CFP Panel for IATIS 2021 Conference in Barcelona

Announcement & Call:

Submission details here:

Deadline: 15 September for abstracts

Panel 19: Ecological turn in translatology

Convenor: Rindon Kundu (Sri Sri University)

Keywords: Darwinian evolution, biological, eco-environment, natural selection, survival, organic, ecological, translatology

While formulating the definition of Life in the planetary systems, a committee assembled by NASA in 1994, suggested, following Carl Sagan’s idea, that life is, “a self-sustaining chemical system capable of growth, replication and Darwinian evolution”. According to this definition, living species go through metabolism or chemical transformations in an environment filled with the right ingredients i.e., water, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulphur. As stated by Oparin-Haldane theory and later ratified by Miller-Urey experiment if the fundamental inorganic molecules present on early earth are given the right conditions they can start interacting with each other and form organic molecules and thereafter evolves into an organism. Now, in accordance with the Darwinian paradigm, an organism sustains and evolves with the changing environment due to its natural selection and Darwin’s principle of the ‘survival of the fittest’ is heavily based on biological evolution and adaptation of the organism through ‘natural selection’. Keeping in mind this biological conceptualisation of ‘natural selection’, ‘evolution’, and ‘survival’, can we then attempt to form an ecological model of the process of translation? Does the translator attempt to carry out both “adaptive selection” and “selective adaptation” in terms of adapting his/her body into the target socio-lingual and politico-cultural environment as well as selecting the text for the translational eco-environment?

If we consider author, language, culture, theme, genre, authorial intention and other textual elements as organic and inorganic molecules which by interacting with each other can form an organic text living and sustaining in its own environment, can we then consider translation of it as an evolution and adaptation in Darwinian sense where a transformed species will evolve in a completely new environment mutating with new sets of elements i.e., translator, target language, target culture, translatorial purpose?

Further, borrowing John Bowlby’s idea of “Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation”, can we argue that often times conditions present in the target environment allow a species or text to adapt into it for which that species/text is naturally selected for? And can we extend “Encoding/Decoding” (Nida, 1964; Hall, 1973) beyond the linguistic realm of transferring message to the field of genetics as transformation of genetic information resulting in mutation. How should we maintain an eco-balance between two diverge ecosystems while performing the translational act? Or does the act of translation inevitably imbibe imbalance due to distinct unequal geographies bound up with asymmetrical power relations between their respective nation-states?

Finally, the panel will try to formulate the ecological turn in translatology which may chart new territories in translation studies.

Participants will be invited to present papers along the following lines (not exclusive):

  • Darwinian ‘adaptation’ and its relation to translation studies
  • Methodologies of textual transplantation
  • Exploring botanic metaphor in translation
  • Role of translation in the development of human eco-civilization
  • Translation as organic growth
  • Interrelationships in-between ‘textual ecologies’, ‘translator-community ecologies’, and ‘translational environment ecologies’
  • Applications of Eco-Translatology as an alternative model to translation theory
  • Conceptualizing Eco-turn in Translation Studies

For informal enquiries:

Bionote of panel convenor:

Rindon Kundu is presently working as an Assistant Professor of English at Sri Sri University, India. He is acting as the Treasurer of Comparative Literature Association of India (CLAI) as well as has been nominated by Prof. Gengshen Hu as the South Asian Regional Director of International Association Eco-Translation Research (IAETR). He has been awarded several international grants like IATIS 2018 Hong Kong Bursary holder by International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies; Full Grant by the British Academy to participate in the African Translation and Interpreting Studies Writing Workshop at South Africa in 2019 and Young Researcher Travel Grant 2019 by European Society for Translation Studies. He has recently been selected for the Volkswagen Stiftung 2020 Grant.

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