Conf/CfP - Translating Armenians, Armenians Translated: Rethinking Methodologies for Armenian Studies, April 22 and 23, 2016, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA

Publish Date: Jul 08, 2015

Deadline: Nov 15, 2015

Event Dates: from Apr 22, 2016 12:00 to Apr 23, 2016 12:00

Seventh Annual International Graduate Student Workshop

Armenian Studies Program
April 22 and 23, 2016
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 

In recent years, the notion of translation has acquired a new currency while becoming invested with a new urgency, in particular for “marginal” programs within area studies, such as Armenian studies, which are often called to engage with translation in their efforts to position themselves within broader critical conversations that extend beyond their disciplinary scope.

In an effort to expand on such conversations, including those that took place during the last Armenian Studies Graduate Student Workshop at the University of Michigan in the spring of 2015, the next workshop, which will take place in April 2016, wishes to continue the conversation on this topic with a two-day event entitled “Translating Armenians, Armenians Translated: Rethinking Methodologies for Armenian Studies.” 

As emphasized in the title of the workshop, where the verb translate is used in both the active and the passive voice, the workshop seeks to bring together scholarship that approaches a range of topics related to Armenian culture at large and looks at instances where Armenians are either agents or objects of translational practices. Given the centrality of the notion of translation in the Armenian experience through the ages, this workshop will provide an opportunity to chart the significance of such a powerful vehicle for cultural mediation while emphasizing the transnational, transregional, and transcommunal interactions that have shaped Armenian intellectual history. We are interested in approaching translation not only as the transposition of meaning from one linguistic code to another but, more broadly, as a discursive practice, as a critical engagement, as a cultural practice, as an ethos, and as a methodology.

An emphasis on the last element, that of methodology, seems to us particularly crucial to a workshop conceived as a forum for young scholars to present their research experience and challenges while reflecting together upon the present and future theoretical and practical articulations of the field at large.

Rather than limiting ourselves to the literary dimension of translation, we invite graduate student working on Armenian topics from the vantage point of a broad range of disciplines including, but not limited to, history, anthropology, cultural studies, literary studies, political science, art history, film studies, performance studies, ethnomusicology to submit abstracts for their proposed papers. Papers will be pre-circulated to ensure two days of vibrant discussions.

We are interested in hearing the different experiences related to the challenges brought forth by the necessity of translating broader theoretical and methodological conversations to tailor them to the specific needs of Armenian studies and/or translating the findings of work within the field into a critical language that can be incorporated in larger contemporary conversations.

This workshop is sponsored by the University of Michigan’s Armenian Studies Program and is organized by Ali Bolcakan and Etienne Charrière, both Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Comparative Literature, and seeks to bring together younger scholars (graduate students engaged in research or those who defended their dissertations in the last three years).

Emphasizing an interdisciplinary and connected approach, we invite submissions that address the following topics and issues (along with others of equal relevance):

  • translating the Armenian experience into art, theater, film, poetry, fiction and nonfiction.
  • translation as a critical engagement and as a practice in Armenian political, social, and cultural history.
  • encounters through translation within and across national, regional, and communal boundaries in all stages of Armenian history (classical period, Middle Ages, late Ottoman period, 20th-21st centuries).
  • Armenian contributions and challenges to translation studies and translation theory ; challenges associated with the need to translate “theory” (be it political, literary, postcolonial, feminist, queer, etc.)  to Armenian contexts.
  • issues related to code-switching, script and language reforms, the politics of dialects.
  • questions of authorship and authenticity; issues of adaptation and mimicry.
  • material, political, economic, and legal implications of translation (including questions of circulation and reception, copyright, modes of publication, readership and audiences, censorship)

Please send an abstract (approx. 250 words) along with a CV to by November 15, 2015.

Successful applicants will need to submit a paper of no more than 8-10 double-spaced pages by April 1st, 2016 to be circulated among workshop participants.

Some funds are available to cover travel expenses. Per donor guidelines, preference will be given to those traveling from the Republic of Armenia.

Armenian Studies Program
University of Michigan
1080 South University Ave., Suite 3633
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1106

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