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Beyond Mediation? Exploring Translation and Interpretation in the Current Globalized Landscape

School of Translation at Glendon College, York University, Toronto

Saturday, March 23, 2013.

The realities of the 21st century have brought into sharp focus the role of translation and interpretation in an increasingly globalized world; they are omnipresent, albeit often invisible, instruments in the construction of knowledge, and play an indispensable role in cultural, economic, geo-political, linguistic and technological exchanges.

Increased movement within and across cultural and linguistic boundaries, as well as new media of communication have brought about a greater awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity, an awareness that has not necessarily led to a significant difference in attitudes toward such diversity.

Translation can offer a space of mediation, a space characterized by an ethic of linguistic and cultural hospitality in which there is reciprocal recognition of the differences of the other, a space in which the translator is not an invisible, passive medium through which a message is conveyed, but rather an active agent and mediator in intercultural, inter-linguistic encounters.

This conference, therefore, seeks to provide a forum to explore questions such as:

·         Can the translator remain invisible in this new global reality? Is it desirable for the translator to remain invisible given the rapid evolution of the global situation?

·         What role can the translator play in challenging the ethnocentrism that perpetuates asymmetrical power relations between languages and cultures?

·         How does the identity of the translator – varied loyalties, multiple allegiances – promote (or hinder the promotion of) notions of dialogue and reciprocity?

·         What is the impact of new technologies (e.g. internet, social media, machine translation) on intercultural and inter-linguistic activity? On language survival?

·         What new avenues for research can be opened up by the notion of reciprocity, given the interdisciplinary nature of translation studies?

These and other related issues will be addressed at this one-day trilingual event, which will include a series of individual presentations (20 minutes each) and a panel discussion of professors from various universities.  Interested persons are invited to submit proposals of 250-300 words in English, French or Spanish by Monday, October 22, 2012 to conf2013@glendon.yorku.ca. Please ensure that you include the title of your submission, your name, affiliation and contact information. Selected papers presented at the conference will be published.


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