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[ecrea] Protest and Dissent in Translation and Culture

Fri Feb 03 18:51:08 GMT 2017

*Call for Papers*

*Protest and Dissent in Translation and Culture***

*Department of Anglophone Cultures and Literatures*

*SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities *

*11-13 May 2017, Warsaw*


Though dissent and protest seem to be strongly linked with politics and with political actions, the range of their senses and uses is much broader and, as Amit Chaudhuri has noticed, dissent is inscribed in the very idea of the literary which, “in its resistance to interpretation, is a peculiar species of dissent.” The common ground of protest and dissent is, very generally, a disagreement with what is, and an expression of the necessity of some change which seems to be standing behind the very gestures of dissension or protestation. This expression may take various forms and make use of various modalities coming from different cultures, states and places. Protest and dissent may sometimes be individual gestures, as seems to be the case with Melville’s Bartleby’s famous “I would prefer not to”, though the outdoor reading of Bartleby, the Scrivener organized by Occupy Wall Street supporters at Zuccotti Park in New York in November 2011 was an event which renarrated the story as “resonating quite well with the mission of the OWS protest” because it not only questioned the assumed hierarchy and expressed the strength of passive resistance, but also because it was set on Wall Street. Dominance and resistance seem to be inevitably speaking through various narratives and stories we live by, the stories which are narrated and renarrated, framed and reframed in different social, political and language communities and realities, through different media and means, and translated into different contexts and languages. The notion of framing, Mona Baker claims in “Reframing Conflict in Translation”, allows us “to see translational choices not merely as local linguistic challenges but as contributing directly to the narratives that shape our social world”. The ways in which we name, rename, or label events, groups of people, even places have implications in the real world and may help us realize that the world is not made up of universally accepted norms, but that we also partake in negotiating its construction, its changing meanings and senses. Protest and dissent do not necessarily have to be an incentive to a revolutionary change, to a shift of the dominant, but may testify to there being what Edward Said called simply “something beyond the reach of dominating systems”, something which limits power and “hobbles” it also through translatological resistance to finality.

We invite papers looking at protest and dissent from different theoretical and methodological perspectives (Translation Studies, Literary Criticism, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, Discourse Analysis, Feminist and Gender Studies, Queer Theory, Philosophy, Sociology, History of Ideas, Colonial and Postcolonial Studies), papers not only theorizing protest and dissent but also papers engaged in broadly understood disagreement, disapproval, critique or resistance, potentials of conflict management and/or the educational and pedagogical dimensions of dissent. We also invite papers showing how narratives of dissent and protest (novels, poems, stories, histories, films, news, press articles, protest songs …) are renarrated/translated in different social and political contexts and the ways in which translators’ choices may be oriented or disoriented. If Jacques Rancière is right saying that “the essence of politics is the manifestation of dissensus as the presence of two worlds in one”, then translation, as an inevitably divided activity, may be a kind of discourse which reveals that oneness may be one of those ideas which harbour consensual dominance and the end of politics, the end of dissensual plurality and the beginning of the police which, in different disguises, finds these days its way to the streets of numerous places of the world.

We suggest the following, broad, thematic areas as issues for disputes and highly probable clashes of ideas:

Rhetoric(s) of protest and dissent

Narrating/renarrating protest and dissent

Dissent and protest in intercultural contexts

Dissent and protest in the culture of global/local politics

Translating protest

Translating dissent


Empowerment and translation

Resisting power/power of resistance

Discourses of dissent and protest

Discursive strategies of protest and dissent

Discursive analyses of protest and dissent

Pedagogy/ies of dissent

Manipulating protest and dissent

Protest and persuasion


Translating conflict

Literature(s) of protest

Protest/dissent and media


Protesters/dissenters as friends

Protester/dissenters as enemies

Good guys and bad guys

Protest and activism

Activating/de-activating protest and dissent

Global dissents and/in translation

Translating collectives/collective translations

Solidarity in translation



*Keynote speakers:
Professor Mona Baker (University of Manchester) *

*Professor Ben Dorfman (Aalborg University) *

*Professor Hanna Komorowska (University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw)*

*Professor Tadeusz Rachwał (University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw) *

Proposals for 20-minute papers (ca 250 words) should be sent to (dissent /at/ <mailto:(dissent /at/> by *20 February 2017*. We also encourage panel proposals (comprised of 3 to 4 papers, and an additional 100-150 words explaining how they are interlinked in addressing the panel theme).

Notification of acceptance will be sent by *28 February 2017*.

The deadline for registration and payment of the conference fee: *31 March 2017*.

Participants will be invited to submit extended versions of their presentations to be published in an edited volume.

The conference fee is *550 PLN | 130 EUR | 140 USD* for all participants.

Conference website: <>

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