Global Humanities Institute 2019: Translation’s Theoretical Issues, Practical Densities: Violence, Memory, and the Untranslatable

July 15-26, 2019
Santiago, Chile

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Over the last decades the poetics, performances and outputs of translation have become central heuristic models for multiple lines of study and research ranging from philosophy in its various branches to literary, historical, juridical, and psycho-social approaches, as well as translation studies itself. Its practical densities and theoretical implications have been decisive in view of the cultural, ethical, and political challenges that accompany vast migrations due to warfare, political or economic reasons in the so-called globalized world, as well as in light of the difficulty of facing traumatic experiences and reconstructing identity after periods of colonialism and state oppression and violence.

Santiago and the Cordillera de Los Andes
This CHCI-Mellon Global Humanities Institute (GHI) is to discuss and develop strategies of research, practice, and academic exchange articulated on the basis of a multidimensional concept of translation with poetic and speculative implications. It will privilege an interdisciplinary approach articulating philosophical, literary and artistic perspectives in order not just to contribute to the state of the art of translation studies, but also to extend the model of translation to heuristically explore and rethink enduring questions in the realms of epistemology (the constitution and passage of meaning), ethics (responsibility, violence, hospitality), history (temporal economy, memory), and politics (status of the subject, foundation of the community).

This GHI will take place from 15-26 July 2019, in Santiago de Chile. Based on a two week- schedule, it will comprise working sessions conducted by the active participants in different forms of collaboration (seminars, workshops, etc.), keynote speeches by four invited scholars from different continents, and artistic activities.


The main objectives of the CHCI-Mellon GHI Challenges of Translation are detailed in the “Lines of Research and topics” program.

The outcomes of the CHCI-Mellon GHI Challenges of Translation will be available online. They will include:

  1. An open document with the syllabus of the Institute.
  2. The publication of a book.
  3. Audiovisual material edited from the working sessions.
  4. Skill transfer of the translative methodology and experience developed.

Convening centers and organizers

This CHCI-Melon GHI on “The Challenges of Translation” will be developed by an association of four centres composed of the Interdisciplinary Center of Studies in Philosophy, Arts, and Humanities (CIEFHA, University of Chile), which was originally awarded with the CHCI-Mellon GHI on “Challenges of Translation”, Humanities Commons (UCI Commons, University of California Irvine), the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR, Western Cape University), and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation at The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (OCCT-TORCH, Oxford University).

Central House of the University of Chile

This composition including two northern hemisphere centres from North America and Europe –with substantial development in translation studies, literary case analyses, but also political outputs of translation concerning migration, the Middle East and others– and two southern hemisphere centres from Sub-Saharan Africa and South America –that, processing traumatic historical experience, emphasize theoretical elaboration from the poetics to the politics of translation on an interdisciplinary basis– should offer an outstanding opportunity for a four-continent, South-North productive translation exchange in itself, involving translative relations on colonial, post-colonial, counter-colonial, migratory and intercultural issues, amid the broad horizon of poetic, ethic-political, historiographical and utopian interrogations described.

Pablo Oyarzun
Universidad de Chile
Andrés Claro
Universidad de Chile
Miguel Ruiz
Universidad de Chile
Jane O. Newman
University of California Irvine
Liron Mor
University of California Irvine
Nasrin Rahimieh
University of California Irvine
Premesh Lalu
University of the Western Cape
Maurits van Bever Donker
University of the Western Cape
Nicky Rousseau
University of the Western Cape
Matthew Reynolds
Oxford University
Adriana Jacobs
Oxford University
Patrick McGuinness
Oxford University

Call for participants

In addition to the faculty and early career scholars coming from the four associated centers, as well as to the four invited key-note speakers, there are six places open to early career scholars in any member CHCI institution. The Call for Participants (CFP) and application forms are found here. The deadline for application is October 31, 2018. The outcome of applications will be communicated by early December 2018.