The Conference

This event brings together experts in a variety of disciplines (Literary Studies, Theatre, Film, Opera), professional translators, artists and publishers. Our objective is to highlight the role of translators as cross-cultural mediators, and to underline the power dynamics at play when regional representations circulate beyond national and linguistic boundaries.

In the Italian context, from Pasolini’s Friulian poetry to Emma Dante’s Sicilian plays to Nino Ricci’s Italian Canadian fiction, countless artists have engaged with the cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity that characterizes Italian communities within and beyond the nation state. These works have always constituted a particular challenge for translators; however, recent developments such as the extraordinary success of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series and of Camilleri’s Sicilian crime fiction among Anglophone readerships testify to a growing interest in narratives marked by distinctive cultural/linguistic features. During the conference, participants will address case studies that draw attention to how cultural specificity is recreated for a variety of audiences.

Our focus will not be limited to the translation and reception of Italian works. The event includes a series of comparative panels: we will compare translations from “minor” to global languages in different settings, and examine the implications of publishing translations in Canada and North America. Some of the talks will address specific theoretical issues such as how to render intertextuality in translation or the stance of the self-translator. The event also includes a translation theory workshop open to all graduate students and a presentation by the theatre company Bellaluna Production.

Download the conference program in PDF