4th International Conference on Itineraries in Translation History

December 13-15, 2018
at the University of Tartu, Estonia

Translation and Performative Practices: Itineraries in Translation History

In cooperation with Tallinn University

Translation and interpreting history includes various periods, practices and genres. Some are more stable and thus more visible and obvious than others, some are more hidden, less distinct and harder to study. One of the most complex areas in the history of translation is the translation of texts that are meant to be performed: such translations are rarely systematically studied and are bypassed in most translation histories. Consequently, there is hardly any established methodology in historical research on the translations of performance arts and the question still stands: how can we best describe translations of complicated polycoded texts? How can we include in the history of translation those texts that enter the target audience not only verbally but as dramatized and/or musical performances?  

The 4th conference of the Itineraries in Translation History series will focus on the elusive translation and interpreting practices related to texts that are in constant change and movement from a historical perspective. Special attention will be paid to translations of theatrical texts and audiovisual translation in film and television, but we also welcome papers dedicated to various problems related to translating other verbal and nonverbal sign systems and to the issues of inter- and intrasemiotic translation.

The themes addressed in the conference may include, but are not restricted to, the following:
  • The transfer of theatrical texts across linguistic and cultural borders
  • New translations for new audiences: interpretations spurred by changes in socio-cultural context and agency (gender, ethnicity, age, expectation, experience)
  • Translations to be performed vs translations to be read in theatre, cinema and television 
  • Reader-oriented translations and the openness of theatre translation
  • The role of the new media in translation for theatre, cinema and television
  • The musical performance of translation
  • Functional and ideological aspects of translation for theatre, cinema and television
  • Research methods in translation for theatre, cinema and television
  • Keeping to the text: precision and performance
  • Theatre translation and emerging national identities
  • Theatre research and translation studies
  • Universal texts: Erasing cultural markers
  • The Other in theatre translation
  • Translation and the history of the Opera
  • Issues of accessibility in theatre, film and television from a historical perspective: subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing, audio description, sign language interpreting, etc.

Proposals for papers should be in English, no longer than 250 words. 

The conference will work in the format of plenary and section sessions. The presentation time is 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion. The working language of the conference is English. The first notifications of acceptance will be sent out no later than September 1, 2018. If you submitted your proposal by the extended deadline (September 15), the notification of acceptance will be sent out no later than September 30, 2018

Venue: The main building of the University of Tartu (Ülikooli str. 18), rooms 128, 139, 140.

Programme and Abstracts

Keynote speakers:

  • Dr Carol O'Sullivan (University of Bristol)
  • Dr Geraldine Brodie (University College London)

The conference is organized by the University of Tartu College of Foreign Languages and Cultures and Tallinn University's School of Humanities.

Scientific Committee:

In case of questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Organizing Committee:

Ass. Prof. Maria-Kristiina Lotman (maria.lotman@ut.ee), Lect. Katiliina Gielen (katiliina.gielen@ut.ee)
College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, University of Tartu, Estonia

In cooperation with:

Prof. Daniele Monticelli, Ass.Prof. Anne Lange
School of Humanities, Tallinn University, Estonia

How to reach Tartu?

Tartu does have a small and humble airport. Depending on your travel route, it may be possible to come directly to Tartu (esp. via Helsinki)

If you arrive in Tallinn, the most comfortable option is to take a coach. There is a separate stop at Tallinn airport as well. We recommend buying your ticket in advance and taking the print-out with you as there may not be free places left for buying a ticket from the driver. We recommend the LuxExpress coaches for the most comfortable travel. 

Timetables and tickets:
  • Tallinn-Tartu: TPilet
    PS – tickets may be cheaper when bought directly on the homepage of LuxExpress.


In order to find accommodation in Tartu during the course, visit the city’s homepage or search Booking.com.

Here are also some options we recommend, which are located in downtown Tartu or are within a reasonable walking distance from the university:

Hotel London Hotel Lydia Pallas Hotel Hotel Dorpat V Spa Hotel
Hotel Tartu Hektor Hostel Tartu Downtown Hostel Academus Hostel  

There are also many apartments available for rent, bed and breakfasts and AirBnB options. The majority of options are usually listed in Booking.com.

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