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Translation studies in Africa and beyond: reconsidering the post-colony (call for papers)

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 25 Nov 2014

Editors: J Marais & AE Feinauer

Responding to the invitation from Cambridge Scholars Press and following the Third Summer School for Translation Studies in Africa (SSTSA) and the subsequent Third Regional Workshop of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS3) from 18 to 24 August 2014, we present the following call for papers in an edited volume to be published by Cambridge Scholars Press.

2. Conceptualisation

Despite the fact that Africahouses at least 1300 languages, that most if not all African countries havepopulations using more than one language and that translation is thus aneveryday phenomenon in both the formal and informal economy, the field oftranslation studies in Africa is small, relative to other continents. Thelimited number of monographs, journal articles, conferences and summer schools,as well as the non-existence in many countries of translator organisationsattest to this assessment. At tertiary level, most of the energy is put intotraining translators/interpreters, and relatively little is done at the levelof research into translation studies phenomena. When one pages throughdictionaries, bibliographies and readers, this trend is reinforced.

IATIS, in collaboration withthe Summer School for Translation Studies in Africa, hosted a two-day regionalworkshop at the University of Zambia in August 2014 to focus on translation inthe postcolony – and beyond the postcolony. There is a growing realisation inthinking about the postcolonial condition that one cannot think about the postcolonyas a result of the empire only. In this realisation, the idea is growing that,these days, the postcolony should also be thought of as a space and a time thathas to deal with its own historical and material conditions (including but notlimited to the influences of the empire) such as AIDS, child soldiers andcorruption.

With this focus, theintention of this collection of works is to ask: Is (postcolonial) translationstudies key/critical in (addressing) issues of the postcolony? Should oneretain the notion of postcolonial translation studies and if so why? Should onereconsider or adapt the assumptions and methodologies of postcolonialtranslation studies to the new understanding of the postcolony as explainedabove to question the effectiveness of postcolonial translation studies in Africato address issues of the postcolony. Deliberations should also include puttingthe postcolony in historical perspective and taking a critical look at thefailures of postcolonial approaches to translation studies and the question:Should we move beyond or away from postcolonial studies, and if so, why and how?

Another question one couldask of postcolonial studies is whether it is not embroiled in power analysesand the building of utopias such as ‘If we could only…’ arguments without dueconsideration to the material reality of life. In translation studies, thisrelates to the question why, for example, in a continent where up to 60% ofeconomic activity takes place in the informal economy, most of the work in translationstudies still focuses on the formal economy, eschewing the particular materialconditions under which translation happens. It further raises questionsconcerning theorising translation studies from a (bio)semiotic perspective andinvestigating the implications of such a conceptualisation for a ‘postcolonial’translation studies.

Africa, however, is not alonein contending with these issues. What is commonly known as ‘The Global South’shares many of the questions/issues of/in Africa. What is more, work onglobalisation and immigration tells us that the ‘Global North’ may also have todeal with the postcolony. A book which dialogically problematises andsynthesises these issues should contribute to the global debate in translationstudies.


3. Chapter outline

We propose a book with five sections:

1.         Introducingthe debate (editors)

2.         Thepostcolony in Africa
In this section, we propose to have between 5and 10 papers on the postcolony and translation in Africa itself.

3.         The postcolonyin the Global South
In this section, we propose to have 4 to 8papers on the postcolony and translation in the Global South, excluding Africa.

4.         The postcolonyin the Global North
In this section, we propose to have 3 to 6papers on the postcolony and translation in the Global North, e.g. the USA, theUK.

5.         Synthesisingthe debate
In this section, we propose three chapters, oneon “The postcolony in Africa”, one on “The postcolony in the Global South” andone on “The postcolony in the Global North”. We propose that these chaptersentail “responses” (critical readings actually) of all three sections from aselected panel of translation scholars who, through their scholarship, havedistinguished themselves for their level of insight and expertise on matters“postcolonial”/”transitional”.


4. Publication schedule

Call for papers                                     10November 2014

Deadline for abstracts:                          2 Feb 2015

Selected abstracts notified:                   31 March 2015

Deadline for papers:                             31 August 2015

Review process starts:                          1 September 2015

Feedback from reviewers:                     30 November 2015

Deadline for reworked papers:              31 January 2016

Publication:                                          May2016


5. Contact

Send proposals of between 300 and 500 words to Kobus Marais: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein! or Ilse Feinauer: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!