TIATPH 2009 : Translation in Asia: Theories, Practices, Histories
Call For Papers
BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
Translation has, no doubt, been a powerful force throughout human history for as long as it has been practiced. It has allowed scientific, technological, linguistic and literary forms of knowledge to spread across vast geographical and cultural distance. One of the realms in which the force of translation is most evident historically is religion: translations of scripture have initiated and sustained the spread of religions far from their place of origin, in the process altering societies’ ways of life and understanding of the human and divine.
For many years translation was relegated to the margins of academic discourse just as translators’ names were barely visible within the pages of the books they translated. Translation was often viewed as a technical act of transformation, a necessary step on a text’s path to a new language and a new market. Gradually, questioning such an approach and perceiving translation as a site where issues of power, ideology, poetics, creative expression and technique converged, scholars in the fields of literary studies, history and religion, among others, began examining more closely the ways in which translation has been conceptualized and practiced throughout history.
What gets translated in a particular society, and why? Who decides, in any given period and place, what translation entails and who carries out those decisions? How do these parameters shift with the passage of time within and across societies? What are the forces that encourage and resist translation? The field of Translation Studies, which has emerged in recent times, is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that centers on such questions, seeking to understand translation as it was understood and practiced in diverse, yet particular historical circumstances.
Much progress has been attained in this field, especially in reaching a better understanding of translation histories in Europe and America. However, the knowledge of the theory and practice of translation in various periods and places remains, at best, fragmented.
The histories of translation into and from many Asian languages, although long and complex, to a large extent remain obscure. Especially lacking is theoretical conceptualization and analysis of what, in fact, were the dominant ideas about translation in different Asian societies, and how these ideas were articulated, implemented, resisted and practiced. Exploring these elements - and additional ones – will enrich current discussions in the fields of Translation Studies, religion, literary studies and history, enabling us to better understand translation movements which had profound effects but have been largely left on the sidelines of academic scholarship.
This conference seeks to convene scholars from the region and beyond who are working on various aspects of the study of translation across Asia. In particular it will focus on attempts to better understand and theorize how translation – as an ideological act, as an artistic endeavor, as an opening to unknown terrain – was understood and practiced within Asian societies during particular historical moments.
This call is issued for papers discussing current research on translation in Southeast, South and East Asian cultures with an emphasis on the seventeenth to early twentieth centuries. However, we will also be open to considering how earlier forms of translation continue to echo in Asian societies in the present.
Themes that are of particular interest include, but are not limited to:
- Theorizing translation in Asian contexts (moving beyond the descriptive)
- The interplay between vernacular and cosmopolitan languages in translation (for example Javanese and Arabic; Tamil and Sanskrit; Malay and English)
- Practices and techniques
- Translation movements and their histories
- Training translators: translation academies, translation manuals
- Translation prefaces (justifications, goals, ideologies as expressed by translators)
- Translators’ patronage systems
- Ideology and translation
- Poetics of translation
- Translations and the development of languages and education
- Cultures and cannons: what gets translated?
- Explicit and implicit in translation traditions
- Translation in Asia in a comparative perspective
- New directions: what, if anything, can exploring translation in Asian contexts contribute to wider debates about translation?
Kindly download the Paper Proposal Submission Form at http://www.ari.nus.edu.sg/events_categorydetails.asp?categoryid=6&eventid=851
Paper proposals should include a 250-word abstract. A concise CV and short biography should also be submitted with the abstract by 31 October 2008.
Successful applicants will be notifed by 15 November 2008 and will be required to send in a completed paper by 1 February 2009.
Based on the quality of proposals and availability of funds, partial or full funding may be granted to successful applicants. Board and lodging for the duration of the workshop will be provided to every participant.
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
#10-01 Tower Block,469A Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259770
Tel: (65) 6516 8784
Fax: (65) 6779 1428