Sunday Submissions: ‘What Does it Mean to Decolonise Translation?’

Titled Axis Press has launched a call for essays on the topic, “What does it mean to decolonise translation?”

They write:

In recent years, there has been a growing conversation re-evaluating the way literature is written, published and read in the Anglophone world, pushing for a dismantling of the idea of a Western canon, and questioning the dominance of English-language writing in representing places and communities. Where do we go from here, and what are the implications for literary translation? What happens when we cast a critical eye over what is and isn’t considered literature, what is translated into which language and why, how translation is carried out, by whom and for whom? Most professional translators and editors in the anglosphere remain white — but is it enough to call for more diversity in this area, especially if the intended readers remain white, and given that the very concept of professionalisation is entangled with imperialism? Is the idea of decolonising translation, particularly into English, a contradiction?

These are some of the questions editors Kavita Bhanot and Jeremy Tiang will be asking in this anthology to be published by Tilted Axis Press in 2022, with the support of the National Centre for Writing’s Visible Communities programme. We are calling for pieces with an emphasis on practice that discuss, explore and question what, if anything, it might mean to decolonise translation, by those who engage with literary translation in any form. These may take the form of essays, or may be more generically varied — feel free to surprise us. We envision the pieces mostly falling in the range of 3,000 to 5,000 words, but don’t let this constrain you.

Please send a proposal of up to 300 words and a 500-word writing sample (from the proposed essay OR from another relevant work) to by 31 January 2021. Notifications will be sent out about two weeks after submissions close, and full pieces will be due by 30 April 2021. Tilted Axis Press will pay each contributor a fee of up to £500, depending on the length of the piece.

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