Call for Papers: Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance

 A three-day conference on translation, called “The Only Thing Worth Globalizing is Dissent: Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance,” is set to be held in Cairo from March 6-8, 2015:

cropped-revolution-logo-e1402389217668The conference will focus on multiple forms of translation (subitling, written translation, oral interpretation), and how translation relates to global protest movements. Speakers are set to include translator Samah Selim, academic Vicente Rafael, and filmmaker Khalid Abdalla.

According to organizers Mona Baker, Yasmin El Rifae, and Mada Masr:

Translation is understood here in both its narrow and broad senses. In its narrow sense, translation involves rendering fully articulated stretches of textual material from one national language into another, and encompasses various modalities such as written translation, subtitling and oral interpreting. This type of translation is part of the fabric of practically all oppositional groups in Egypt – from the written translation of statements and campaigns by groups such as No to Military Trials to the subtitling of videos by collectives such as Mosireen and Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution. As Rizk (2013)* explains, it is translation that allows activists involved in a group such as Mosireen to connect with protest movements elsewhere and to see themselves “within a broader struggle and not an atomized battle against local dictatorship”. In its broad sense, translation involves the mediation of diffuse symbols, narratives and linguistic signs of varying lengths across modalities (e.g. words into image), levels of language (e.g. fusha and ‘amiyya) and cultural spaces, the latter without necessarily crossing a language boundary. As such it also encompasses the use of languages other than Arabic in writings and discussions about the Egyptian Revolution, the use of (forms of) Arabic in addressing regional audiences, as well as the journey of visual and musical artefacts across social and national boundaries.

Abstracts of 300 words are due September 15, and should be sent to Mona Baker ( and Yasmin El-Rifae ( Notification of acceptance will be given by Nov. 30.

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