Special issue on “Translation and Hospitality”

Call for Papers

Special issue on “Translation and Hospitality”

Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies (AWEJTLS) welcomes the submission of papers for a Special Issue on “Translation and Hospitality” We have the honor to announce that the guest editor for this issue is Dr. Taoufiq Sakhkhane, from the College of Languages, Letters and Arts at Ibn Tofail University, Kenitra, Morocco. The issue publication date is March 2023. The deadline for the manuscript submissions is November 31, 2022.

Beyond the palisade of prickling conventions, translation has more than ever figured as the last haven where geysers of commonality, in-betweenness and invagination spring up to the heavens to break, in the last resort, against shores of parochiality, chauvinism and polarization. In the terms of Emmanuel Levinas, what has sustained Mankind throughout history is this sense of breaking free of monadic conventions, of looking the other straight in the eye, of showing him/her to the warm hearth of hospitality, of turning, among other things, the unheimlich into the heimlich. Out of the rubble of the Tower of Babel, Levinas contends on, and in cognizance of the fact that only through metaphors one can reaggregate what is disaggregated, translation has turned for many a civilization into a matrix for a susurration of codes and texts, a hospice to welcome the other(s), to make them shoot forth along their own lavishly cared-for garden of words. Though the terms of such hospitality have been moulded upon the template of that original Abrahamic precursor, and though stories may speak against such an idealistic image, translation has loomed all the more as the ‘divan’ of nations, peoples and landscapes (Goethe.) The endeavour, ever constant, to carry one’s stone upon one’s shoulders, to transform what was more often than not conceived as a concomitant anathema into a blissful state where ideas of plurality, difference and alterity are highly prized is quite in order.

Out of such an acute awareness of the nature of translation as the locus of choice of hospitality, there has grown a certain dialogue between different communities as they hunt for sameness in difference. While translation studies have elaborated theories about the poetics of translation as a transfer of a text from a source language to a target language, the politics of that cross-border exchange has pointed out to the modalities of choice, to the procedures of selection, especially when power infuses the commerce between the center and its peripheries. The objective of this special issue of AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies is twofold. On the one hand, as it stresses the gritty fact that we are, as Kristeva argues following Heidegger, all ‘phonologists,’ taking languages as places of residence, translation is considered as more than an armchair activity where languages win more than lose as they engage in such an endeavor. On the other hand, as translators present themselves as self-effaced actors at the forefront of civilizational dialogue, a question pops up to the surface, thus conditioning their choice of particular texts at the expense of others.

This special issue of AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies projects an exploration of all the above issues, and more. Lenses, variegated as they may be, can only help enrich the conception of translation as a form of hospitality and provide fresh insight into its vistas. Angles from linguistics, literary studies, language teaching, cultural studies and the other avenues of the humanities are dearly welcome as long as they square the circle and chart the cognitive map of the field in its many ramifications. Among the foci of attention, we can allude to the following axes of research:

  • Translation as the space where that hospitality can most flourish, while all the time displaying all the processes of assimilation, inclusion and exclusion that may be implicated in the meantime to their limits. Case studies can be drawn from comparative literature, for once, where ‘world literature’ has accrued to itself the appellation of literature in European languages which thrive on the economy of exchange between a dominant paradigm and subjugated literature.
  • One can argue with many a critic that as theories travel, they can also carry along the trappings of that travel. Edward Said, along with other critics, raised the issue of the changes, revisions, and adaptations that such mobility entails along the modalities of reception. One way to account for such a travel is to consider it through the lenses of translation and explore its implications.
  • As translation claims to give voice to the voiceless, speech to the speechless, has it really made it possible for the subaltern to speak? Or that in fact, what gets across the limitations of languages and cultures is what the regulatory system, the accommodating regimen, the incubating matrix can admit? In other words, and in a reformulation of Spivak’s earlier rhetorical question, can we ask whether the subaltern can be heard through translation?
  • Can we, seeing the disproportionate scale of translation worldwide, contend that some cultures are more receptive than others, more welcoming than others? Or in fact, it all boils down to the power game that makes specific cultures more translatable than others. Questions of coloniality, postcoloniality and decoloniality can also be explored.
  • Can the apertures in such fields as linguistics, cultural studies and other disciplines contribute in the way of highlighting that relationship, seeing that researchers tend to highlight a ‘universal’ language and accordingly prioritize the ‘etics’ rather the ‘emics’ of languages and cultures?
  • How can we promote hospitality through translation in a world which is getting, alas, more and more xenophobic?

These axes, along with others, are what make the main purpose of this special issue of AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies.   Researchers are encouraged to explore other avenues as long as they help enrich the question of hospitality in relation to translation.

For more information, visit the AWEJ for Translation and Literary Studies on https://awej-tls.org/   Before sending your paper, please read the submission and Manuscript Guidelines for AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies. Please submit your paper online or send it as an attachment to: Info@awej.or