New and Familiar Modes of Translation and Communication: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, Beijing Foreign Studies University

23-25 October 2020


The turn of the century has witnessed a step change in the volume, diversity and sophistication of research on various modes of mediated communication, from interlingual translation and interpreting to film adaptation, from the language of emojiis to the code switching typical of social media exchanges, and from the transediting of news to the collaborative drafting of multilingual documents in international and pan national organizations. Managing the interaction between image, body language, text and other media of communication has also become central to our ability to make sense of the world, with implications for the way we theorize concepts such as language, translation and communication. In our increasingly multicultural and multilingual world, communication at all levels of society is routinely mediated by individuals who are variously referred to as translators, interpreters, subtitlers, language consultants, and even ‘fixers’—the term now used to refer to interpreters and others who assist journalists operating in foreign countries to perform a range of duties that are not restricted to linguistic mediation. The prevalence and pervasiveness of translation, in all its guises, together with the increased blurring of boundaries between translation and other types of linguistic mediation, both have important consequences for a variety of disciplines, including translation and communication studies.At the same time, the phenomenon of translation and the many ways in which it is impacted by and in turn impacts social and political life have become central to debates across a wide range of disciplines, as well as outside academia. Translation studies itself is now understood as an interdiscipline that thrives on exploring connections and synergies with other fields of enquiry. Despite its growing engagement with other fields and a significant broadening of its remit since the turn of the century, however, reflection on translation is no longer confined to this ‘parent discipline’ but continues to gather pace across the academy and beyond. Translation has become a leitmotif of contemporary scholarship in the humanities and social sciences in particular. It has engaged scholars in areas as varied as the history of science, religious studies, critical legal studies, feminist studies and visual culture.

We invite original research contributions related but not limited to the following sub-themes:

  • Researching communication in the digital era: interdisciplinary perspectives on translation and interpreting in the Web 2.0 environment
  • Researching multilingual communities in physical and virtual spaces: language and identity formation in evolving settings
  • Multimodal analyses of visual-cum-textual communication in new sites of interaction
  • Language and translation policies: traditional and unconventional/novel schemes
  • Multidisciplinary approaches to the mediation and circulation of the news
  • Cognitive approaches to the analysis of mediated communication, including translation and interpreting events

We invite both individual presentations and panel proposals.

I. Submission of Abstracts for Individual Presentations

Abstracts of 300-500 words including title for individual 20-minute presentation should be sent by 15 February 2020 to Author’s information page including title, brief bio, affiliation and email address should be sent as a separate attached file together with the abstract. Notification of acceptance will be given by 1 March 2020.

II. Submission of Panel Proposals

Panel proposals should be submitted by 10 February 2020 to Panel proposals should consist of:

  • proposed title of panel
  • a short outline of the panel/theme (150-200 words)
  • name, affiliation and brief bio of the panel convener
  • list of presenters

Panels should consist of 3 papers of 20-minutes each plus 10 minutes for discussion. Multiple panels on the same theme will also be considered. Notification of acceptance will be given by 25 February 2020. 

III. Working Languages

English and Chinese

 IV. Conference Venue

Auditorium, GSTI Building, Beijing Foreign Studies University

 V. Registration Fee

800 RMB yuan

VI. Important Dates 

  • Deadline for submission of abstracts for individual presentation: 15 February 2020
  • Notification of acceptance for individual presentation: 1 March 2020
  • Deadline for submission of panel proposals: 10 February 2020
  • Notification of acceptance for panel proposals: 25 February 2020

VII. Contact Information

Tel: 010-88817917 (Ms. Song, Mr. Hu)