31st Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Translation Studies
Translation and Adaptation
University of Regina
May 28-30, 2018
 

Adaptation has long had a negative reception within the discipline of Translation Studies. It is quite normal to be confronted with negative perceptions of adaptation - long since regarded as "the extreme limit of translation" (Vinay and Darbelnet 1958, Vázquez-Ayora 1977, among others), a distinctive translation operation, and even an "act of betrayal" or "a lack of respect" (Bensoussan 1988) - whenever matters concerning equivalence, fidelity or primacy of the source text are raised. And this, notwithstanding calls by numerous authors for it to be considered an integral part of the translation operation (Hurtado 1990, Bastin 1990, Gambier 1992, et al.) and demands by others for it to be established as an independent field of study (Hutcheon et O’Flynn 2006, Raw 2012, Cattrysse 2014).

All of which gives rise to two crucial questions. a) Is adaptation, strictly speaking, a part of the translation operation? b) Should adaptation, as a field of study, extend to adaptation-translation?

  1. a) The ubiquity of the adaptive influence in modern professional translation is undeniable, be it in advertising or in broadcasting, or in the localization of software, video games and telephony. Does this imply the existence of a translational process or approach? Adaptation practices are equally at work in literature, fiction, poetry, and theatre. Should this be seen as a denial of the Other or merely as a modern-day imperative? Is adaptation essentially ethnocentric? Where does one draw the line between adaptation and appropriation?
  1. b) Adaptation Studies is, in fact, well established today. The Adaptation Studies Association will hold its 12th Annual Conference this September. There is a growing stream of conferences and, with every passing day, a new publication: Hutcheon and O’Flynn (2006), Sanders (2006), Raw (2012, 2013) and Cattrysse (2014), among others. From its Film Studies and Art History beginnings, Adaptation Studies has grown to span numerous other fields (Translation Studies included?). How can each enrich the other? Can adaptation be described as cultural, technological, linguistic?

The transfer of a written work to film is undoubtedly a form of adaptation and, by the same token, a type of translation (Gambier 2003; Gambier 2004). Lastly, adaptation will, at times, cater to the linguistic peculiarities of a group; for example, by way of simplified literary classics targeting a youth audience or through the use of regionalisms in translated works destined for readers in a specific geographic locale.

Addressing such a complex and wide-ranging subject in the context of the conference will, hopefully, signal the foundations of an interdisciplinary approach to adaptation and, concomitantly, lead to the proposal of new problematics and perspectives.

References

Bastin, Georges L., 1990. « Traduire, adapter, réexprimer ». Meta, vol. 35, n° 3, pp. 470-475.

Bensoussan, Albert, 1988. « El placer de la traducción ». Sobre la traducción literaria en Hispanoamérica. Santiago: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, pp. 27-36.

Cattrysse, Patrick, 2014. Descriptive Adaptation Studies: Epistemological and Methodological Issues. Antwerp, Apeldoorn: Garant.

Gambier, Yves, 1992. « Adaptation : Une ambiguïté à interroger ». Meta, vol. 37, n° 3, pp. 421-425.

Gambier, Yves, 2003. “Screen Transadaptation: Perception and Reception”. The Translator, vol. 9, n° 2, pp. 171-189.

Gambier, Yves, 2004. « Tradaptation cinématographique ». Topics in Audiovisual Translation, Pilar Orero (éd.). Amsterdam et Philadelphie: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 169-181.

Hurtado, Alvaro, 1990. La notion de fidélité en traduction. Paris : Didier.

Hutcheon, Linda et Siobhan O’Flynn, 2006. A Theory of Adaptation. Londres et New York: Routledge.

Raw, Lawrence, 2012. Translation, Adaptation and Transformation. New York: Bloomsbury.

Raw, Lawrence, 2013. The Silk Road of Adaptation: Transformations across Disciplines and Cultures. Newcastle-upon-Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Sanders, Julie, 2006. Adaptation and Appropriation. Londres et New York: Routledge.

Vázquez-Ayora, Gerardo, 1977. Introducción a la traductología: curso básico de traducción. Washington : Georgetown University Press.

Vinay, Jean Paul et Jean Darbelnet, 1984 [1re éd. 1958]. Stylistique comparée du français et de l’anglais : méthode de traduction. Paris: Didier.

 Suggested topics for discussion:

Translation and adaptation

Leaving aside book-to-film adaptations (the most typical example), how does the shift from one semiotic system to the next compare with translation? What are the points of contact and divergence between Translation Studies and Adaptation Studies? Are equivalence, loss, and compensation still of relevance today? If not, by what have they been superseded? In developing such lines of research, how should we define translation and adaptation? How does the transition from one semiotic system to another take place?

An Interlinguistic Perspective

Can one properly describe as ‘translations’, adaptations destined for new audiences, such as a child-targeted simplification of a beloved literary classic or legal documents written in plain language? How do such adaptations impact the culture of their new audiences, assuming that every language conveys a distinctive culture?

An Intralinguistc Perspective

Are there discernible boundaries between what is considered translation and what is termed as adaption? Do rewriting, pastiche, and parody go hand-in-glove with translation and adaptation? What about plagiarism? What are the potential ethical issues raised in such cases?

Papers should not exceed 20 minutes. Your proposal (in English, French or Spanish) should include the two following documents:

  • A 300-word abstract in Word format, which will be included in the conference program
  • A completed form (below). The information you provide in the form will not be used to evaluate the quality of your proposal; rather, it will be included in the grant application that CATS will submit to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Please send your proposal to the organizers, Valérie Florentin and Georges L. Bastin, to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by September 30, 2017.

 

Surname (Family name)

 

Affiliation country

 

Affiliation

 

Diplomas (please start with the most recent)
4 lines maximum

 

Positions recently held, as well as positions related to this event (please start with the most recent)

5 lines maximum

 

Recent publications as well as those related to this event (please start with the most recent)
10 lines maximum

 

Title and abstract (100 -150 words)

 

Relevance of your paper to the conference (100 - 150 words)

 

Announcing a new book! Order your pre-publication copy at  1-800-462-6420  ext. 3024    8 am-6 pm

African Heartbeat: Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Dynamics

By Nancy Ann Watanabe

International Standard Book Number: 978-0-7618-7006-7     Rowman & Littlefield

December 2017©2018 108 pages  6” x 9” trim size  Hardcover List price:  $65.00

Table of Contents

Chapter 1            African-American Heroism in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Enemy of the State

Chapter 2            Zora Neale Hurston: Africa Transported to America

Chapter 3            Black African Spectral Dynamics in Contemporary Mexican Fiction: Shakespeare’s Hamlet Revisited                                                                         

[Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo and The Burning Plain, Hernán Lara Zavala’s “Hammering Away,” Álvaro Enrigue’s “On the Death of the Author,” and María Isabel Aguirre’s “Today, You Walk Along a Narrow Path”]

This informative and thought-provoking book begins by theorizing that persistence of vision has conditioned uniformed police to use fatal force against unarmed African-American suspects; black youths are victims of antebellum Civil War attitudes shaped, first by the U.S. Constitution, and then by Fugitive Slave Laws of 1793 and 1850. Both Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 novel and Tony Scott’s 1998 film portray the runaway slave archetype, interlocking issues of slavery and freedom à la Mark Twain with the political theme of individual right to privacy contending against covert surveillance in the name of national security. African Heartbeat argues that ancient African Vodun theological cosmology, to be distinguished from popularized “voodoo,” links Hurston’s feminist protagonists to heavenly moon and sky divinities; thematically, marriage becomes a civilizing geo-historical metaphor signifying democracy’s dovetailing of ancient African and traditional Eurocentric values. Lavish parallels between Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and contemporary Mexican masterpieces of fiction are traceable to common roots in African Vodun, Norse myth, Catholicism, and Judeo Christianity. African Heartbeat’s nuanced interpretations of global antebellum and postbellum portrayals of character suggest that many of the best works of art challenge conventional assumptions about assimilation and acculturation to suggest that hard-won cooperation among red, white, and black in a climate of multiracial diversity is at the crux of America’s success as a nation.

About the Author

Nancy Ann Watanabe is Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Oklahoma, currently on assignment as Research Professor at the University of Washington. She has also taught Colonial American Literature to the Civil War and technical writing for engineering and business majors at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and Western World Literature from Homer and the Bible to Dante, Western World Literature from Shakespeare to Camus and Solzhenitsyn, English Literature to 1790, and Introduction to Comparative Studies in Literature at Boise State University. She is the author of Beloved Image: The Drama of W. B. Yeats 1865-1939 (University Press of America, 1995) and Love Eclipsed: Joyce Carol Oates’s Faustian Moral Vision (University Press of America, 1998) and of influential essays, chapters, and articles in faculty-edited scholarly books and academic journals. Her honors include Fulbright, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Mortar Board, and National Endowment for the Humanities faculty fellowship awards.

On 13-18 August 2017 the Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur e.V. (IBBY Germany) and the Robert Bosch Stiftung will host the eighth annual workshop on the translation of German children’s and young adult literature entitled ‘Kein Kinderspiel!’. It will take place in Hamburg/Germany and will be held in German.

The five-day workshop offers 15 translators of children’s and young adult literature the opportunity to tackle specific problems of the genre and discuss current trends. Participants will have the chance to meet authors, critics and publishing representatives, and find information on grants and residencies as well as on existing networks. Above all, the workshop aims to be a centre for encounters, inspiration and exchange of ideas.

Participants can avail of a travel allowance. Accommodation and meals for the duration of the workshop will be free of charge.

Applications should be sent by email with corresponding enclosures by 2 May 2017 at the latest.

Further details and application forms may be obtained from this site www.jugendliteratur.org 

Contact: 

Carolin Farbmacher

Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur e.V.

Projektleitung Tagungen und Internationales

Certified Quality Translation Services in Delhi