CFP: Legal and Institutional Translation Policies

Leuven University (Belgium) is organizing a conference on the use of translation in public legal and administrative institutions, in the past and present. They would like to attract researchers from a variety of fields, including legal history, and are encouraging legal historians to consider applying to participate. The deadline for abstracts is February 1 2018. Registration to attend is currently open. More details may be found here:

From the conference website: “Firstly, [the conference organizers wish] to document the state of affairs of the expanding and interdisciplinary field of legal and institutional translation, by approaching the latter through the lens of ‘translation policy’. This umbrella concept, as derived from Spolsky’s view on language policy (Gonzalez Nuñez 2016), embraces many features of translational communication: rules, agency, practices and values. In addition, it enables framing of translation across the separate disciplines’ realm, and so becomes a binding factor between the study of forms and techniques, multilingual and transnational translation forms, issues of governance and linguistic justice. Taking stock of translation policy as applied to legal and institutional translation needs accounting for historical (Wolf 2015; Schreiber & D’hulst 2017) as well as contemporary ones, theoretical as well as applied approaches (Gonzalez Nuñez & Meylaerts 2017). Historical insight gained by case studies should offer a basis for comparison, and advance the understanding of the embedding contexts and societal impact of translation policies past and present (Lannoy & Van Gucht 2006). It further needs the investigation of policies construed not only in Europe and the Americas but also in the much less studied areas of Asia and Africa, and the generally overlooked eras before the 20th century (Beukes 2007; Baxter 2013).

Secondly, this conference aims at the development of interdisciplinary policies engaging translation studies, legal and institutional studies, and political philosophy. Present-day challenges such as the exponential spread of multilingualism going hand in hand with plural or hybrid forms of citizenship, or the political and societal integration of allophone minorities and immigrants in particular indeed raise new questions. How should one ensure better linguistic integration of minorities in national public spaces and beyond, safeguard equal access to institutions as well as to public and private goods and services, create an inclusive society with due respect for diversity?”