Call for Papers – Paradoxes and Misunderstandings in Cultural Transfers

Van woensdag 22 tot vrijdag 24 mei 2019 organiseert de Katholieke Universiteit van Louvain-la-Neuve (UC Louvain) een internationale conferentie onder de titel “Paradoxes and Misunderstandings in Cultural Transfers”/”Les transferts culturels : paradoxes et malentendus”.


Introduced in Cultural History in the late 1980s to cover the dead angles of comparative studies, the notion of cultural transfer refers to diverse phenomena of circulation, transformation and reinterpretation of cultural and textual goods across geo-cultural areas. As a research method intended to override national  rameworks, Cultural Transfer Studies have inspired an increasing amount of interdisciplinary work in various fields such as Literary Studies (e.g., Lüsebrink 2008, Roland 2016), Translation Studies (e.g., Göpferich 2007, Roig-Sanz & Meylaerts 2018), or Cultural and Art History (e.g., Espagne 2013, Middell 2014). Beyond the sole idea of displacement between a source and a target culture, cultural transfers aim to do justice to the heterogeneity of each cultural zone and to the logics of intersection and hybridity by identifying enclaves, networks and vectors of exchanges. Inspired by the promises of  entangled history’/’Verflechtungsgeschichte’ (Werner & Zimmerman 2003) – which takes into account the reciprocity and multidirectionality of (re-)transfers –, recent studies have investigated the diversity, intertwining and non-linearity of a broad spectrum of transfer practices, including translations, thus giving voice to mediating activities and agencies largely ignored so far (e.g., D’hulst 2012).

Despite its conceptual relevance and the proliferation of case studies on mediators and border crossing phenomena, Transfer Studies seem to have reached a
turning point. On the one hand and as already pointed out by Werner and Zimmerman (2003), even entangled objects, entities and practices do not escape pre-established categorizations and the essentialist pitfalls they entail. On the other hand, the insistence on coincidence and the methodological flattening out of any pre-existing borders, sometimes at the expense of historicity, risk to precipitate the methodological framework toward unproductive relativism. As a result, and because of a certain lack of consensus among theorists (Joyeux 2003), the added value and the merits of Transfers vis-à-vis related concepts in e.g. Postcolonial Studies, Translation Studies, transnational historiography or transcultural studies have been questioned. What is the specificity of cultural transfers? Can it be thought outside the West European context? Can the notion of transfer help us to overcome disciplinary, national and linguistic borders? Or does it reaffirm them? How should we apprehend the (non-)linearity and asymmetry of transfer processes over various spaces and times? Is it possible to measure the impact of transfers and (how) can we evaluate their relative ‘success’? Facing these questions and paradoxes, this conference would like to (re)think the viability of the concept of cultural transfer, its current and future challenges as well as its tools, objectives and epistemological framework(s) in an interdisciplinary perspective. The main issues we would like to discuss are related, but not limited, to four topics: (1) linearity, (2) borders/boundaries, (3) competing/connected concepts and (4) impact/success.

1) (Non-)Linearity. Transfer is a continuous process involving various moving sources and targets, such as institutions, languages, cultures, agents. How can we adequately apprehend them across time within or outside the reductionist source-target binarity, with its hierarchical and often too unidirectional frames?

2) Borders/Boundaries. Do transfers and translations create (Pym 1998), enforce (Leerssen 2014) and/or surpass borders? What is the impact of the researcher’s position on the way he/she conceives boundaries?

3) Competing/Connected concepts. Transfer is an omnipresent cultural phenomenon linked to concepts from other disciplines (e.g. hybridity, métissage,
in-betweenness, transculturality, pluriculturality, translation, networks, third space, etc.). Do these related concepts go beyond purely conceptual discrepancies, and if so, can concepts from other disciplines bring insight to Transfer Studies, and vice versa?

4) Impact/success. (How) can we evaluate the function(s), impact and success of transfer processes over time? What can we learn from failed transfers? What are the consequences of misunderstandings and how to deal with them? How and when do researchers define a transfer as ‘successful’ or not?


We invite speakers to submit abstracts of maximum 200 words, methodologically and/or theoretically motivated. The conference languages will be English and French. Please send your abstract and short bio-bibliographical note to both and before 30 October 2018.


Confirmed keynotes/ conférenciers confirmés
– Elke Brems (KU Leuven)
– Diana Roig-Sanz (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

Organizing committee/ comité d’organisation
– Julie Crombois (FNRS, UC Louvain)
– Dirk Delabastita (U Namur)
– Maud Gonne (FNRS, U Namur/UC Louvain)
– Hubert Roland (FNRS, UC Louvain)
– Elies Smeyers (FNRS, UC Louvain/U Gent)
– Stéphanie Vanasten (UC Louvain)

Scientific committee/ comité scientifique
– Marnix Beyen (U Antwerpen)
– Lieven D’hulst (KU Leuven)
– Jaap Grave (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
– Joep Leerssen (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
– Reine Meylaerts (KU Leuven)
– Lut Missinne (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
– Helga Mitterbauer (ULB)
– Francis Mus (U Liège)
– Arvi Sepp (VUB/U Antwerpen)

Seminar : The Author’s Other Voice: Literary Translation in Theory and Practice (NeMLA)

Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
The 50th Annual Convention
Washington DC

March 21-24, 2019.

The interdisciplinary turn in the field of Translation Studies has raised a number of questions regarding the interweaving of theory and practice, the development of hybrid approaches to the target text, the power of translation to shape cultural relations, and the growing expectations of the reader for truth and clarity. In this context, the role of the literary translator becomes ever-more pertinent. His/her verbal dexterity as well as the ability to capture the narratological complexity of the source text define the subtle border between content and form and shape the identity of the translated work of art. Yet the literary translator’s most challenging task is to decide whether the creative use of language can be rendered possible without infringing the rules of linguistic acceptability. This question constitutes the starting point of our inquiry and calls for further research on both individual and collective variables that influence the translation process. Given the translator’s ability to question the singularity of literary traditions and offer a better understanding of the intrinsic pluralism of culture, this seminar seeks original approaches regarding the social utility and functions of the translated text.

Theoretical considerations and/or practical case studies can focus on either a descriptive, target-oriented, functional, and systemic analysis of literary translation (Gideon Toury 1985; Dilek Dizdar 2009) or towards a normative, source-text oriented, linguistic, and atomistic standpoint (Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast 2006). Other possible approaches can examine the social constraints that condition the reception of literary translation (Gisele Sapiro 2008), the enunciatory process of cultural translation and its relation to the concept of hybridity (Homi Bhabha 1994), the hermeneutic motion and the battle between literal and symbolic meaning (George Steiner 1975), the element of resistance and the irresolution of translation (Walter Benjamin 1921), the claim of aesthetic autonomy (Lawrence Venuti 2012), the ethical turn in translation studies (Mary Snell-Hornby 2006), and the place of translations both within a given literature and in the intersection between literatures (Theo Hermans 1985). Reflections on literary translation through the prism of philosophy, sociology, poetics, studies on the imaginary or any other related field are also welcome.

This seminar is part of the 50th annual Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) convention which will take place in Washington DC from the 21st until the 24th of March 2019. Scholars at any stage of their research are welcome to submit their abstracts (100-250 words) before the 30th of September 2018. Submissions for this seminar can only be sent via the convention’s website:

For further information you can contact the organizer:

Short Description:
This seminar welcomes original approaches with regard to the translation of poetry and prose. Scholars at any stage of their research are invited to reflect on the status of the literary translator, the social utility of the translated work of art, the emergence of new paradigms in Translation Studies, the interchange between theory and practice, and the contribution of literary translation in shaping cultural relations.

De kwaliteit van vertalingen. Een terminologie van de vertaalevaluatie

Winibert Segers en Gijs-Walt van Egdom, De kwaliteit van vertalingen. Een terminologie van de vertaalevaluatie.

Wat is een goede vertaling? Wat doet een competente vertaler? De kwaliteit van vertalingen probeert hierop een antwoord te formuleren. De basistermen van de vertaalevaluatie worden op een bevattelijke manier uitgelegd. Daarnaast worden de termen met opmerkingen, voorbeelden en kruisverwijzingen in een context geplaatst. Uiterst geschikt voor beoordelaars in onderwijs en beroepscontexten, docenten en studenten vertaalkunde, vertalers en revisoren.

Over de auteurs

Winibert Segers is verbonden aan de KU Leuven en begeleidt de vertaalateliers Administratief vertalen en Medisch vertalen.

Gys-Walt van Egdom is als docent en onderzoeker verbonden aan de Zuyd hogeschool.

Meer informatie:

Translating Cultural Memory in Fiction and Testimony – Memory Studies and Translation Studies in Dialogue

Translating Cultural Memory in Fiction and Testimony – Memory Studies and Translation Studies in Dialogue
International Conference

Organizers: Claudia Jünke (University of Innsbruck) and Désirée Schyns (Ghent University)

University of Innsbruck (Austria), 10-11 October 2019

A few years ago Sharon Deane-Cox (2013: 309) observed a “striking absence of dialogue between memory studies and translations studies”, two fields of research which with very rare exceptions (such as Brodzki 2007) did not have much contact with each other. This diagnosis is still valid today and has recently been confirmed by Siobhan Brownlie (2016: 12) who states that “the research concerning translation and memory […] has not been conceptualized as a whole”. The interdisciplinary conference aims at bringing together scholars from cultural memory studies and from translation studies without privileging one of the two disciplinary perspectives. In doing so, it wants to further explore the potential of a new research design that results from the intersections and the nterplay of these two areas of study. The focus of the conference will lie on a particular kind of memory: fictional and testimonial literature’s memories of traumatic pasts, i.e. memories of wars, genocide, dictatorship, colonial oppression, terror and other forms of politically and ethnically motivated violence. We propose to consider literary fictions and testimony that deal with these issues as media of ‘cultural memory’ in the sense of Jan Assmann (1992) and Aleida Assmann (2012), i.e. of collectively shared visions of the past which emerge from historical knowledge stored in and transmitted by cultural objects and practices and which circulate and are negotiated in the (trans)cultural sphere. What happens when texts that represent, perform and negotiate traumatic memories are translated into other languages and therefore into other cultural contexts? What is the importance of particular translation strategies, of paratextual framing, of different horizons of expectation and reception for the transmission of cultural reminiscence? Which role do the translations, the translators and other agents of translation play for memory’s transcultural, cross-border ‘travels’? Is there an ‘ethics of translation’ when it comes to the transfer of memories of past crimes? These are some of the question that the conference wants to address.

The far-reaching absence of dialogue between translation studies scholars and those cultural studies scholars interested in questions of translation seems to be mainly a consequence of the different concepts of ‘translation’ that are at play. On the one hand, cultural studies scholars advocate for a wideranging concept that understands ‘translation’ in a broad and metaphorical sense, referring for instance to the transfers between cultures, areas of knowledge or academic disciplines. This is for instance the case in Doris Bachmann-Medick’s work on the ‘translational turn’ in the humanities (see BachmannMedick 2009). On the other hand, translation studies scholars tend to criticize this conceptual widening and claim the importance of a more specific and narrow concept of translation that keeps ‘translation proper’ as its point of reference (see Dizdar 2009, Heller 2017). In focusing on memories of traumatic pasts in fictional and testimonial literature and in fostering a dialogue between memory scholars interested in questions of translation and translation scholars interested in questions of memory the conference wants to stimulate productive discussions that transcend the binarity of these two positions and that scrutinize the cross-fertilizations between the two academic disciplines.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Susan Bassnett (University of Warwick) and Lucy Bond (University of Westminster)

We encourage the proposal of papers both on theoretical and conceptual aspects and on particular case studies (on different genres such as narrative, poetry, drama, graphic novels, testimony, autobiography) that reflect on the intersections of memory and translation and that explicitly tackle the problems, questions and desiderata addressed in this description. The language of the conference is English; the presentations should not exceed 20 minutes as we want to have sufficient time for discussion.

Scholars interested in participating and presenting a paper are invited to send their abstracts (including short biographical information) of not more than 350 words to the organizers:,

Deadline for the submission of abstracts of papers: 15 January 2019

Notification of the acceptance of the papers will be sent until the end of February 2019

Assmann, Aleida, 2012: Cultural Memory and Western Civilization. Functions, Media, Archives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Assmann, Jan, 1992: Das kulturelle Gedächtnis: Schrift, Erinnerung und Politische Identität in frühen Hochkulturen, München: C.H. Beck.
Bachmann-Medick, Doris, 2009: “Introduction: The translational turn”, Translation Studies 2/1, 2–16.
Brodzki, Bella, 2007: Can these bones live? Translation, Survival, and Cultural Memory, Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Brownlie, Siobhan, 2016: Mapping Memory in Translation, Houndmills / Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Deane-Cox, Sharon, 2013: “The translator as secondary witness: Mediating memory in Antelme’s L’espèce humaine”, Translation Studies 6/3, 309–323.
Dizdar, Dilek, 2009: “Translational transitions: ‘Translation proper’ and translation studies in the humanities”, Translation Studies 2/1, 89–102.
Heller, Lavinia, 2017: „Eulen nach Athen? Provokation und Reflexionsanstöße des translational turn derKulturwissenschaft für die Translationstheorie“, Lavinia Heller (ed.): Kultur und Übersetzung. Studien zu einem begrifflichen Verhältnis, Bielefeld: Transcript, 93–115.

Tradurre e ritradurre i classici / Translations and new translations of classics

Op woensdag 7 november 2018 organiseert de VUB een studiedag over het vertalen van klassieke literatuur. De studiedag vindt aan de IIC van Brussel (Instituto Italiano di Cultura, rue de Livourne 38) plaats.

Officiële presentatie (in het Engels):
Italy publishes new translations of foreign classics more often than any other European country. The fact that the Italian language seems to “expire” within a few decades shows its lexical mobility. This conference aims to focus on this specific phenomenon resorting really in the least to the theories of the translation studies: even though these critical tools are necessary for the translator’s cultural baggage, they cannot substitute his/her ear, which remains essential to capture the echo emanated from the original text.

The analysis of these new translations of foreign classics of modern and contemporary literature will focuses on the real practice of translation: some of the best translators of world-renowned classics will be invited to explain their linguistics choices in order to “rejuvenate” the Italian language and in order to know how to combine linguistics needs and publishing strategies.

A special “Dutch focus” will explore translations from Dutch into Italian and vice versa.

Meer informatie en programma: Tradurre e ritradurre i classici

Contact en inschrijving: Stefania Ricciardi (

Vacancy at Utrecht University – Assistant Professor in Computational Linguistics

Assistant Professor in Computational Linguistics (1.0 FTE)
( see:


The Department of Languages, Literature and Communication of Utrecht University invites applications from excellent candidates for a full-time appointment as Assistant Professor in Computational Linguistics/Natural Language Processing. The position starts August 1, 2018 and will be in the Linguistics section of the Department. The successful candidate will be affiliated as researcher with the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics UiL OTS, with most of the teaching done as part of the Artificial Intelligence programme (AI).

We are looking for candidates working in the field of Computational Linguistics, especially for candidates who specialize in models connecting statistical NLP with formal language theories of syntax and semantics. The candidate will be expected to make a substantial contribution to the AI teaching programme and to the computational linguistics research at the UiL OTS. Accordingly, proven expertise in both linguistic theories and in statistical NLP will be a strong advantage. A demonstrated interest in collaboration with industrial partners will also be considered as an advantage.

Your teaching obligations will be in the area of Natural Language Processing, Mathematical and Computational Linguistics and Language Technology. Additional teaching areas, depending on your expertise, may include Formal Linguistics, Artificial Grammar learning, Statistics, Machine Learning and Data Mining. You will primarily teach in the AI programme (bachelor and master), but also in the Bachelor programme of Linguistics and the Research Master Linguistics.

In due course you will be expected to fulfill some coordinating duties within the AI and Linguistics programmes and occasionally in the Department. Your research will be part of the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS. For an Assistant Professor the standard teaching-research time division is 70% teaching and 30% research.


We require:

experience in teaching at the Bachelor and Master levels;
extensive research experience in Computational Linguistics/Natural Language Processing, proven by a finished PhD and publications at an internationally recognized level;
specialisation in statistical computational models that make use of formal language theories, or are used in psycholinguistic modelling;
experience with successful applications for external funding is recommended;
experience in a coordinating position is recommended;
good communication skills;
fluency in English;
University Teaching Qualification (Dutch Basiskwalificatie Onderwijs, BKO). Candidates lacking this qualification should be prepared to follow the BKO programme available within the Faculty.

Non-Dutch candidates are required to attain fluency in Dutch within two years of appointment.


We offer a temporary position (1.0 FTE) for two years. The position is tenure-track, meaning that, subject to a positive performance evaluation, the position will become permanent after two years. The gross salary – depending on previous qualifications and experience – ranges between €3,475 and €5,405 (scale 11/12 according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities) gross per month for a full-time employment. Salaries are supplemented with a holiday bonus of 8 % and a year-end bonus of 8.3 % per year. We offer a pension scheme, (partly paid) parental leave, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). More information is available at: working at Utrecht University.

About the organisation

A better future for everyone. This ambition motivates our scientists in executing their leading research and inspiring teaching. At Utrecht University, the various disciplines collaborate intensively towards major societal themes. Our focus is on Dynamics of Youth, Institutions for Open Societies, Life Sciences and Sustainability.

The Faculty of Humanities, with nearly 7,000 students and 900 staff members, offers an inspiring and dynamic working environment. Our research and education programmes focus on language, culture, history, arts, literature, media, philosophy and theology. Our strongest points are interdisciplinary and international collaboration, the excellent quality of research and education and the use of modern media. The research programmes are organised within four institutes:

Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS (UiL-OTS)
Research Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON)
Research Institute of Philosophy and Religious Studies (OFR)
Research Institute of History and Art History

De Utrecht University Graduate School of Humanities guarantees an outstanding quality of education for Research Master students as well as PhD students. The Faculty is divided into four Departments, which includes the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication (TLC). This Department provides Bachelor and Master programmes in the areas of Celtic, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish language and culture, Linguistics, Literary Studies as well as Communication and Information Sciences and Artificial Intelligence. The research programmes in these areas are carried out under the supervision of either the Research Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) or the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics (UiL OTS).

Further information

Are you interested? For further information contact Prof. Yoad Winter (


Applications should include:

a letter of motivation;
a curriculum vitae including contact and personal details;
the contact details of two referees (names, affiliations and phone numbers or e-mail addresses);
one selected publication.

The application deadline is 4 June 2018.

Interviews with selected candidates will take place in June. A trial lecture will constitute a part of the selection procedure. Employment will, preferably, become effective on September 1, 2018.

Vertaalworkshop met Ann Cotten

Op dinsdag 15 mei van 16u tot 17u30 organiseert de VUB in samenwerking met het Vlaams Fonds voor de Letteren een workshop met de Oostenrijkse dichteres Ann Cotten en haar vertaler Erik de Smedt.

Deze workshop wordt om 18u door een lezing van Ann Cotten gevolgd (in samenwerking met het Oostenrijkse Kulturforum).

– wokshop: VUB, lokaal E.2.01
– lezing: VUB, U-Residence, Zwarte zaal

CETRA conference on “Publishing in Translation Studies”

On the occasion of the 30th Research Summer School, CETRA, the KU Leuven Centre for Translation Studies, organizes a two-day international conference

in collaboration with ID-TS, the International Doctorate in Translation Studies, on “Publishing Translation Studies”.

Location: KU Leuven, campus Antwerp, 7-8 September 2018


The full programme with all speakers, titles and abstracts is now available at the conference website

Registration for the conference is now open as well. Early-bird registration is possible until 15 June.

La littérature philosophique clandestine en traduction

Op 22 juni 2018 orgniseert de CELLF van de Universiteit Paris Sorbonne in samenwerking met l’Institut d’Histoire des Représentations et des Idées dans les Modernités een internationale studiedag over clandestiene filosofische literatuur in vertaling. Deze studiedag vindt in het kader van het programma “L’inventaire des manuscrits philosophiques clandestins” plaats.

Volledig programma:  Programme littérature philosophique cladestine

Informatie en contact: