Conferences and Symposia
From the establishment of the Nida Institute in 2001, conferences and symposia were envisioned as key components of the Institute’s research initiative. Creating opportunities for scholars from multiple disciplines to come together to exchange and test their ideas is essential to discovering how best to do translation in the future. To continue the exchange and exploration of ideas beyond the gatherings themselves, the Nida Institute works with publishers to make available the best papers in conference and proceedings volumes.
2013 Research Symposium
Cultural translation brings together two inherently dynamic processes: translation and culture. Each by its very nature swirls and changes even as we speak of them. Yet, the interaction creates themes and centers of interest for research, for instance, hybridity, memory, space, and knowledge. Robert Young and Bella Brodzki, two preeminent authorities in the field, will share their research on translation as cultural intervention and translation and autobiography, respectively. Two equally distinguished scholars, Suzanne Jill Levine and Christi Merrill, will respond.
2012 Research Symposium, “Translation, History, and Metholodology” – Lawrence Venuti and Anne Coldiron, presenters; Michael Forster and Mary Helen McMurran, respondents.
2011 Research Symposium “Translation, Globalization, and Localization” – Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Anthony Pym, presenters; Sandra Bermann and Edwin Gentzler, respondents.
Translation and Cognition / Murcia, 2010
This conference explored the relationship between translation and cognition. This theme, which occupies a dominant place in the fields of translation studies, linguistics, brain research, psychology, and cognitive studies, is also central to research on the relationship between mind, language, and communication. Conference papers explored the role that cognition plays in the formation of meaning and culture and in the constructing of models of the human mind. A collection of essays, a DVD with interviews and video clips of the major presentations, and postings on social media are planned.
Translation, Identity, and Heterogeneity / Lima, 2007
This conference took place in Lima, at San Marcos University. Its theme, "Translation, Identity, and Heterogeneity," has special importance today because communication, language, and translation have found new frames of reference in a postmodern world characterized by globalization, immigration, and localization. The conference explored many aspects of this theme, including translation and minority languages, translation and the emergence of new languages (creoles, pidgins, street languages), and translation and boundaries. Papers on this conference theme are currently being gathered and edited.
Translation and the Machine / Rome, 2004
This conference took place at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, and explored the theme of “Technology and Translation.” The papers presented reflected a persistent effort to think critically about the intersection of translation and technology. The machine(s) that occasion these musings are ever evolving and reinventing themselves. Their role as a partner in the translational process changes constantly even as translation resists change. From stones to papyrus; from quills to typewriters; from hand-written journals to bound copy; from room-sized mainframes to flash drives, from DVDs to iPhones and the internet --- the machine’s footprint on translation is growing. What constitutes technology? To what extent is technology a benefit or hindrance to translation? What is the nature of the machine's relationship to both translation and the translator? How does translation, as both a product and a practice, change through its interface with the machine? These and other provocative questions were addressed by preeminent scholars on the cutting edge of the field.
Select papers from this conference were edited by Steve Berneking and Scott Elliott and published in 2009 by Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura in Rome. These are available from St. Jerome Publishing under the title Translation and the Machine.
Similarity and Difference in Translation / New York City, 2001
The overall focus of the Nida Institute's first conference was the exploration of the observation that translation lives within a grand paradox. This paradox requires that translators work simultaneously and consciously with similarity and difference, whether they are transferring meaning across boundaries of a single word, a complete sentence, a total discourse, a full-fledged genre, or an entire culture. Inescapably, it seems, the translator's work succeeds both because of, and despite this paradox. On the one hand, some critics have judged the translation profession as too focused on difference, deriding the profession as a guild of “faithful traitors.” Other critics have lauded translators for creating similarities that construct and mediate culture, delivering it like mail across boundaries of time and space, to paraphrase Pushkin.
The proceedings of this conference appeared under the same name, edited by Stefano Arduini and Robert Hodgson, published by Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura in Rome and are available from St. Jerome Publishing.