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WALTIC 2010 : WALTIC 2010 Writers' and Literary Translators' International Congress


When Sep 2, 2010 - Sep 5, 2010
Where Istanbul, TURKEY
Submission Deadline Jun 7, 2010
Categories    freedom of expression   authors' rights   literacy

Call For Papers


The deadline for abstract submissions have been extended to the 7th of June.

Confirmed Key note speakers:
Ko Un
Renata Salecl


The first ever Writers’ and Literary Translators’ International Congress convened between June 29th and July 2nd 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, reached the following resolution:
Increasing literacy is essential to improvement of welfare and democratic processes, and to the safeguarding of human rights. The right to education and access to a rich flora of literature for children are important tools in the struggle against illiteracy. WALTIC urges all the countries of the world to initiate and support national and international efforts to increase literacy.

Safeguarding freedom of expression makes it possible for both the ordinary citizen and decision makers to better understand the world around them and thus to make informed decisions. WALTIC demands that writers and translators, in carrying out their professions, must be actively protected by national and international law.

Strengthening authors’ rights in the digitalized world is a new challenge. Digital tools provide writers and translators with the means to overcome censorship and to find new ways of making their literature available. In order to make it possible for the free and independent author to remain in control of his or her text, WALTIC demands that authors’ rights be upheld and developed nationally and internationally.

The Second Writers’ and Literary Translators’ International Congress to be convened in September 2010 in Istanbul, Turkey, aims at broadening the scope of this resolution, with special emphasis on the impact of cultural translation, of the journey of the word across borders and between cultures, on literacy, freedom of expression and authors’ rights. We welcome papers from writers and scholars all around the world on these three themes, not only reiterating but extending and expanding them, searching for new meaning at the precise locations where different languages (as agencies of different cultures) meet and interact.

Some possible expansions of our main themes could be as follows:
No borders for the word: In order for “improvement of welfare and democratic processes, and the safeguarding of human rights” to flourish, the word should be free to travel across borders. Electromagnetic waves have already granted us this possibility for the spoken word, and contemporary digital technologies have, in a limited sense, done the same thing for the written word. The task, however, to enhance these technological innovations, which mainly work only for a lingua franca (in our day, mainly English), with cultural impermeability, a universal effort of cultural translation, still remains. Striving for universal literacy is not sufficient: we should also endeavor to make the best (and ultimately, all) words on and by civilized humanity available to all.

No limits for expression: Many states all over the world still seem to believe in the old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword,”, and accordingly, they grant a broader span of freedom to the sword than they do to the pen. However, “the arms of criticism” still cannot overcome “the criticism of arms”, and accordingly, every effort should be made by local and international institutions of justice to protect the pen in this ill-balanced struggle. Writers and scholars all over the world should support such institutions, because wherever they live and how “democratic” their own governments may be, it is their own past or future story that is being told, whenever (and wherever) the free intercourse of words is hindered by political power or sheer force.

Work over property: The internet made it possible for anybody (who has access to it) to share works of music, cinema and the written word, regardless of property rights. This development should be both a source of joy and of worry for those of us who produce music, cinema and literature, because while it makes our works available for many more people and hinders censorship, it also robs us of our livelihoods. This ambiguous situation is, in itself, a harbinger of a new human condition: Writers deserve a livelihood through their works, not because they own them but simply because they have produced them. Or, in other words, the existing relations of property cannot handle or coexist with the new technologies they have brought into being. Trying to enforce these relations of property regardless of these new technologies of communication and the new social relations they themselves made possible, can only end up in authoritarian measures where some kind of an “internet police” will have access into our computers, and through them, our lives. Writers and scholars should be constantly aware of this ambiguity brought about by the new technologies of communication, beware of the attempts at its resolution through authoritarian measures and endeavor for a completely new resolution which will entail new and different relations of property (or the lack thereof).

Best Practices & Stories WALTIC proudly presents Best Practice & Stories, a unique concept based on a combination of the scholarly paper and the written story, specially adapted to fit both universities and the independent originator by merging the scholarly world with writers and translators from all over the world, thus providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for students and scholars to meet a vast variety of representatives of world literature.

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