January 9-10, 2014
Hong Kong Baptist University and City University of Hong Kong
WLB105, Shaw Campus, HKBU

As Cristina Marinetti argues, “The concept of performativity itself has to be fully articulated in relation to translation”—yet performativity has only recently begun to cross paths with Translation Studies, particularly with a focus on the translator’s agency or identity and on translation as embodied epistemologies and aesthetics. A special issue on the subject is forthcoming in the journal Target 25:3, dedicated to the role of translation and performativity in the theatre.

Performativity intersects with Translation in a number of ways: Sherry Simon (1998) and Edwin Gentzler (2008) discuss the adoption of a performative perspective “especially in relation to unpacking notions of identity” (Simon 1998; Gentzler 2008). Douglas Robinson discusses the “performative linguistics of translation”—that is, “translating as “doing,” doing something to the target reader”. He also mentions “Translating as colonizing, or as fighting the lingering effects of colonialism; translating as resisting global capitalism, translating as fighting patriarchy, as liberating women (and men) from patriarchal gender roles (…) the translator as a doer, an actor on variously conceived cultural, professional, and cognitive stages” (Robinson 2003).

Performativity has yet to be explored in other areas of Translation Studies: Dubbing and Subtitling, where the on-screen words or those the actors mouth reperform, closely or not so closely, those of the original; the Translator’s Preface and other paratexts, which introduce a second performance to the original, supporting, contradicting, directing, or diverting the reader from the original text; Natural Translation, where, within the immigrant family, the language performance skills of the child may give him or her enormous power; translation for a specialized audience such as children or the deaf, where the translation must perform a role to construct a specific relationship; and, last but not least, in Interpreting Studies, where the theatrical performance of the consecutive interpreter has generally been replaced by the instantaneous performance of the conference interpreter – but can the interpreter remain neutral, a mere conduit for the ideas of the speaker, or may some kind of bias seep in to the interpreter’s performance, as may happen in the cases of many community interpreters?

This two day colloquium invites contributions from scholars on the various contexts of Performativity within Translation and Interpreting Studies.

The colloquium will also commemorate the immense contribution to Translation Studies in Hong Kong of Prof. Martha Cheung, whose groundbreaking scholarship shed important light on the historical and methodological positioning not only of the translator but of the translation studies scholar as well and introduced Chinese theories on Translation to many scholars outside the Chinese world.

Some of these contexts are:
1. Theories of Performativity and their link to Translation Studies.
2. Performativity in Theatre Translation.
3. Performativity in Audiovisual Translation.
4. Performativity and Translation in New Technologies.
5. The Translator as Performing Agent.
6. Performativity in Interpreting Studies.
7. The Literary Translator as Performer.
8. Performativity in Translation in different historical periods.
9. Performativity and Translation at the borders.
10. Performativity and Gender in Translation.
11. Periperformativity as “performing the crowd.”

Invited scholars include Douglas Robinson, John Corbett, and Lawrence Wong.

For more information, please contact ctn@hkbu.edu.hk.