Word and Text – A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics, II, 2 (2012)

‘A language is a place’ Elias Canetti once noted, thus intimating that languages are anchored in a bounded space, determined by the place(s) they inhabit. If language is place, one may suggest that place is also language. This apparently natural equation is necessarily complicated and questioned through translation. Crossing the territories of languages is inherent to the task of the translator as experiences must be communicated in other languages, transplanted and ultimately ‘displaced’.

Drawing on the notion that translation is a practice carrying both ethical and aesthetic imperatives, this special thematic issue invites contributions which explore the role of translation and the function of translators particularly in relation to the notion of ‘place’. How are the singularities attached to “place” (i.e. supposedly ‘essential’ and idiosyncratic notions linked to the identification of one’s territory, space, city, origins, roots, identity) imported, adopted, adapted, appropriated and reconfigured as they cross boundaries and trespass cultural and linguistic borders? Is translation somewhat limited to superficial and media-fuelled representation of place(s) copied uncritically? Does translation remove (‘displace’) the particularities of place in order to conform to the homogeneous discourse of a uniform global world or, on the contrary, do certain translation practices insist on remarking the existence of ‘difference’ through place? Does translation simply neutralize and ‘re-place’, or does it negotiate alternatives? Do utopian, hybrid, nostalgized, idealized, nonexistent (‘placeless’) places (ultimately, what kind of places?) emerge through translation?

Prompting critics to engage with the trans-disciplinary paradigm which underlies the field of translation studies, the issue seeks contributions that will broaden our understanding of the relation between translation and place through a variety of critical and cultural frameworks, also applied to language, discourse and literature, that have shaped our contemporary academic agendas (translation theories, post-modernism, post-colonialism, feminism, diaspora, globalization studies, place studies etc.).

Topics may include (but are not limited to):
– The translation of nations, regions and territories
– Translation and spatial practices: memorialization, architecture, rituals and performances
– Translation and cartography: remapping and renaming
– Translation and the narratives of location
– Translation and the exotic
– Translation and the autochthonous: translating dialects, representing native landscapes
– Translation and citizenship
– Translation, borders, contact zones and space(s) in between
– Translation, diaspora, migration and displacement
– Translation and the discourse of ethnicity and origins

We welcome interdisciplinary approaches, ranging across critical theory, literary and cultural studies, linguistics as well as other disciplines in the humanities. Contributors are advised to follow the journal's submission guidelines and stylesheet. The deadline for article submissions is 30 September 2012. Articles should be sent as attachments to: wordandtext2011@gmail.com

All submitted articles will be blind-refereed except when invited. Accepted articles will be returned for post-review revisions by 28 October 2012 and are expected back in their final version by 5 November 2012.

For more information, please contact Teresa Caneda at tcaneda@uvigo.es.