Translation conference 2011

Translation and Memory: A workshop conference in collaboration with the British Comparative Literature Association

5 November 2011

Translators, scholars and students assembled on Saturday 5 November for the 11th annual Portsmouth Translation Conference, Translation and Memory, which took place . Seventy delegates attended the event, organised in collaboration with the British Comparative Literature Association and Routes into Languages, and feedback was enthusiastic. The plenary talks were given by three distinguished scholars. Professor Bella Brodzki, of Sarah Lawrence College, New York, spoke about the importance of increasing the visibility of translators through the prefaces of books. Dr Siobhan Brownlie, of the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies of the University of Manchester, spoke about key documents in history, including the Declaration of Arbroath (1320), Magna Carta (1215), and the Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen (1789) and showed how these works contain within themselves uses which extend beyond their original context, and which are activated by translation. Dr Ayman al-Desouky, Chair of the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, gave a more philosophical take on the theme with his paper 'Being that can be Remembered is Text': Translation, Textuality and the Cultural Memory of Revolutionary Acts, which discussed how living memory becomes cultural memory, and how by contrast we can read cultural memory of the ancient past in practices of the present day.

Eight countries and two continents were represented at the conference, and organisers Carol O'Sullivan and Margaret Clarke were delighted with the event.