Loredana Polezzi


‘The translational fabric of migrant writing’

Some texts are translated, and some have translation inscribed within their DNA. In this paper I will be looking at the work of a small number of women writers who have recently published works which, while written in Italian, adopt multiple translation strategies to construct a polyphonic portrait of contemporary society. The writers in question – Ribka Sibhatu, Shirin Ramzali Fazel, Gabriella Ghermandi, Cristina Ali Farah, Igiaba Scego, as well as the group  of women who make up the Compagnia delle poete – weave multiple voices and cultural references within their work. I will use the weaving metaphor to explore the way in which migrant writing foregrounds the constitutive role of translation in cultural communication, highlighting the translational fabric of social interaction.


Loredana Polezzi is Professor of Translation Studies in the School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, and President of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS). Her main research interests are in translation studies, comparative literature, and the history of travel writing. Her recent work focuses on how geographical and social mobilities are connected to the theories and practices of translation and self-translation. With Rita Wilson, she is co-editor of leading international journal The Translator. She is a co-investigator in the research project ‘Transnationalizing Modern Languages’, funded by the AHRC’s Translating Cultures scheme, as well as a founding member of the ‘Cultural Literacy in Europe’ network.