Translators as Cultural Mediators between the Global and the Local International Conference, Bucharest, 2009



December 4, 2009
Bucharest- English Department of the University of Bucharest

In today’s globalized world translations perform not merely a transfer between two different cultures but also a mediation between a local and a global culture.  Consequently the practice of translation is turning into an exercise in geopolitical awareness as well as into a way of responding to the cultural, political and social effects of globalization.

–      Given the new dimension of translation practice, what values govern the exchanges it involves?  And most importantly what new roles, “tasks” and responsibilities as well as what new risks ensue /accrue for the translator?

–      What spaces of agency can be carved out for translators and what social, political and cultural conditioning do they have to resist?

–      In the context of the present emphasis on the function of translation in facilitating inter- and trans-cultural exchanges and in contributing to larger efforts to achieve cultural reconciliation, what new skills and competence should translators acquire?

–      What action can be taken to redress the imbalance between the unprecedented cultural, political and economic importance attached to translation in the globalized world and the persistent invisibility and marginal status of translators?

–      What special difficulties do translators encounter when working within smaller, less diffused languages and cultures and what strategies are available to them?

  These are the sorts of questions that the conference ‘Translators as Cultural Mediators between the Global and the Local’ sets out to explore. We invite papers investigating the current problems that translators of both literary and non-literary texts are faced with, using diverse disciplinary approaches– linguistics , literary and cultural theory, cultural studies, media studies, post-colonial and post-communist studies, among others.  Next to the above questions, the following topics can also be considered:

  • Translators working in (global) English versus those working in less diffused languages– different political and cultural conditioning? Different strategies of resistance?
  • Traduttore – traditore–the translators’ complicity with global pressures and the betrayal of the local;
  • Hybridity, ‘glocalization’ and the in-between space that translators inhabit;
  • Translators, the diaspora and transnational/transcultural negotiations;
  • Translators , immigration and the tribulations of multicultural societies;
  • Translations/adaptations of canonical texts in the global media culture and the question of authorship;
  • Translators in post-colonial and post-communist confrontations with global hegemonies;
  • Indirect translators: novelists, critics, scholars and teachers as mediators between worlds;
  • Training translators/interpreters for local-global mediation; the educational and cultural consequences of the marginalization/suppression of translation in teaching English as a foreign language.


Michael Cronin, Dublin City University, Ireland

Christine Schaeffner, Aston University, Birmingham

Deadline for the submission of proposals: September 20, 2009

Please send proposals to:

The conference is being organized as part of the research programme: The European Dimension of Shakespeare’s Translations: Romanian Perspectives, CNCSIS-IDEI PN II, NR.905/2009.

The conference program can be found here.


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