Meta: Translators’ Journal calls for papers dedicated to the archives of literary translators. Literary authorship has long been studied from a genetic perspective, yet only recently have literary translators’ working documents—their research notes, drafts, revisions, proofs, their manuscripts, contracts and correspondence—become a focus of translation process research. The emergence of genetic translation studies (Cordingley and Montini 2015) has coincided with a heightened interest in translators’ creativity and agency stimulated by post-structuralist and sociological approaches, and the advent of ‘translator studies’. Despite a growing number of case studies engaging with translators’ avant-textes, translation studies is yet to have its ‘archival turn’. Unlike other disciplines in the humanities, such as philosophy, literature, history, or sociology, in translation studies there has been little reflection upon the concept or function of the archive. Historically, most translators’ papers survived incidentally, because the translator was also a literary author. However, the general revaluing of translation and the rise of translation studies has begun to attract institutional investment in the form of the purchasing or collecting of translators’ papers, manuscripts and materials, and the creation of translation archives.
Articles are encouraged to introduce transdisciplinary perspectives that resonate with theories or notions of the archive in other disciplines. The translation archive can be conceptualised within book history or sociological approaches to the archive as an artefact or space inscribed with the material history of a translator’s work—such as a hard drive, box of manuscript pages, a private study, an office, an online forum, a curated collection, an uncatalogued library holding—sites that witness the labour of translation and its relationship to its environment, collaborators and other semiotic systems. It may be conceptualised within the parameters of genetic criticism as a dossier génétique, a series of texts that attest a translation’s genesis over time to reveal the evolution of translation strategies. It can be approached from the perspectives of library and information sciences and archive studies to elucidate the value, place and function of translation archives within the development and organisation of libraries and collections, as well as the acquisition, documentation, cataloguing and communication practices that affect translators’ archives and their use by the public,
researchers or translators themselves—in short, how records of translation and users interact to make meaning.
Researchers of other disciplines are invited, furthermore, to consider how recognising the presence and dynamics of translation may shift their own relationship to the archive. Can translation studies offer other fields with tools to interrogate their historical or theoretical understanding of the archive? Can it challenge existing attitudes to translation within archival spaces? What can a translational turn offer studies of the archive in fields beyond translation studies? Articles for this special issue may therefore address one or more of the following questions:
- What is a ‘translation archive’ and how are translation archives formed? Why do the materials of certain literary translators survive while others are lost or forgotten? What are the epistemological and ontological particularities of different kinds of translation archives?
- What methodologies are available to researchers of translation archives and what can translation researchers learn from cognate disciplines that study and theorise archives? How do archival approaches enrich translation analysis, and what are their limits or limitations? What criteria should be used when evaluating the claims of archival research? What can knowledge of translation dynamics and translation studies offer archival studies?
- What is the importance of informal archives produced by online networks, community groups, fans, volunteers? What are the challenges for researchers approaching archives found outside of libraries and institutional settings? What challenges does the proliferation of personal computers, translation technologies,
translation memories and other digital media pose for archival approaches to translation studies
Abstracts of no more than 600 words to be submitted by 1st of May 2019
Submission of completed articles in English, French or Spanish by 1st of December 2019
Please send an abstract with short biographical note to email@example.com