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Performance and Translation Seminar 2019

  • Fondazione Unicampus San Pellegrino 8 Via Massimo D'Azeglio Misano Adriatico, Emilia-Romagna, 47843 Italy (map)

Embodied Translations: Media and Technologies in Translation and Performance

The overarching theme of this series of four seminars is “performance and translation.” In hindsight, the historical intersection of performance studies and translation studies seems inevitable, given the deeply humanistic ground of both fields. One particularly critical node that surfaced in that intersection was the recognition of the human body as a mediating site of performative and translational action. The subthemes of our 2017 and 2018 seminars, focusing on “oral performance traditions” and “theatre,” respectively, provided ample opportunity for the presentation and investigation of translated and embodied oral and theatrical performance. The subtheme of our April 8-11, 2019 seminar will extend our enquiry into the ever-present interactions of mediating materials and technologies of translation and performance beyond, with, and including those of human bodies.

In our April 2019 seminar, 8-10 scholars who were present at our 2017 and/or 2018 seminar will be joined by 8-10 additional scholars whose research interests lie at multiple intersections of media and technologies in translation and performance. And while much research in translation and media is still largely informed by mainstream media research, this seminar particularly welcomes current studies in the materiality of media. This “material turn” privileges research that increasingly focuses on the effects of the matter of media on performed behavior and translational action, and vice versa.

The material turn in translation studies, like the performance turn, draws from a broad range of divergent fields of humanistic research and practice. Indeed, according to Littau (2016), “In a multimedia world where it increasingly makes little sense to treat media, art forms and disciplines in isolation from each other, a reassessment is needed of the traditional disciplinary boundaries, including those of translation studies and comparative literature.” To advance our interdisciplinary understanding of the interrelations of translation, performance and the materiality and mediality of a host of different technologies and media cultures, the 2019 seminar in Misano will bring a critical performance studies approach to the five areas Buzelin (2018) suggests for the material turn in translation studies:

  • translation technologies

  • collaborative translation (virtual translation networks and communities, fanslation, crowdsourcing)

  • multimodal translation (audiovisual, subtitling, dubbing, video games)

  • translation and globalization

  • book translation history

From as many angles as possible, we will explore how the theory and practice of performance might push this material turn even further. Participants will interact through a variety of formats – both residential and online: formal papers, open lectures, performance demonstrations, roundtable discussions, etc.. Beyond advancing a deeper understanding of the relationship of performance and translation, this seminar series will result in publications, online courses, and workshops. Abstracts of 250-300 words for 20-minute presentations should be sent to by January 31, 2019.

Organizers: Cristina Marinetti (Cardiff University), Scott Williams (Texas Christian University), Danny Fitzgerald, Michael Hemenway and James Maxey (Nida Institute)