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Conference Information

Full Title: Translation, Politics and Policies

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Start Date: 29-May-2017 - 31-May-2017
Contact: Chantal Gagnon
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The Canadian Association for Translation Studies invites you to its thirtieth conference, which will examine the areas in which translation, politics and policies intersect. In addition, since 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, the conference will include a session exploring the political dimensions of translation in Canada since 1867.

Political translation encompasses far more than the translation of political speeches. Indeed, translation studies has aptly demonstrated that politics and translation converge in a variety of areas that range from literary, institutional, economic and scientific translation to, more recently, translation in digital environments. We can study not only the textual forms of political translation (e.g. manipulation, rewriting, differences between translated versions), but also the contextual (e.g. the history of political translation), and the paratextual (e.g. the political repercussions of the images and titles surrounding a text).

Likewise, language and translation policies are not limited to just one sphere of activity: they operate within both the public and private sector and are instrumental in determining how cultures and communities perceive themselves and others. Cultural diplomacy (cf. von Flotow & Nischik 2007), grant programs, legislation and professional standards help influence which works are selected for translation, what forms these translations will take, and which languages and viewpoints are represented at home and abroad. As Brian Mossop suggests (1990), we need to ask ethical and political questions about translation policies, including: what are the goals of a given institution, are these goals worthy, and whose interests are being served by the translation policies?

The conference will take place under the aegis of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada, at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada). Papers can be presented in English, in French or in Spanish.


Mossop, Brian. 1990. ”Translating Institutions and “Idiomatic” Translation.” Meta 35 (2): 342-355.

Von Flotow, Luise, and Reingard M. Nischik, eds. 2007. Translating Canada. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.
Linguistic Subfield: Translation
LL Issue: 27.3532

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