pacific after WWII. Using military records this paper focuses on 24 who were convicted by the British. Inquiring into their backgrounds reveals a bigger picture of the role of language in war.
Phelan, Mary: Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Irish Language Court Translators
The names of court interpreters in 19th century Ireland were kept on record, from them biographies can be traced; among them we find a petty sessions clerk, gaolers, bailiffs, roles which may have made establishing trust with plaintiffs and defendants problematic.
3B: TRANSLATION AS COLLABORATION
Impens, Florence: University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Translation as Collaboration? The Example of Elaine Feinstein’s Marina Tsvetayeva: Selected Poems.
Feinstein’s work is often criticised for lack of accuracy. Drawing on archival sources including drafts this paper reveals the collaborative nature of the work of the translator and the presence of multiple agents in the text.
Muñiz, Iris Fernández: University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Gregorio Martinez Sierra (and Maria Lejárraga): The Many Faced Hermaphrodite Cultural Agent of Silver Age Spain
The plays and translations of Martinez Sierra are now credited in large part to his wife, the feminist politician, Maria Lejárraga. Using correspondence and other archival material this paper explores the challenges of identifying each translator’s contribution, with a focus on their 1917 adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.
Zanotti, Serenella: Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy
Recovering Film Translators’ Voices and Traces
Correspondence, editors’ and film directors’ notes are used here to reconstruct the complex negotiations and interpersonal relationships that govern the construction of the target language version of a film.
3C: REPRESENTATION OF THE TRANSLATOR
Moura, Joana: State University New York, New York, USA
The Body in Letters: Peter Handke as Translation of René Char
In a text dedicated to his translator friend Goldschmidt, Handke gives a graphic description of the involvement of translator’s body in the translational process. This paper explores Handke’s ideas in this text and in his other translation commentaries and fictional works.
Lygo, Emily: University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
Translation in Context: Max Hayward’s Translation of Russian Literature in the Cold War
Hayward translated Russian literature into English in the 1960s and 1970s. This investigates his archive to seek the truth of the two existing contrasting narratives representing him as an anti-soviet “Cold Warrior” or as a deep lover of Russian culture and literature.
Ivančić, Barbara: University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
The Corporealization of Translators and Translation.
Looking at the fictionalisation of the translator in translation biographies, focusing on the role the body has in translators’ narratives on the process of translation, making both translator and translation corporeal.
3D: MORE THAN INVISIBLE: WHEN EVIDENCE IS THIN
Strowe, Anna: University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
The Subject’s Notability: Maria Roscoe, Omission, Noteworthiness and Absence
Roscoe’s only translation of the poetry of Vitoria Colona was not well received. Using Roscoe as a case study this paper investigates the problem and simultaneous importance of recuperating and examining information about un-notable translators in history.
O’Connor, Anne: National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
Constructing Corporality from Thin Air? Translation History in the Absence of an Archive
This paper looks at some of the possible strategies that allow the research and writing of translation history in the face of a dearth of archival material, and the intersection between translation and book history.
Making Oneself Heard: Translators’ Networks as a Means of Empowerment within the Publishing Industry
Investigating translators though their archives and biographies to show how literary translators in Switzerland and France have increased their status and visibility in the last hundred years.
FINAL PANEL DISCUSSION WITH THEO HERMANS
INVESTIGATING THE POTENTIALS AND RISKS OF STUDYING THE BIOGRAPHIES OF TRANSLATORS
Panelists Outi Paloposki, Robert Looby, Richard Mansell and others TBA.