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CFP: special issue on Translation Theory in Practice (5/1/2012)

Romantic Circles Pedagogies
Special Issue: Translation Theory in Practice: Teaching Romantic Translation(s)

Romantic Circles Pedagogies invites submissions for a special volume on translation theory in the classroom. We would be very interested in submissions addressing texts from the Victorian Period!
Possible topics include:

  • methods for incorporating single or multiple texts in translation into courses on literature and culture in the Romantic era and/or other historical periods;
  • arguments for the inclusion of specific translated texts in literature courses as pedagogically (or otherwise) advantageous;
  • the role of Romantic translation theory (e.g., Tytler, Staël, Goethe, Novalis, Schleiermacher) in courses on Romanticism and/or literary theory;
  • the role of contemporary translation theory (e.g., Derrida, Venuti, Robinson, Spivak, Apter) in courses on Romanticism or Romantic literary theory;
  • methods for incorporating translation theory into contemporary or historical literary theory courses.

Texts in translation are now finding their way into Romantic (and other historically and nationally specific) literature courses, yet until recently, translations were rarely deemed acceptable for inclusion in such reading lists. Romanticists now recognize the significant ways that disavowing the inclusion of translations in course syllabi has skewed our perceptions of the period’s literary public sphere. Romantic-era readers were enthusiastic about texts originally written in French, German, Arabic, and Sanskrit: why wouldn’t our own students be?

But how should we, as teachers of literature, approach translated texts? Recent conferences of the MLA and ACLA have been organized around the central issue of translation in literary studies, while Emily Wittman, in a recent issue of College English, suggested that English departments should consider mandatory undergraduate courses in translation studies in their curricula. Since most departments have yet to incorporate such a course, how can we, as instructors of literature, responsibly and effectively bring translations into our undergraduate and graduate courses?

What sorts of questions should we ask our students to bear in mind while reading in translation? What are the roles of translators in literary history in general and/or during the Romantic period in particular? How do translations complicate our understanding of authorship? How do connections between translation and gender, translation and class, and translation and race help to create productive and stimulating classroom discussions? How do more recent planetary conceptions of literary history foreground the significance of translators and translations? How do translations and translation theory alter as we teach them (teaching in/as translation)? Can translation theory enhance discussions of related phenomena such as literary adaptation and inter-media aesthetics? How can technological innovations in our own time (google translate and other forms of machine translation) assist and/or undermine the way we approach foreign texts in literary history?

And perhaps most significantly for a special volume on translation in the Romantic-literature classroom: what works in translation, what doesn’t, and why?

Articles should be in English, with translations provided of texts from other languages. Hyperlinks to texts in other languages are encouraged.  Please send a 500-word abstract and brief vita to C.C. Wharram (ccwharram@eiu.edu) by May 1, 2012. The deadline for articles from accepted abstracts will be October 2012. Articles should be between 3000-5000 words. All articles will be peer-reviewed.

Please direct all inquiries to C.C. Wharram, Associate Professor of English at Eastern Illinois University (ccwharram@eiu.edu).

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