20 Mar 2009 - 21 Mar 2009 All day CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Seminar room



Online Registration for this Conference is now closed. 


British Comparative Literature Association Graduate Conference in association with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities


Keynote speakers:

Prof Clive Scott        (University of East Anglia)
Prof Mary Jacobus (CRASSH, University of Cambridge)


This conference will bring together two ways of thinking about translation: translation between languages, and intermedial ‘translations’ across music, visual arts, literature, live performance and screen media. The commonplace attitude is that, while not perfect, acts of translation attempt to convey the meaning of a work in its original language. By bringing translation studies alongside intermedia research, which is primarily concerned with the capacity (or incapacity) of expression to transcend its materials, we hope to bring the assumptions that underpin this attitude to the surface. At the same time, by bringing the concept of translation to bear on intermedia research, we hope to move beyond the notion that intermedia transference is, at best, a far-fetched ‘analogy’, and ask whether the idealist dimension of translation is part of a more universal condition for thinking about the relationship between different cultural-material practices.

We will consider two parallel sets of questions:   

1       Do (or should) we treat different languages as separate mediums? Should we think of translation as a coming to terms with, rather than the transcendence of the material conditions of languages? To what extent can we conceive of translation as an intermedial pursuit? 


2         When one medium aspires to the condition of another or when it adapts a specific instance of another, do we call this ‘translation’? If so, what is it that gets translated? Could we call it a ‘meaning’, or is it perhaps an ‘affect’?




This leads to the overarching question: do translation studies and intermedia research share a common hermeneutical predicament?


Keywords:  comparative literature, translation studies, the theory of intermediality, materiality, hermeneutics, semantics, affect, fidelity.


Free event.  All welcome however Registration is required.  To book a place, please click the link Online Registration (right hand of this page)
Deadline for Registration: Monday 16 March 09, 12.00 noon 


All inquiries and abstracts to:




For administrative  inquiries  please contact el269@cam.ac.uk








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