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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 ( and Kobus Marais (

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


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),

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.

Training the trainer: Webinar series for translator and interpreter training

A webinar series for translator and interpreter training under the auspices of ATSA (Association for Translation Studies in Africa) and the University of the Free State

Coordinators: Prof. Prof. Kobus Marais (ATSA and University of the Free State, South Africa) and Prof.
Maria Gonzalez Davies (University Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain)


As the field of translation studies develops in Africa, requirements for training are growing. In particular,
there seems to be a movement from an interest in mere technical training to a fully-fledged scholarly
education in translation studies on the continent. Against this background, colleagues on the continent
have expressed an interest in training the trainer courses for lecturers in translation and interpreting
studies who need to design and teach at MA and PhD level.

In response, this a proposal for webinar series in 2021 to fulfil this need. This series also addresses
administrators setting up new educational programmes in translation, training leaders at translation
agencies, as well as students embarking on MA courses or doctoral studies and any readers interested in
the interface between translation and education.

The following is envisaged:

  1. A fully online webinar series of seven sessions of 90 minutes each for 2021.
  2. Six of these sessions will be facilitated by international experts on translator education, and two
    (one at the beginning and one at the end) will be facilitated by ATSA to situate the webinar in the
    African context ( .
  3. The six content sessions would be on the approaches and methods of translation/interpreting
    teaching. This would include topics like team teaching, ICT and curriculum design.
  4. One session each will be focused on translation and another on interpreting, but participants from
    both interest groups can attend both.
  5. ATSA will provide a certificate of attendance, stipulating the hours and topics attended.
  6. All the seminar leaders are invited to participate in al the seminars.

Please click here to view the programme.


Please register by paying the registration fees into the following account:
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 62691743746
Please e-mail proof of payment to our treasurer, Prof Ilse Feinauer, at and to the
organizer, Prof Kobus Marais, at
Deadline for registrations: 25 January 2021

If one participant registers for all 8 webinars: $40
If one participant registers for only some of the webinars: $10 per webinar
If a University/Department register, they can register as many participants as they want: $80

PhD position: KU Leuven, Belgium

KU Leuven’s Research Group Translation and Intercultural Transfer brings together researchers from Leuven, Brussels, Antwerp and Kortrijk who deal with the complex and dynamic relationships within and between cultures. The PhD student will be part of this RG, within the larger whole of the Research Unit Translation Studies of the Faculty of Arts.

This joint PhD project will be based at KU Leuven with a minimum 12 month stay at The University of Melbourne.

PhD project: “Language is (not) a barrier”: Towards effective translation policies and practices for official communication with culturally and
linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Brussels

More information is available here:

Call for Contributions to Edited Volume: Translaboration in Analogue and Digital Practice: Labour, Power, Ethics

Edited by Cornelia Zwischenberger (University of Vienna, Austria) and Alexa Alfer (University of Westminster, UK), contracted with Frank & Timme, Berlin

Translaboration, as an essentially ‘blended concept” (Fauconnier & Turner 2002), responds to the confluence of ‘translation’ and ‘collaboration’ that is increasingly widespread not only in Translation Studies but also in a range of neighbouring disciplines. Translaboration’s central aim is to bring ‘translation’ and ‘collaboration’, as well as the often highly heterogeneous practices associated with these two notions, into dialogue with one another. This edited volume builds on exchanges first aired at our successful ‘Living Translation as Translaboration’ panel at the 2019 EST-conference at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and will focus on the ‘translation as collaboration’ vector of the translaboration concept (cf. Alfer & Zwischenberger 2020; Zwischenberger 2020).

Deadline for proposals: 15th of December 2020

Further information

Call for abstracts: Panel on sustainable development and indirect translation

Call for abstracts (Deadline: 15 September 2020)

Panel on sustainable development and indirect translation 

(incl. pivot AVT, machine translation and relay interpreting)

IATIS congress, Barcelona, 29 June – 2 July 2021

Convenors: Hanna Pieta, James Hadley, Jan Buts & Laura Ivaska

In an increasingly global society, people are often expected to translate from already translated texts or with further translation in mind. This is especially the case in contexts where multiple low-diffusion and/or low-resource languages are used . Such translating for and from translation, here called “indirect translation” and understood to include both oral and written texts (Assis Rosa, Pieta, and Maia 2019), has traditionally been perceived as a work-around to be avoided.

For quite some time now, research has focused on negative effects associated with this practice, particularly on mistakes that are added as one moves away from the ultimate source text (Pas 2013). Others have noted the disturbing economic implications of English as a dominant pivot language worldwide (de Swaan 2020), and the damaging consequences associated with taking translation work away from people who are already marginalized because of the language they use (Brodie 2012).

However, more recent studies have shifted the focus from these negatives, to the benefits associated with indirect translation, suggesting its potential to work as a tool for the social, economic and political development of countries and peoples (Schäffner, Tcaciuc, and Tesseur 2014); an empowering device that allows people from the margins to access relevant information (Van Rooyen 2018); a life-saving measure in crisis situations (Federici and O’Brien 2020); a productive way of maximining linguistic diversity in educational outlets (Torres-Simón, Pieta, Maia and Xavier, forthcoming); or a catalyst for feminist solidarity across borders (Castro and Ergun 2017).

The aim of this panel is to cast light on indirect translation and its role in the context of social, economic, political, technological or linguistic sustainable development. More specifically, we invite papers analyzing practices and products of indirect translation in relation to at least one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

We welcome proposals focusing on any type of indirect translation. Successful proposals will outline specifically which of the SDGs they address and how. For a full list and more details about the SDG, please see this page:

Proposal should be made in the form of a 300-word abstract, directly addressing one or more of the SDGs, accompanied by a brief bionote.

Panel convenors have secured a slot for a post-panel special issue of Translation Spaces (, to be out in 2023. It will result from a separate call, open to all, regardless of their participation in the panel.

IATIS Conference 2021 – UPDATE

Update from the Chair of the Organizing Committee and the IATIS International Conferences Committee:

The panels, workshops, roundtables and artistic initiatives are now published on our website (access it here). See below the list of titles & convenors.

We are now inviting oral communications and posters until 15th of September 2020.

Oral communications, submitted in response to either one of our thematic panels (view them here) or the general theme (see it here)  of the conference, will run for 20 minutes followed by 10-minute discussions. Some oral communications originally submitted to a panel may be moved to the general theme of the conference by recommendation of the convenor and/or the Scientific Committee.

Posters will be submitted in response to thematic panels (view here) or the general theme (view here) of the conference. Some oral communications may be accepted only in poster format by recommendation of the Scientific Committee and/or the Advisory Board.

All proposals must be submitted through the conference management platform:
Click here for the link.

CFP Panel: IATIS 2021: Translation in the global media ecology

CFP Panel for IATIS 2021 Conference in Barcelona

Submission details here:

Deadline 15 September for abstracts

Panel 1: Translation in the global media ecology: New patterns of translation and distribution in the streaming age
Convenors: Jinsil Choi (Keimyung University), Jonathan Evans (University of Portsmouth) & Kyung Hye Kim (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

Keywords: media, centre/periphery, dominant/dominated, streaming, fansubbing, attention ecology.

While there have been calls to ‘recenter globalization’ since the early 2000s (Iwabuchi 2002), the development of streaming media since the late 2000s has effectively disrupted older patterns of film and media distribution, leading to more access globally for what had been marginalised cultures in the global media ecology, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Nigeria. The contribution of streaming service platforms turned content creators such as Amazon, Netflix and Rakuten Viki is in the process of overturning previous understandings of the global mediasphere. Increasingly invested in international services, these companies’ practices fragment, deconstruct and reconfigure media space.

Translation is central to this, as these streaming providers offer most media content in translated versions, be it dubbed or subtitled, resulting in geographical boundaries becoming increasingly volatile and propelling cultural mobility. Not all such translations are official, and there continue to be thriving fan translation cultures on streaming platforms such as Youtube and Viki which offer access to media between ‘dominated’ cultures and as well between ‘dominating’ and ‘dominated’ cultures. This increasing fluidity is having a significant effect on Anglosphere understandings of world media, which had previously seen ‘foreign’ film and TV as elite, highbrow productions but now, especially through streaming platforms and fansubbing, more popular media such as Korean soap operas or Chinese teenage TV dramas are becoming widely available. At the same time, the massive abundance of available media around the globe is creating a scarcity of attention and affecting a new attention ecology (Citton 2017) which risks ‘dominated’ languages being overlooked in the sheer quantity of ‘dominating’ language production. This panel aims to explore the role of translation in the streaming age, especially in relation to the shifting definition of ‘peripheral/dominated’ and ‘central/dominating’ media producing cultures.

We welcome contributions critically addressing translation (understood broadly) in the global media environment that has been created in relation to streaming and on demand services.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
-Video streaming giants (e.g. Netflix, Amazon) and popular translation -Transnational and translational co-productions for international streaming -Shifting notions of centre/dominant and periphery/dominated and ways of retheorising the position of cultures in the current media ecology -Streaming, translation and the media environment -Economies of attention, digital distribution and translation -Shadow economies of media translation and their effects on global circulation -South-South or other ‘dominated-dominated’ translation practices (i.e. that do not pass through ‘dominant’ languages) for popular media

For informal enquiries:

Bionotes of panel convenors:
Jinsil Choi is Assistant Professor, Keimyung University, South Korea. Her research interests include corpus-based translation, pre-modern Korea in translation, and subtitles and film ratings in Korea. She is now working on a monograph, entitled Government Translation in South Korea: A Corpus Based Study, to be published by Routledge in 2020.

Kyung Hye Kim is Lecturer in Translation Studies at the School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and an Honorary Associate Director of the Baker Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, China. Her academic interests lie in corpus-based translation studies, retranslation, and critical discourse analysis.

Jonathan Evans is currently Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Portsmouth, UK. From August 2020 he will be Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of The Many Voices of Lydia Davis (2016) and co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics (2018). His academic interests lie in the circulation of media and non-hegemonic ideas.

CFP Panel for IATIS 2021 Conference in Barcelona

Announcement & Call:

Submission details here:

Deadline: 15 September for abstracts

Panel 19: Ecological turn in translatology

Convenor: Rindon Kundu (Sri Sri University)

Keywords: Darwinian evolution, biological, eco-environment, natural selection, survival, organic, ecological, translatology

While formulating the definition of Life in the planetary systems, a committee assembled by NASA in 1994, suggested, following Carl Sagan’s idea, that life is, “a self-sustaining chemical system capable of growth, replication and Darwinian evolution”. According to this definition, living species go through metabolism or chemical transformations in an environment filled with the right ingredients i.e., water, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulphur. As stated by Oparin-Haldane theory and later ratified by Miller-Urey experiment if the fundamental inorganic molecules present on early earth are given the right conditions they can start interacting with each other and form organic molecules and thereafter evolves into an organism. Now, in accordance with the Darwinian paradigm, an organism sustains and evolves with the changing environment due to its natural selection and Darwin’s principle of the ‘survival of the fittest’ is heavily based on biological evolution and adaptation of the organism through ‘natural selection’. Keeping in mind this biological conceptualisation of ‘natural selection’, ‘evolution’, and ‘survival’, can we then attempt to form an ecological model of the process of translation? Does the translator attempt to carry out both “adaptive selection” and “selective adaptation” in terms of adapting his/her body into the target socio-lingual and politico-cultural environment as well as selecting the text for the translational eco-environment?

If we consider author, language, culture, theme, genre, authorial intention and other textual elements as organic and inorganic molecules which by interacting with each other can form an organic text living and sustaining in its own environment, can we then consider translation of it as an evolution and adaptation in Darwinian sense where a transformed species will evolve in a completely new environment mutating with new sets of elements i.e., translator, target language, target culture, translatorial purpose?

Further, borrowing John Bowlby’s idea of “Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation”, can we argue that often times conditions present in the target environment allow a species or text to adapt into it for which that species/text is naturally selected for? And can we extend “Encoding/Decoding” (Nida, 1964; Hall, 1973) beyond the linguistic realm of transferring message to the field of genetics as transformation of genetic information resulting in mutation. How should we maintain an eco-balance between two diverge ecosystems while performing the translational act? Or does the act of translation inevitably imbibe imbalance due to distinct unequal geographies bound up with asymmetrical power relations between their respective nation-states?

Finally, the panel will try to formulate the ecological turn in translatology which may chart new territories in translation studies.

Participants will be invited to present papers along the following lines (not exclusive):

  • Darwinian ‘adaptation’ and its relation to translation studies
  • Methodologies of textual transplantation
  • Exploring botanic metaphor in translation
  • Role of translation in the development of human eco-civilization
  • Translation as organic growth
  • Interrelationships in-between ‘textual ecologies’, ‘translator-community ecologies’, and ‘translational environment ecologies’
  • Applications of Eco-Translatology as an alternative model to translation theory
  • Conceptualizing Eco-turn in Translation Studies

For informal enquiries:

Bionote of panel convenor:

Rindon Kundu is presently working as an Assistant Professor of English at Sri Sri University, India. He is acting as the Treasurer of Comparative Literature Association of India (CLAI) as well as has been nominated by Prof. Gengshen Hu as the South Asian Regional Director of International Association Eco-Translation Research (IAETR). He has been awarded several international grants like IATIS 2018 Hong Kong Bursary holder by International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies; Full Grant by the British Academy to participate in the African Translation and Interpreting Studies Writing Workshop at South Africa in 2019 and Young Researcher Travel Grant 2019 by European Society for Translation Studies. He has recently been selected for the Volkswagen Stiftung 2020 Grant.