Summer Reading

Two members of our network, Dr Teodora Daniela Sechel (Karl Franzens Universität and Central European University) and Dr Graciela Iglesias Rogers (University of Oxford) offer us here a few reading suggestions for the summer, including an article from one of our most eminent followers, Prof. Linda Colley (Princeton University):

TranslationHistoriesEnlightenment

KONTLER, LÁSZLÓ, Translations, Histories, Enlightenments: William Robertson in Germany, 1760-1795 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
This book illustrates the difficulties German translators encountered while rendering the work of William Robertson – historian, minister, Principal of the University of Edinburgh and central figure in the Scottish Enlightenment – into their own language. The author shows how either for the sake of ascribing to language norms or for political reasons many of Robertson’s concepts and ideas were changed. Thus, the book serves to highlight the limits of translatability as well as the advantages of the cultural exchange produced by means of translations between different intellectual communities of the late eighteenth century Scotland and the German-speaking world.

BEHIELS, LIEVE; THOMAS, WERNER; PISTOR, CHRISTIAN, Translation as an Instrument of Empire: The Southern Netherlands as a Translation Center of the Spanish Monarchy, 1500–1700, Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 47/3 (2014/07/22 2014), 113-27.
In this article, the authors consider translation and translators as agents in globalization processes and focus on their role in the “first globalization” within the Spanish empire from 1500 onward. Combining concepts and methods from history and translation studies, they take the Southern Netherlands as a geographical center where translators, initiators of translations, printers, and other multilingual specialists were able to provide texts that circulated in the whole of the Spanish Monarchy. The authors show how a relational database comprising multiple data on translations and the people related to them helps to uncover networks among the participants in the translation process and to discover if and how authorities were involved. Finally, the database sheds light on the translation centers themselves and on the Spanish Monarchy’s language system.

COLLEY, LINDA, Empires of Writing: Britain, America and Constitutions, 1776-1848, Law and History Review, 32/02 (2014), 237-66.
In this article, Prof. Colley – who is currently working on the transnational history of constitutions – explores the variety of British responses to the constitutional innovations associated with the American Revolution, and the implications of this for both sides of the Atlantic. She also draws on these British responses to advance wider arguments about the cultural roots of the new constitutionalism, and the persistent connections between the writing and dissemination of constitutions and evolving modes of overland and overseas power and authority.

Enjoy the reading under warm and bright sunshine!

The Network’s coordinators

 

Synopsis of discussions

Roots of Rootlessness?:

Translations in Times of Disruption

2nd Conference of the University of Oxford’s
Interdisciplinary Research Network

TRANSLATIONS IN TRANSNATIONAL CONTEXTS

The Dorfman Centre, St. Peter’s College, Oxford,  10 May 2014

 

Panel 1: Translating Constitutions in the Age of Revolutions

Proponent/Chair: Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers

Speakers: Prof. Horst Dippel, Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers, Prof. David Hook, Dr. M.C. Mirow, Dr. Eduardo Posada-Carbó.

Numerous comments were made regarding the role translated versions of the Cadiz Constitution and of other constitutional texts, such as the US Constitution, had in shaping and/or instigating political crises at both local and transnational level. In Germany, Professor Dippel noted, the Cadiz Constitution attracted much interest during the turbulent 1820s and was still doing so at the time of the Revolution of 1848. There were notable distinctions between different versions and these tended to reflect contrasting political views: for example, terms such as nación in connection with phrases relating to the concept of national sovereignty could appear as volk in liberal and/or progressive translations and as nation in more conservative texts. The motivation of translators was explored; few of these men (female translators were rare) gave explanatory statements, and even fewer a clear statement, of their reasons and aims. The perspective of a translator approaching a text from “outside” the culture that produced it was the product of a significant gulf. It was queried whether any translations undermine the sense of the original, but the consensus was that all seem to be trying to reflect faithfully the source text, despite misconceptions and mistranslations. Publishers’ motivations, including cases of abridgments of texts for commercial rather than political/philosophical reasons, were also considered.

Panel 2: Translating Medical texts during epidemics and imperial crises

Proponent/Chair: Dr. Erica Charters

Speakers: Ms. Edna Bonhomme, Dr. Teodora Daniela Sechel.

It was pointed out that the official language of the Habsburg army was German, and that therefore material had to be extensively translated into the various minority languages spoken by the ordinary soldiery. Poverty of vocabulary and high costs of printing were important factors. The role of the central authorities in organising translation was discussed, as was the social, cultural and religious background of the personnel involved.
Discussion also raised the question of when printing was introduced in Tunis (the 19th century), and on the history of successive theories of contagion and the development of ideas on length and nature of quarantine, and different means of disinfection. The question of contacts with European medical thought, and the routes of its transmission, were mentioned.

Panel 3: Translating for war and for peace in the 19th century

Chair: Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers
Speakers: Dr. Jo Crow; Dr. Alicia Laspra-Rodríguez.

Much interest was provoked by questions surrounding the identity and status of those who fulfilled the role of translators between Spanish-speaking and Mapuche delegations during negotiations, and issues of protocol and social symbolism at these parlamentos. Interpreters did not translate just words, but also customs. During the Spanish period, interpreters came from within the community (not Spaniards) and exercised power within their own group. Post-independence, the Chilean authorities established the role of a ‘language inspector’ and there was no longer oral but written mediation in Spanish. In the case of the Peninsular War, the range of languages was extremely wide because of the large contingents and number of individuals from various European countries who participated in the conflict; again the identity, degree of professionalization, and social status of translators were points of interest. The question of female participation in this activity was also raised.

Panel 4: Literary translation confronted to the challenges of war, radicalism and globalization

Chair: Dr. Jonathan Thacker
Speakers: Dr. Agustín Coletes-Blanco; Ms. Tamara de Inés Antón; Dr Gemma Martínez-Garrido.

When asked about other periods than that covered in her paper, Dr Martinez-Garrido clarified that her research had not involved earlier periods and areas of film production: its focus was contemporary Catalonia. She thought that Catalan film had not been particularly interested in winning Oscars but had other priorities. Analysis could easily be extended to political and ideological aspects. She perceived different approaches in film translation: domestication of texts in the minority language, or stressing the foreign nature of a film from a foreign language. Her focus was on the international dimension of the question. Ms. de Inés Antón, answering a series of questions on translation of the Nicaraguan textual material, thought it relevant to enquire whether the impetus for translation came from an individual translator, the author, or a publishing house. The English translators were mostly US or English nationals; the quality and nature of the translation tended to vary according to the translator; there was a difference between academics and poets acting as translators, for example. It also varied according to context (time available for translation, political or poetic orientation in the publishing process, involving translator, publisher, and intended readership…). Replying to a question about the use of L3 texts such as Greek and Latin poems on the Peninsular War in English journals, Dr Coletes-Blanco thought that though such poems were a conventional exercise in the English education system of the time, they found a completely new content in this context.

Panel 5: Dynastic wars, post-revolutions, and resistance

Chair: Prof. David Hook
Speakers: Dr Emily A. Winkler; Dr. Jennifer Rushworth; Ms. Katarzyna Szymanska.

Dr Winkler’s account of exaltation of Norse-Irish dynastic origins in chronicle accounts of a Welsh ruling family as a counter to Norman pretensions led to consideration of narrative motifs, legitimation devices, and other aspects commonly encountered in medieval chronicles. Dr Rushworth responded to a question on whether any of Petrarch’s works had been listed in the Roman Catholic Church’s Index of prohibited and expurgated books by distinguishing the likely status and effect of content from different works within his poetic production in the context of their relevance to Avignon and the Papacy. She outlined 19th century French treatment of the topic. Ms Szymanska’s treatment of multiple versions of a text by the same translator, involving different modes of linguistic manipulation of an artificial futuristic language, raised various issues of political significance, it was thought, as well as of translation practice.

 

Conference 2014 – Thank you!

We would like to thank all participants to our second conference ‘Roots of Rootlessness?: Translations in Times of Disruption’ (St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford, 10 May 2014) for making the meeting such a successful and memorable event both in terms of the high level of academic discussion and of friendly personal interaction.
The depth and breadth of your comments was staggering and demonstrated that the network is not only gaining in membership numbers, but also in intellectual vibrancy and diversity.

IMGP0564

 

(Photo shows some of the participants at the entrance of St. Peter’s College. From right to left: Prof Horst Dippel, Dr. Alicia Laspra Rodriguez, Dr. Glynn Redworth, Dr. Eduardo Posada-Carbó, Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers, Dr. Agustín Coletes-Blanco, Dr. Daniela Sechel, Dr. Jo Crow, Dr. Matthew Mirow, Ms. Edna Bonhomme, Dr Emily Winkler, Dr. Jonathan Thacker)

We shall be soon in touch directly with speakers with a draft of a short panels’ report and a memo in relation to our discussions regarding publication outlet and style sheet.

Organisers & Network Co-ordinators:
Prof. David Hook, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages
Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers, Faculty of History and St. Peter’s College
Dr. Jonathan Thacker, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages and Merton College.

Translations in Transnational Contexts
An interdisciplinary research network at the University of Oxford
Click “Follow”  in the bottom right hand side of your screen to receive information from this blog: http://translationsintransnationalcontexts@wordpress.com

 

 

 

Conference – Registration is now open

Roots of restlessness?

Translations in times of Disruption

Date: Saturday 10 May 2014

Venue: The Dorfman Centre, St. Peter’s College, Oxford

With the support of The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), The Modern European History Research Centre (MEHRC), and The Society for the Social History of Medicine.

We are delighted to announce that registration is now opened for our second annual conference entitled ‘Roots of Restlessness? Translations in Times of Disruption’. The full programme and abstracts are now also available.

The purpose of the meeting is to consider the relevance, role and impact of translations during periods of serious discontinuity and/or rupture such as wars, invasions, imperial crises, mass migration, natural disasters (including epidemics), and revolutions – be they political, social, cultural or technological. The works studied are literary and non-literary texts, images as well as records of verbal and non-verbal communications. There will be panels on: ‘Translating constitutions in the Age of Revolutions’, ‘Translating medical texts during epidemics and imperial crises’, ‘Interpreting for war and peace in the 19th century’, ‘Literary translation, radicalism and globalization’ and ‘Dynastic wars, post-revolutions, and resistance’.

We have a strong line-up of speakers, including Prof. Horst Dippel (University of Kassel, editor in chief of ‘Constitutions of the World from the late 18th Century to the Middle of the 19th Century’ ), Dr. Igor Mednikov (director of the Iberian Studies Centre at the Russian State University for the Humanities), Prof. Matthew C. Mirow (Florida International University), Prof. David Hook (Oxford), Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers (Oxford), Dr. Eduardo Posada-Carbó (Oxford), Dr. Erica Charters (Oxford), Edna Bonhomme (Princeton), Teodora Daniela Sechel (Karl Franzens Universität / Central European University), Dr. Jo Crow (Bristol), Dr. Alica Laspra-Rodríguez (Oviedo), Dr. Firat Oruc (Georgetown/Qatar), Tamara de Inés Antón (Manchester), Dr. Jennifer Rushworth (Oxford), Dr Emily A. Winkler (Oxford), Dr. Gemma Martínez-Garrido (Kent), Katarzyna Szymanska (Oxford) and Dr. Agustín Coletes-Blanco (Oviedo).

Please notice that the event will take place at the Dorfman Centre, St. Peter’s College, a warm and cosy garden pavilion that is approached via a pergola walk and a small cloister court. Internally the seminar room is lined completely in oak and cedar and is fitted with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.

All are welcome. There is no conference fee, but registration is required. More details in the Registration page.

We very much look forward to seeing you in May!

For more information contact any of the coordinators: Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers (graciela.iglesiasrogers@history.ox.ac.uk) and/or Professor David Hook (david.hook@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk) and/or Dr. Jonathan Thacker (jonathan.thacker@merton.ox.ac.uk ).

An embarrassment of riches

We are delighted to say that we have already a full and varied programme for our upcoming conference ‘Translations in Times of Disruption’ (St. Peter’s College, Oxford, 10 May 2014) that will include speakers from three continents covering an extremely wide range of topics, periods and languages which fortunately fall naturally into coherent panels. This means, sadly, that we are unable to accept any more offers for papers.

We shall be posting further details of this conference very soon in this site and look forward to welcoming participants to what promises to be a very exciting event.

For more information contact any of the coordinators: Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers (graciela.iglesiasrogers@history.ox.ac.uk) and/or Professor David Hook (david.hook@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk) and/or Dr. Jonathan Thacker (jonathan.thacker@merton.ox.ac.uk ).

Reminder – CFP deadline

Roots of restlessness? Translations in times of Disruption

Supported by The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) and the Modern European History Research Centre (MEHRC)

The deadline for submitting an abstract is 31 January 2014.

Please send proposals to translations.transnational@gmail.com .

You should receive an immediate acknowledgment – if not, please send again or contact the coordinators.

Conference date: Saturday 10th May 2014

Venue: St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford.

The University of Oxford’s interdisciplinary network Translations in Transnational Contexts  invites submissions for a one-day conference that will consider the relevance, role and impact of translations during periods of serious discontinuity and/or rupture such as wars, invasions, imperial crises, mass migration, natural disasters (including epidemics), and revolutions - be they political, social, cultural or technological. The works studied can be literary and non-literary texts, images as well as records of verbal and non-verbal communications that took place at any time in history.

We have already a strong line-up of international speakers, including Prof. Horst Dippel (University of Kassel, editor in chief of ‘Constitutions of the World from the late 18th Century to the Middle of the 19th Century’ ) and Dr. Igor Mednikov (director of the Iberian Studies Centre at the Russian State University for the Humanities), but the network welcomes proposals from scholars at all stages of their academic careers and particularly those that cross disciplinary boundaries in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Key questions and topics to address might include, but are not limited to:

. Have translations ever instigated a crisis, or shaped the way in which it developed? If so, how far should translators be held responsible for such an outcome?

. To what extent have moments of disruption fostered or hindered the translation of specific works?

. Do periods of upheaval encourage the production of new translations and/or the reprint of old works?  If the latter, were long-established artistic or literary works preferred to non-literary works, or the reverse?

. What impact, if any, abruptly-changing circumstances have on matters of accuracy, fidelity and/or writing style?

Submissions are not restricted to any specific period, area of study or language.  The conference will be organized in sessions containing panels and/or individual papers for which separate Call For Papers can be made.  Innovative formats of research communication (including 10-minute presentations) are welcome along with traditional 20-minute papers.

Please send your 250 word proposal including name, affiliation, and contact details to the following email address: translations.transnational@gmail.com

For more information contact the coordinators: Dr. Graciela Iglesias Rogers (graciela.iglesiasrogers@history.ox.ac.uk) and/or Professor David Hook (david.hook@mod-langs.ox.ac.uk) and/or Dr. Jonathan Thacker (jonathan.thacker@merton.ox.ac.uk ).

Sponsorship

Modern European History Research Centre (MEHRC)

We are delighted to announce that the Modern European History Research Centre (MEHRC), based in Oxford University’s History Faculty, has decided to join the list of sponsors of our upcoming conference “Roots of restlessness? Translations in Times of Disruption”  (St. Peter’s College, 10 May 2014). The Call for Papers for both the conference and its opening session will close on 31st January (CFP for conference and CFP for session).

The MEHRC was set up in 1999 to generate new and exciting research projects in European and British history from the Renaissance to the present, to build research networks with institutes and universities in the UK, Europe and worldwide, to provide opportunities for research collaboration and facilities for visiting researchers, and to train new generations of research students in the field of Modern European and British History.

The Centre encourages international collaboration between research students through annual graduate workshops held in conjunction with the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan, Paris, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the Humboldt University, Berlin, and with  Geneva University. It is supported by around forty leading historians at Oxford, from which it draws its management committee. This is headed by the Chair, Dr David Hopkin; Research Director, Dr Tom Buchanan and supported by the Administrator, Jane Cunning.

For more information on the MEHRC, visit their website:  http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/research/centre/mehrc.html

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58 other followers

%d bloggers like this: