MODERNISM IN TRANSLATION (the conference is planned in June 2021. You can submit the article until 30th December 2020)

 In modernism studies in the past decade, reflections on the supra-regional, formational characteristics of European modernism have been increasingly counterbalanced by comparative research focused on local distinctiveness, particular historical-literary claims, terminological antinomies, and the historical-cultural specificity of regional modernisms. The “transnational turn” in New Modernist Studies proclaimed by Douglas Mao and Rebecca L. Walkowitz not only helped to shift scholarly attention to heterogeneous cultural, geopolitical and historical traditions, but also emphasised the role of translation in cross-cultural expansion, circulation and the transformation of modernist ideas, currents, poetics, styles and genres. The recent growth of interest in the problems of literary translation in comparative modernism studies allows us to diagnose the “translational turn” in the discipline. Translation is being increasingly recognized as a mode of creative activity and one of the major discourses of modernist literature. It is also seen as a manifestation of modernist cultural sensitivity and self-awareness, and recognised as a basic analytical category that is able to grasp the distinct character of modernism as an expansive and internally diversified historical-cultural and artistic-ideological formation.

“Modernist translation” is to be understood as a set of questions and problems emerging in comparative multilingual studies of European literary modernisms and in multilingual translation studies discourses rather than as a fixed and internally coherent repertoire of features, a strictly defined type of translation experience, or a selected canon of texts. We want above all to look for and compare possible answers to the questions “What is modernity in translation?” and “What is the modernist revolution in translation?” with reference to various national literatures and in relation to various European paradigms of modernism, rather than building a uniform, synthetic narrative consistent with the existing, mostly Anglo-American, proposals for describing “modernist translation” (e.g. Steven G. Yao, Lawrence Venuti and Roxana Preda). According to Włodzimierz Bolecki’s postulate, the key issue when describing modernism is the reconstruction of the determinants of modernity as a paradigm covering not only distinct and diverse phenomena, but also essentially opposing and mutually exclusive tendencies.

The aim of the conference is to confront various ways of understanding and theorizing “modernity in translation” as well as to investigate various modernist translation practices. As part of this, we would like to revise the current Anglo-American characteristics of “modernist translation” from the perspective of Eastern, Central and Southern European literatures.

We invite you to reflect and discuss the following issues:

– the role of literary translation in intercultural expansion, circulation and transformation of modernist ideas, currents, poetics, styles, genres, creative attitudes, and topics;

– literary translation as an integral part of the modernist programme of artistic innovation and cultural renewal;

– masterpieces of literary modernism in translation;

– the realisation of modernist ideas and artistic assumptions in translation;

– modernist poetics in translation (historical poetics of translation);

– modernist models of literary translation and translation styles (poetics, semantics and rhetoric of translation);

– modernist concepts of literary translation (theory, formulated and implied poetics of translation, literary translation criticism);

– the exponents of “modernity in translation” in relation to the various paradigms of modernism in national literatures;

– the modernist imperative of inventiveness in translation (the problems of experimental translation);

– the definition, scope, and operational advantages of the term “modernist translation” and criteria for defining “modernity” in translation;

– translation as a construction technique, compositional device, conceptual strategy, theme and a mode of reading of the original modernist literary works, together with the problems of multilingualism in a literary work;

– translation as a manifestation of cultural self-knowledge, critical self-awareness and artistic sensitivity of modernism;

– translation as an analytical meta-category in comparative studies on European modernisms;

– theoretical languages for the description of “modernist translation” in literary and cultural translation studies.

 We are also open to other research proposals related to the problems of modernism in literary translation.

We would like to direct our invitation to translation, literary and cultural studies scholars interested in the problems of modernist translation in various European languages and literatures – not only Slavonic.

More information about the conference fee, date and venue will be provided later. If you would like to participate in the conference, please contact us: oraz The deadline of submission, after the acceptance of the theme, is September 30th.

 dr hab. prof. IBL PAN Tamara Brzostowska-Tereszkiewicz

Conference Organizing Committe:

dr hab. prof. IBL PAN Tamara Brzostowska-Tereszkiewicz

prof. em. dr hab. Bożena Tokarz

dr hab. Leszek Małczak

dr Marta Buczek

dr Monika Gawlak

dr Katarzyna Majdzik Papić