Cfp: Who’s Afraid Of Translator Studies? The Human Translator in Focus

By | June 21, 2021

A conference for postgraduate, doctoral and early-career researchers

Where? : Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation, University of Dublin

When?: May 12-13, 2022

Call for Papers

While Translation Studies continues to evolve, entering into dialogue with diverse disciplines and following multifarious directions, translators still represent the underlying and essential agency that makes such evolution possible. However, it seems that translators often remain behind that notorious shadow line, which delimits their visibility and heightens their risk of being misperceived as disembodied or anonymous entities. This conference, therefore, aims to highlight their centrality in the translation act as human beings.

The conference aims to explore translators manifestations across a variety of fields, ranging from the media to history, from literature to popular culture, specifically taking into account their humanity, and investigating the human touch in areas where it may not always be apparent such as machine translation. Rather than considering the technical, textual dimension to their work, this conference seeks to draw attention to the staging of the translational self, the fictional representations and literary portrayals of translators, their role throughout history and social movements so as to rediscover translators as people with their own subjectivity and individuality.

Although they are not always named on book covers and may still not be under the spotlight of public perception, translators remain fundamental mediators. Can we get to know them better? Can we finally visualise them as flesh and blood or are they inherently invisible? The organising committee invites proposals to engage with these and related questions. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Human translators in the digital age
  • Translators as agents throughout history
  • Staging and fashioning the translational self
  • Representations of translators in literature and fiction
  • Celebrity translators
  • The lives, welfare and working conditions of translators
  • Self-translation and the multilingual writer
  • Ethical dilemmas: who tells whose story?
  • Translators in socio-political contexts


Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) using this online form by 29 October 2021 for papers of 20 minutes. 10-minute Q&A sessions will follow each talk. Proposals will be assessed on their relevance to the central theme of the conference, their contribution to knowledge, and the methodological approach they outline.


The event will open with a keynote address by Professor Michael Cronin, Director of the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation and 1776 Professor of French at Trinity College Dublin.

If you have any queries, please email You can also keep up to date with the conference following the TCLCT’s social media as well as @TCLCTPhDs on Twitter.