According to a common diagnosis, the present is a time characterized by uncertainty. New, sometimes diffuse threats challenge familiar perspectives and interpretations. Especially encounters with people, phenomena and narratives that are perceived as foreign are believed to cause uncertainty. Translations, one might assume, can minimize such insecurities by making the unfamiliar understandable. The conference Unstable Translations – Uncertainty as a Poetic Function in Multilingual and Translated Texts, however, proposes a different approach. Its starting point is the moment of uncertainty which is inscribed in every translation. Translations inevitably bear the traces of the process of their creation, including the interpretative choices that can neither be ultimately decided nor perfected. The talks of this conference address the aesthetic, poetological, and sociopolitical dimensions of these irritations. We focus on historical and contemporary moments of crisis and change when the process of translation acquires aesthetic and political significance. In this way, uncertainty can be discussed not only as an uncomfortable state that requires re-stabilization and potentially leads to nationalistic narratives, but also as a space of possibility for new and diverse perspectives.
The conference will be held in German. The full programme and registration information for this conference organised by Myriam-Naomi Walburg and Franziska Jekel-Twittmann can be found here.