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CFP - "Science in Translation" conference (Victoria, Canada, June 3-5, 2013)

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  • pierpascaleboulanger
    26th Conference of the Canadian Association for Translation Studies (CATS) Science in Translation Victoria University (British Columbia, CANADA), June 3, 4,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2012
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      26th Conference of the Canadian Association for Translation Studies

      "Science in Translation"

      Victoria University (British Columbia, CANADA), June 3, 4, 5, 2013

      Program chairs: Sylvie Vandaele and Pier-Pascale Boulanger

      Knowledge is circulated through translation, more particularly through
      the importation of scientific and technical discourses for purposes more
      diverse than we usually realize. Many of these discourses serve
      practical purposes, of course, but all are more or less related to
      patterns of thought based on world views and philosophical stances that
      at times stand in opposition. The 26th conference of the Canadian
      Association for Translation Studies (CATS) will concentrate on the role
      played by translation in the journey of scientific and technical
      knowledge through language-cultures.

      The idea that translation acts as a mere mechanical channel transmitting
      knowledge reduces translation to a naive commonplace that prevents us
      from grasping its various dimensions and analyzing its practice
      critically. Translation, as it mediates between language-cultures,
      pre-supposes human intervention and thus sociohistorical circumstances.

      Epistemology and history

      Every historical period produces and reconfigures knowledge, depending
      on which of its elements are valued or repressed, in ways that can often
      seem arbitrary. What are the reasons behind choosing specific texts and
      authors, and how are these texts translated? How is the way we
      conceptualize and grasp the world transmitted from one culture to the
      next, from one generation to the next? How does translation contribute
      to paradigm shifts in various sciences and technologies? Does it
      contribute to scientific revolutions (Kuhn)? What distinguishes the
      different historical contexts that have facilitated or blocked the
      importation or exportation of scientific or technical texts? Lastly, to
      what extent is translation intertwined with the history of science and

      Discourse and terminology

      Scientific and technical knowledge is not homogenous, nor are writing
      practices. Hence, editing standards and the value attributed to certain
      discursive forms vary from one domain to the next: one does not publish
      and write the same way in physics, biomedicine or computer science.
      Furthermore, the type of scientific discourse and the target readership
      impose functional restrictions: how does translation deal with these?
      What role does it play in the transmission of technoscientific codes
      originating from dominant language-cultures? Is there a resistance? Does
      translation have an influence on writing conventions? As concerns
      terminology, the last 20 years have brought to light its dynamic aspects
      and its various influences. There are in fact economic advantages linked
      to mastering scientific terminology and lexicons, but questions of
      identity can also be at stake. What are the consequences of linguistic
      interference? Can translation still pass on knowledge to different
      social strata when scientific and technical training is given in a
      language other than the vernacular?


      Following the victory of positivism at the beginning of the 20th
      century, the universality of scientific knowledge and its truth value
      came under close scrutiny, kindling a major debate. Between Lyotard (The
      Postmodern Condition) and Sokal (Intellectual Impostures), where do we
      stand now? What legitimacy should be given to scientific discourse? And
      to its translation? Do we translate objective accounts of scientific
      facts or merely hypotheses considered to be true by the scientific or
      even non-scientific community? Which rhetorical and discursive devices
      are used not only by scientists but also, and especially, by those who
      exploit science for their own ends? How does translation contribute to
      the strategies used in the supposedly neutral and objective texts that
      it disseminates?


      Lastly, the social role of translators as well as their relationship
      with different social actors have sparked strong interest these last few
      years. Who sponsors the translation of scientific books and technical
      texts? For whom do translation firms and freelance translators work and
      what are their standards? What are the working conditions in various
      contexts where translation is practised? Through which structures are
      texts published and circulated? To what extent does translation
      contribute to the scientific establishment and to the popularization of

      Pedagogy and teaching of scientific and technical translation

      Must one be a scientist or an engineer to translate scientific or
      technical texts? How does one become a specialized translator? Though
      these questions are classic, they can be revisited in original ways.
      What role is played by Internet—part blessing, part curse—in
      helping learners? Are there new ways of teaching? And last but not
      least, how can the old dichotomy between practice and theory find a
      fruitful outcome in order to better equip the entire profession and help
      its members to promote their expertise?

      Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Your proposal must
      contain the following documents:

      1) An abstract in Word format not exceeding 300 words, to be included
      in the conference program.

      2) The following form duly filled out. The information it contains
      will be incorporated in the grant application that CATS will submit to
      the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
      and will not be used as evaluation criteria for your proposal.

      Please submit your proposal to the organizers, Pier-Pascale Boulanger
      and Sylvie Vandaele, at actcats2013@... <actcats2013@...>
      no later than September 14, 2012. A Word version of the call for papers
      is available at

      Family name

      First name

      Affiliation country


      Degrees (starting with the most recent and specify the discipline)
      maximum 4 lines

      Recent positions and those relevant to the event (starting with the
      most recent)
      maximum 5 lines

      Recent publications and those relevant to the event (starting with the
      most recent)
      maximum 10 lines

      Title and outline of the presentation (100 to 150 words)

      Explain why your presentation is relevant to the Conference theme (100
      to 150 words)

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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