Linguistic, intertextual and cultural translation processes played a central role for the genesis of important universal and specialized encyclopaedias as well as for the spread of the genre of encyclopaedia in Europe and America during the long 18th century. Until now, however, these processes have only been studied in a limited way by research. Organized by Susanne Greilich (Regensburg) and Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink (Saarbrücken) as part of their joint SPP project “Translational Dimensions of French Encyclopaedism in the Age of Enlightenment”, the conference aimed to outline translation as a ubiquitous, multi-layered practice that had been central to encyclopaedic writing.
The two-day event, which - due to the pandemic - was held as a virtual conference, welcomed colleagues from France, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, the USA, Germany and Bulgaria, all of them specialists in the field of European encyclopaedism and/or the transfer of culture and knowledge in the Age of Enlightenment. The conference’s starting point was the categories of network and collective, dialogue, adaptation, cultural translation and “cultural brokers”. The two organizers of the conference dedicated their joint introductory lecture to these categories, considering both methodological and theoretical considerations as well as new, own research. The other 13 lectures focused on five key translation dimensions of encyclopaedism:
These various aspects were discussed in a lively manner in the large plenary. The virtual format allowed the participation of up to 40 interested guests from all over the world (including China, Japan, Italy, France, Germany, Belgium). The conference contributions are currently being prepared for publication and should be published by the end of 2022.
Bericht/Report: Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink