Call for chapters for planned publication on complexity thinking in Translation Studies

Complexity thinking has been challenging the reductionist, linear paradigm of Western scholarship since the late 1800s. Following chaos theory in the 1980s, current complexity thinking is growing in influence in the natural sciences as well as in social sciences and the humanities. Examples of the latter two categories are the work of Byrne and Callaghan in social sciences as well as the work of Morin, Wheeler, Queiroz and others in the humanities. One also finds numerous scholars who could be labelled complexity thinkers, but who do not necessarily use the terminology of complexity thinking. In translation studies, Marais made an effort to link translation studies and complexity thinking.

One of the many unfinished tasks of linking complexity thinking to translation studies is to consider the methodological implications of complexity thinking for translation studies.

Firstly, complexity thinking arose from within natural sciences, in particular from within mathematical and computational approaches to systems thinking. The philosophical and methodological implications of “adopting/adapting” quantitative approaches to qualitative research in the humanities are all but clear. It is not clear at all which of the quantitative approaches are adaptable, if any, and if they are to be adapted, how to do so.

Secondly, translation studies scholars need to consider the array of methodological options offered by complexity thinking and decide on the usefulness of these. For this reason, taking stock of existing methodologies from the perspective of complexity thinking seems to be an imperative.

With the above in mind, we invited two specialists in complexity thinking to introduce these topics at a two-day conference in Leuven, Belgium, in 2017, namely Joao Queiroz (University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil) and David Vampola (State University of New York, USA). In addition, we called for specialist papers that consider the methodological implications of complexity thinking in translation studies, including cultural translation, intersemiotic translation, sociological translation and translation and development.

Papers could be speculative and explore suitable methodologies for adopting complexity thinking to translation studies, or they could present case studies in which certain methodologies have been successfully applied from a complexity-thinking perspective.

We are now opening up the call for specialist papers from non-participants in the abovementioned conference with the view of publishing a collected volume with Routledge Press.

Abstracts can be sent to Reine Meylaerts ( and Kobus Marais (


Deadline for abstracts: 17 July 2017

Notification of acceptance of abstracts: 1 August 2017

Submission of chapters for review: 1 November 2017

Peer review: 1 November 2017 – 15 January 2018

Notification of accepted chapters: 15 January 2018

Reworking (if necessary): 15 January – 30 March 2018

Submission of reworked chapters: 1 April

Editing: 1 April – 10 July 2018

Submission of manuscript to publisher: 15 July 2018

Publication: Spring/Summer 2018


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