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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Modernism and Non-Translation

4th July 2013, 09:00 to 5th July 2013, 17:00, Durham University

This event will see a series of interdisciplinary position papers from leading scholars exploring the topic of ‘modernism and non-translation’, and we invite contributions from scholars in the field.

The remit of the workshop is to explore the incorporation of untranslated words, phrases, or textual fragments in modernist writing. We aim to develop a series of inter-connecting test-cases that explore modernists’ use of non-translation in order address the shared themes outlined below.

  • The relationship between modernism and practices of translation. How did writers respond to their lack of knowledge of languages they also worked with (Woolf and Greek; Pound and Chinese; Joyce and Norwegian)? How integral is non-translation to modernism? Is there an implicit theory of translation in modernism? The epistemology of translation: how is ‘linguistic knowledge’ itself raised as a question or problem through practices of non-translation?
  • The political and cultural implications of non-translation: what are the implied relations of “host and “guest” language? How are different forms and traditions changed in the process of incorporation?
  • English as a ‘world language’. How did the rise of English as a world language aid and hinder ‘non-translation’? Does modernism display and problematise English as a ‘world language’? How did educational practices regarding languages (Classical; European ‘modern languages’) impact on the development of modernism?

There will be talks by, among others, Rebecca Beasley (Oxford) Daniel Karlin (Bristol), Barry McCrea (Notre Dame), Scarlett Baron (UCL), Stephen Romer (Tours) and Peter Robinson (Reading). There will be additional speakers from Durham and elsewhere, by an interdisciplinary panel of researchers in Classics and Modern Languages as well as English Studies.

We have space for additional speakers on Thursday 4 July. Please contact John Nash ( and Jason Harding ( with a one page abstract.

If you wish to attend this event please register with or

Contact for more information about this event.


Research in English At Durham (READ) blog showcasing the the literary research emerging from the Department of English Studies


We host a large number of conferences, lectures and seminars each year, many of them open to the public. Find out more on our Events page.


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