Translatio and the History of Ideas

Call for Papers
Translatio and the History of Ideas
An International Conference
19–21 October 2017,

University of Warsaw

The third TRANSLATIO conference continues the research on interdisciplinary – i.e. artistic, literary, scientific, political, social and religious – cultural communication conducted through a rendition of a literary text, which over the centuries and in various cultures assumed numerous roles, from a myth to a fairy tale, or from a simple discourse to unquestionable dogma. Our goal is to ruminate on contextualization and the process of translation in its broad sense, i.e. from adaptation, through paraphrase and imitation, to literal word-for-word conversion. We would like to examine the methods in which texts both distant in time and contemporary, ones that often introduce revolutionary ideas and thoughts, are presented to readers who come from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. We would like to investigate the methods, circumstances and conditions in which the rendition of texts bringing new ideas and beliefs into a different polysystem takes place, as well as the manner in which the history of ideas is created in the context of intraligual communication. We intend to reflect on what determines the form of such renditions; on what may accompany the flow of thought in translation; on the myths and ideas embedded in broadly identified fiction and non-fiction, both in its synchronic and diachronic context.
When introduced into our language, culture and thought during the process of translation, alien ideas and thoughts appear to be subjected to intellectual, political and cultural processing. It can be assumed that when ideas undergo multi-language translations, they also undergo transformations depending on the period and the person of the translator, since it is the place and the time, as well as the language and the culture in which the given translation is conducted, which determine the form and the body of ideas transferred to the target literature, which eventually come to influence the structures of the already existing hierarchy of values. This transfer of ideas has had a significant influence on the development of social awareness in general and on the emergence and development of philosophical, religious and social movements. Universal ideas are, by definition, polysemantic; their meaning depends on the period and the current social and ideological factors, witness such ideas as truth, family, charity, virtue, nation, equality or love. This multitude of meanings is associated with works of classical authors translated into numerous languages, as well as with contemporary philosophical, political, and religious texts. Not without significance are also such issues as the period in which the translation was produced; its being the first rendition of the text into the target language or a subsequent one; the period, often centuries-long, that elapsed between the release of the original work and its translation; and the reasons, such as censorship, cultural differences or differences in worldview, responsible for delaying the official distribution of the translation.

Suggested thematic strands:

Translatio and politics
• Censorship and self-censorship
• Politics and publishing policies
• Translation in the face of a totalitarian state

Translatio and religious institutions
• Translation of religious texts and texts considered to be sacred
• Religious censorship

Translatio and morality
• Children’s literature
• Gender studies in translation / the image of society in translation
• Moral transformations in translation

Translatio and history
• Translation and propaganda
• Translation and nationalism
• Translation and patriotic/national narrations

• Introducing new elements of intellectual apparatus in translation
• Ideology of stereotypes

Translatio and the materiality of communication
• Books as a carriers of messages
• Ideologizing books and other carriers of meaning / text
• Editing and paratexts
• Reception and structural transformation of translated works
• Choice and volume of texts: collections of poems, anthologies, etc.

General information
Institute of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Applied Linguistics, University of Warsaw
Languages of the conference: Polish, French, English, Spanish, German, Russian
Registration fee: 400 PLN (international attendees: 100 €)
Account information/transfer details:

Transfer description: “Translatio i historia idei”

Account number: 91 1160 2202 0000 00006084 9594
Millenium Bank SA
02-593 Warszawa
ul. Stanisława Żaryna 2A

Deadline for paper proposals (title and abstract of ca. 400 characters): 30th April 2017
Notifications of acceptance will be sent by: 15th May 2017
Speaker time: 20 min (paper) + 10 min (discussion)
The conference proceedings will be published subject to approval of the scientific committee

Contact information:
e.stachurski(at) (general information)
t.wiacek(at) (English information)
Conference homepage:
Phone: +48 22 552 60 70 (only in October 2017)