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17 Feb 2010

Call for papers - Art in Translation: International Conference on Language and the Arts

Haraldur Jonsson, Illuminated Emotions, 2009. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Art in Translation: International Conference on Language and the Arts
University of Iceland and the Nordic House, Reykjavik


Conference dates: May 27-29, 2010 Submission deadline: February 22, 2010

Shauna Laurel Jones
+354 849 5162

Koma ordum ad / In Other Words (organizing institution)
Klapparstigur 28
101 Reykjavik

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Call for papers:

Art in Translation: International Conference on Language and the Arts
University of Iceland and the Nordic House, Reykjavik
May 27-29, 2010

Like so many nations historically on the cultural and geographical fringes of globalized society, Iceland has seen tremendous growth in its presence on the international arts scene in recent years. And like visual artists, musicians, performers, filmmakers, writers, and arts professionals from other small language communities, many Icelanders have—whether by choice or necessity—embraced English as an integral aspect of the creation of and discourse on the arts, sometimes side-by-side with their native language, sometimes not. Such a practice seems to be inescapable for art and theory from these small language communities to be viable on the world stage. But what are the implications of this trend for artists, scholars, and audiences in any country and all language communities?

This conference on Art in Translation seeks to address how arts discourse across linguistic borders affects the production, reception, and interpretation of art, music, film and literature in a globalized context. The conference invites proposals from scholars, professionals, and graduate students from a wide range of disciplines (art, music, film, and literary history and theory, as well as linguistics, translation, anthropology, cultural studies, and other relevant fields). Equally welcome are proposals from practitioners in any field in the arts, whether in the form of conference papers or other types of presentations.

Possible questions include:

- In what ways does language privilege the arts and art theory in hegemonic language communities at the expense of others?

- How are transnational and/or nationally localized languages adapting to globalized art discourse?

- How are certain language communities without a longstanding art historical or art theoretical discourse adopting, translating, or codifying foreign terms and/or concepts that have not previously existed?

- What are the consequences (positive or negative) of artists employing a second or third language in their art creation?

Additional suggestions for possible topics may be found on the conference website.

Submission guidelines:

Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words. All proposals must include the presenter's name, academic/professional affiliation (all fields and disciplines will be considered), mailing address, phone number and email address. Presentations will be 20 minutes in length.

Please submit your proposal by February 22, 2010 to Decisions will be announced by March 15.

Keynote speakers are Icelandic writer and translator Gudbergur Bergsson, Faroese artist Rannva Holm Mortensen, and French writer and historian Francois Cusset. Guy Maddin, acclaimed Icelandic-Canadian filmmaker, will hold a lecture and give a screening of his film Tales from the Gimli Hospital. A panel consisting of local artists Haraldur Jonsson, Karlotta Blondal and Jeannette Castioni will discuss issues of art practice and theory in a cross-national and cross-linguistic context.

The conference committee includes Gauti Kristmansson, Associate Professor of Translation and Literary Criticism, University of Iceland; Runar Helgi Vignisson, Associate Professor of Creative Writing, University of Iceland; Hanna Gudlaug Gudmundsdottir, Chair of Art Theory, Iceland Academy of the Arts; Birna Bjarnadottir, Chair of the Icelandic Department, University of Manitoba; and Shauna Laurel Jones, independent art historian and writer.

Conference manager: Shauna Laurel Jones, Koma ordum ad ehf. / In Other Words