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Durham University

School of Modern Languages & Cultures

Events in Modern Languages & Cultures

Workshop: Arts of Translation

4th June 2019, 10:00 to 16:00, ER278, Elvet Riverside II, Ita Mac Carthy


This workshop takes place as MLAC reflects upon its commitment to translation as a set of practices, themes and theories that underpins many of the activities and sub-disciplines which unite us. In recent years, we have led national debate about our disciplinary identity and sought to articulate afresh the place and value of Modern Languages as a distinctive field of enquiry. Out of such conversations, translation emerges as a potentially capacious term expressing much of our collective study of words, ideas, images and – indeed – people as they move from one cultural context to another. This workshop will assess the value and pitfalls to our School of a broader conception of translation and explore some of the ways in which translational themes and practices might lend greater coherence to the work that we do, while permitting richer and more meaningful collaboration between the various sub-disciplines that make up our School.

The School has a strong group of colleagues working in Translation Studies as a sub-discipline of Modern Languages. It also boasts published, practising – and award-winning – translators. What might a broader conception of translation look like from the sub-disciplinary perspective of Translation Studies and to our practising translators? As we explore how translation might foster further and deeper dialogue and collaboration across the School, we will also interrogate the nature of that relationship. What can Translation Studies offer colleagues working beyond its sub-disciplinary boundaries? What might Translation Studies stand to gain? And how can we incorporate the work of practitioners, theorists and other scholars of translation for the greater benefit of all?


Specific aims of this workshop will be:

- to survey the range of translational studies and practices active and theorised within the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham;

- to interrogate some of the epistemological, ontological and philosophical possibilities provoked by translation as broadly conceived;

- to think about the place of translation within the School in future years and to develop further our vision for Translation Studies at Durham;

- to investigate ways in which a revised and revitalised MA in Translation Studies might better express our collective vision of translation and of modern languages as a whole.


The workshop will be structured around four themes – translation between languages; translation between media; translation across cultures; and translation through time. It will take the form of three or four sessions (plus lunch) comprising of work-in-progress presentations; collective readings of pre-circulated texts; and roundtable discussions.

Arts of Translation

A One-Day MLAC Workshop, June 4th 2019 in ER278

Organized by Ita Mac Carthy. Sponsored by the Translation & Linguistics research group.


9.45 – 10.00 Introductions (over coffee and tea)

10.00 – 11.25 Translation through Time (chaired by Jonathan Long)

  • Marc Schachter, ‘Translation and the History of Sexuality’
  • Laura Campbell, ‘Ecologies of Translation in Old French Versions of Genesis
  • Luke Sunderland, ‘Translations between Bodies and Languages in Medieval Encyclopaedias’

11.30 – 12.30 Translation across Cultures (chaired by Penny Johnson)

  • Tom Wynn, ‘120 Years [sic] of Sodom: Translation and Institution’
  • Daniel Newman, ‘East Translates West’

12.30 – 1.15 Lunch

1.15 – 2.15 Translation between Media (chaired by Catherine Dousteyssier-Khoze)

  • Sergey Tyulenev, ‘Translating a Meditation on the Love of the Sexes in Coetze’s Disgrace
  • Ita Mac Carthy, ‘Grace in Translation between Literature and Art’

2.15 – 3.15 Translation between Languages (chaired by Charles Burdett)

  • Binghan Zheng, ‘Translation, Cognition and Stress’
  • Adam Talib, ‘Why is MLAC still so Monolingual and Anglophone?’

3.15 – 3.30 Tea / Coffee Break

3.30 – 4.00 Closing Round-Table Discussion (chaired by Ita Mac Carthy)