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Texts in Contexts:  New Cultural Constellations in Translation Studies

Fourth Annual Translation Conference, Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII), Hamad bin Khalifa University, & Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing

Doha, Qatar, 14-16 April 2013

Many scholars argue that the translation of texts operates within an international cultural system in which certain languages, deemed “central,” enjoy a cultural and economic monopoly. While the cultural centers formed around these languages tend to dictate the movement of texts to and from so-called “peripheral” languages, such monopolies do undergo transformations. Indeed, once-peripheral languages can find themselves at the center of the international cultural system as historical circumstances shift and change.

In a similar vein, Translation and Interpreting Studies scholarship has for many years been anchored in the West. However, new centers of cultural and economic prominence are emerging in parts of the globe that have previously been marginalized within the constellation of world cultures. As a consequence, new sites for translation and Translation and Interpreting Studies are re-centering, (re)connecting, and expanding the field beyond its traditional boundaries. It is precisely these new movements that the Fourth Annual Translation Conference hopes to explore – both their historical antecedents and their present character, as well as the challenges they both pose and face in a globalized, dynamic world.

The aim of this conference is to explore and debate the above themes with particular – but not exclusive – reference to the translation scene and the state of Translation and Interpreting Studies in the Gulf Region and MENA (Middle East and North Africa). What factors determine the position of a particular language in the hierarchy of translation on the international scene? How can one explain the fact that languages with large numbers of speakers and rich cultural histories occupy a peripheral position within the international system of translation? What new shifts and transformations can we trace within current translation systems, and in what ways do they promise to expand or modify translation practice and theory?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, original research that explores translation and interpreting as they are found and configured in constellations of:

• Medieval and other Arabic translation schools, movements and translators

• New directions in translation studies and translation theory

• Literary translations and agents (including authors and translators)

• Media, including print, electronic, online, and social media

• Languages, national boundaries, and global systems

• Nation building projects and the forging of national identities

• Migration flows and migrant populations

• Museums and ethnographic representations

• Cultural diversity and professional practices

“Texts in Context: New Cultural Constellations in Translation Studies” is the fourth of a series of annual conferences that aim to create a Gulf-based platform for discussing issues related to translation. The conference will take place from April 14 to April 16, 2013 at TII, Hamad bin Khalifa University in Doha’s Education City in Qatar. Keynote lectures and workshops on audiovisual translation, literary translation, media translation and business translation will be delivered by internationally renowned scholars and highly experienced professionals. The workshops, led by experienced professionals and educators, will offer groups of translators and those interested in pursuing a career in translation an opportunity to understand and experience various aspects of the craft – some in relation to Arabic/English and English/Arabic translation and others from less language-specific perspectives.


Submissions (in Arabic or English) should be sent by email as a single PDF attachment to transconf@qf.org.qa   They should include the following elements:

  • Applicant’s institutional affiliation and contact information, including email
  • An abstract of 200 to 250 words

Papers accepted by the general conference will be allocated 30 minutes in the program, which includes 15-20 minutes for presentation and 10-15 minutes for questions/discussion.

  • Deadline for submissions:  February, 7th 2013
  • Date when selected individuals will be notified by email: February, 28th 2013

Please note that presenters are responsible for their own expenses

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