Literature, Migration and Translation

International Conference Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the MA Programme Literary Translation at the Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf

13th -14th April 2018

Vera Elisabeth Gerling, Birgit Neumann & Volker C. Dörr

In our globalised modernity, deeply and exceptionally influenced by mass migration, voluntary and involuntary mobility, displacement and exile, translation matters more than ever. It is only through translations that we can enact cross-cultural exchange and connect across borders, time, and space.  Translation, however, is more than just a transfer of pre-existing systems – linguistic, cultural, epistemological, or normative – into different contexts. It does not generate conflict-free or streamlined links between cultures, languages, epistemologies and traditions. Instead, translation causes change and discontinuity, which always goes beyond given conditions and sets cultures in motion. Thus, translation is always already intertwined with its apparent opposite, the untranslatable, hinting at the inner plurality and even foreignness of the so-called original.

The international conference aims at exploring the complex connections between literature, migration and translation through a lens of historically and culturally comparative perspectives. The 30th anniversary of the MA Programme “Literary Translation” at the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf serves as an occasion to analyse the practical processes of translation from the outlined perspectives and to enable a self-reflexive engagement with practices of translation. The conference will attempt to highlight the ethically and politically relevant decisions inherent to the translation process, which concern our relationships with others and with the other.

Please find the programme undefined here. And you can download the flyer undefinedhere.

Friday / Freitag, 13.04.2018

Lecture Hall, University Library ULB / Vortragssaal ULB

10:30 h           

Welcome / Begrüßung

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities / Dekanat der Philosophischen Fakultät

Helmut Brall-Tuchel

10:45 h

Introduction / Einleitung

Birgit Neumann & Vera Elisabeth Gerling

11.00-12:00 h            

Opening Lecture / Eröffnungsvortrag

Migrating Translations

Susan Bassnett


12:00-13:15 h Lunch / Mittagspause


13:15-14:45 h

Multilingual Migration / Mehrsprachigkeit in der Migration

Translation and Multilingual Currents in Contexts of Migration

Paul F. Bandia

Migration as Translation

Doris Bachmann-Medick


14:45-15.15 h Coffee Break / Kaffeepause


15:15-17:15 h

Cultural Translation / Kulturübersetzung

Der Affekt in der Übersetzung – Zur ökologischen Dimension des Übersetzens

Vittoria Borsò

Die Spur der Sprache. Übersetzung im kulturellen Archiv

Albrecht Buschmann

„Ni traduire ni trahir“ – zu Herausforderungen der Lyrik-Übersetzung

Hans Theo Siepe


Heinrich-Heine-Institut, Bilker Straße 12

19:30 h

Panel Discussion / Podiumsdiskussion (in German / auf Deutsch)

Literature, Migration and Translation / Literatur, Migration und Übersetzung


Stanisław Strasburger, Ottmar Ette, Larissa Bender

Moderation: Volker C. Dörr, Vera Elisabeth Gerling & Birgit Neumann


Saturday / Samstag, 14.04.2018

Lecture Hall, University Library ULB / Vortragssaal ULB


9:30-11 h

Migration and Contact / Migration als Kontaktphänomen

The Heritage of Drama and the Drama of Heritage. Theatre Translation for Diaspora and Host Societies

Catalina Iliescu Gheorghiu

Mobile people, mobile languages, mobile texts: Sociolinguistic perspectives on migration and translation

Theresa Heyd


11:00-11:30 h Coffee Break / Kaffeepause


11:30-13:00 h

Politics of Translation / Übersetzungspolitiken

Translating Turanism: German Turkish Cultural Relations of the Early 20th Century.

Kristin Dickinson

Studying the Politics of Translation – The Concept of Discovery

Dilek Dizdar


13:00-14:30 h Lunch / Mittagspause


14:30-16:00 h
Un-Translatability of Migration / Un-Übersetzbarkeit von Migration

‘As a Translator You Are the Gate to the New World’. The Ambivalence of the Metaphor ‘Migration as Translation’

Michaela Wolf

Not translating migration

Wiebke Sievers


16:00 h
Final Discussion / Abschlussdiskussion

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