Call for Papers – Translating the Neighbourhood

Translating the Neighbourhood:

Migration, dialogue and spaces of translation in the 21st century

National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG)

28-29 May, 2020


Prof. Loredana Polezzi (Cardiff) – Prof. Sherry Simon (Concordia)


Urban spaces have always been places of translation (Simon 2012; Meylaerts and Gonne 2014; Cronin and Simon 2014), where encounters between languages and cultures have given birth to both conflict and exchange. In the last few decades, increasingly diverse urban environments have emerged, making coexistence between different communities a key contemporary issue. As a multi-disciplinary event, this conference explores urban spaces (cities and towns) as areas of translation, of dialogue and silence, communication and interaction.

This conference is specifically preoccupied with translation in society and beyond the text: translation as the managing of difference, a tool for inclusion or exclusion within the context of the contemporary urban space. As a multi-disciplinary, multi-media event, the conference intends to explore the different instances where people perform translation on the social stage in response to the many challenges and stimuli of 21st century globalization. Some of these translations are performed by professionals, some by non-professionals; some are intended to impact policy or contribute to a public debate, while others may last the short space of an oral exchange.

The conference “Translating the Neighbourhood: Migration, dialogue and spaces of translation in the 21st century” takes place within the scope of the IRC and MSCA funded project “Language Integration and New Communities in Multicultural Societies”. We welcome papers that explore different instances of translation and dialogue, including but not limited to:

  • translation and asylum;
  • translation and minorities;
  • translation in specific places (shops, cafés, streets, markets);
  • translation and education in multilingual settings;
  • language biographies of newcomers;
  • translation and public performance (e.g. multicultural theatre);
  • translingual art in/about the city;
  • translation policy in urban spaces;
  • formal vs. informal translation and interpreting;
  • absent spaces of translation

The conference will take place in Galway – a bilingual city and the 2020 European Capital of Culture. During the first day, speakers will present their research, followed by keynote addresses by Prof. Loredana Polezzi (Cardiff University) and Prof. Sherry Simon (Concordia University). On the second day, practitioners, artists, performers and activists who work in the field will collaboratively conduct workshops and demonstrations of translation in the neighbourhood.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a short 50-word bio to the organizers, by January 10, 2020:

Andrea Ciribuco

Anne O’Connor

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