Call for papers: Translation and Inclusive Development

Call for papers: Issue 21, publication year 2022

Translation and Inclusive Development

Guest editors: Marija Todorova¹, and Kobus Marais²

¹Hong Kong Polytechnic University | ² University of the Free State

Marija Todorova is a visiting scholar of the Centre for Professional Communication in English at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She holds doctorates in English Language and Literature as well as in Peace and Development Studies. She serves on the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS) Executive Council and is Chair of the Outreach and Social Media Committee. She is editor of New Voices in Translation Studies and published an edited volume with Lucia Ruiz Rosendo on Interpreting conflict: A comparative framework (2021). Her research interests include representation of violence in literature, intercultural communication, interpreters in conflict situations, and development studies.

Kobus Marais is professor of translation studies in the Department of Linguistics and Language practice of University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. He published two monographs, namely Translation theory and development studies: A complexity theory approach (2014) and A (bio)semiotic theory of translation: The emergence of social-cultural reality (2018). He also published two edited volumes, one with Ilse Feinauer, Translation studies beyond the postcolony (2017), and one with Reine Meylaerts, Complexity thinking in translation studies: Methodological considerations (2018). His research interests are translation theory, complexity thinking, semiotics/biosemiotics and development studies.

Translation and Inclusive Development

In the second half of the twentieth century, multilateral organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank promoted the idea of using donor-funded programs to improve the lives of people around the world with development aid. Since then, irrespective of how development is defined, researchers agree that it is a political term that implies positions of power regarding who makes the decisions and sets priorities for the distribution of aid (Banerjee, 2003). An aspect of development, that has received a general consensus is that the language used has power over how development is conceptualized, which in turn directs actions (Crush, 1995; Escobar, 1995). However, translation has so far rarely been considered as crucial to development work. In a sector which would be unable to operate without translation (Sanz Martins, 2018), and despite the interest into the role that language plays in development (Cornwall, 2007; Cornwall & Eade 2010; Anderson, Brown & Jean 2012), the first attempt to connect translation studies with development studies has only been made within the past decade (Marais, 2013; Footitt, 2017; Delgado Luchner, 2018; Todorova, 2019). Some of the issues pertinent to Development Studies have been examined in more detail, such as translation practices in international organizations, and crises translation and conflict related interpreting.

Recently, the field of Development Studies is going through a major redefinition of its vision. Issues like “which powers dominate knowledge on development” and “how to break out of this domination” are mentioned as recurrent priorities (Mönks et al., 2017). Consequently, scholars have started questioning the geography of knowledge production and many concepts of modernity originating in the North. Local knowledge and contexts are emphasized and new knowledge ecologies originating in the South are emerging. These are intrinsically linked to translation practices, which have not been included in the debate. This special issue will be open to research on translation practices in development-related settings in terms of both the underlying ‘western’-centric conceptual assumptions and global development trends, but we want to move the debate further and focus on topics that have not been tackled as much. Possible topics (list not exhaustive) include:

  • Translation and ‘localization’ of development
  • Translation and development in emerging economies (such as Brazil, China and South Africa)
  • Translation and South-South cooperation
  • Translation, development, and indigeneity
  • Translation and indigenous languages
  • Translation and development of multiculturalism
  • Multimodal translation in development communication
  • Translation and philanthropy
  • Translation and aid effectiveness
  • Methodological and epistemological approaches

Finally, this special issue will allow translation studies scholars to address the issues of development related translation. At the same time, development studies scholars will benefit from cross-pollination with the field of translation studies and, in particular, social and activist approaches to translation, with language being used as a tool for transformation and change (Baker & Saldanha, 2011, p. xxi).

Selected papers will be submitted to a double-blind peer review as requested by LANS. 

Practical information and deadlines

Proposals: Please submit abstracts of approximately 500 words, including relevant references (not included in the word count), to both Marija Todorova (marija.todorova@gmail.com) and Kobus Marais (jmarais@ufs.ac.za).

Abstract deadline: 1 May 2021

Acceptance of abstract proposals: 1 July 2021

Submission of papers: 1 December 2021

Acceptance of papers: 28 February 2022

Submission of final versions of papers: 1 June 2022

Editorial work (proofreading, APA, layout): June-November 2022

Publication: December 2022

References

Anderson, M., Brown, D., & Jean, I. (2012). Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid. Cambridge, MA: CDA Collaborative Learning Projects.

Banerjee, S. B. (2003). Who sustains whose development? Sustainable development and the reinvention of nature. Organization Studies, 24(1), 143-180.

Clemens, M. A., Radelet, S., & Bhavnani, R. (2004). Counting chickens when they hatch: the short-term effect of aid on growth. Center for Global Development Working Paper 44.

Cornwall, A. (2007) Buzzwords and fuzzwords: Deconstructing development discourse. Development in Practice, 17, 471–84.

Cornwall, A., & Eade, D. (Eds.). (2010). Deconstructing Development Discourse: Buzzwords and Fuzzwords. Warwickshire, UK: Practical Action Publishing.

Crush, J. C. (1995). Imagining Development. In J. C. Crush (Ed.), Power of Development (pp. 1–23). London, UK: Routledge.

Delgado Luchner, C. (2018). Contact zones of the aid chain: The multilingual practices of two Swiss development NGOs. Translation Spaces, 7(1), 44–64.

Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Footitt, H. (2017). International aid and development: Hearing multilingualism, learning from intercultural encounters in the history of OxfamGB. Language and Intercultural Communication, 17(4), 518–533.

Marais, K. (2018). Translation and development. In J. Evans, & F. Fernandez (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics (pp. 95-109). London, UK: Routledge.

Marais, K. (2014). Translation Theory and Development Studies: A Complexity Theory Approach. London, UK: Routledge.

Marais, K. (2013). Exploring a conceptual space for studying translation and development. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, 31(3), 403-414.

Mönks, J., Carbonnier, G., Mellet, A., & de Haan, L. (2017). Towards a renewed vision of Development Studies. International Development Policy – Revue internationale de politique de développement, 8(1), https://doi.org/10.4000/poldev.2393.

Sanz Martins, A. (2018). Development in so many words The Oxfam GB experience. Translation Spaces, 7(1), 106 – 118.

Todorova, M. (2019). Civil society in translation: Innovations to political discourse in Southeast Europe, The Translator, 24(4), 353-366.

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