Conference 2019

THANK YOU to everyone who attended and participated in the first Translating Women conference on 31 October and 1 November 2019. It was an uplifting, empowering and inspiring two days, bringing together academics, translators and activists from across the world to discuss the challenges facing women in translation, and how we might overcome them. You can read my full report here, and follow the conference hashtag #TWConf19 on Twitter.


Translating Women: breaking borders and building bridges
in the English-language book industry

Institute of Modern Languages Research, London (UK), 31 Oct-1 Nov 2019

Download the final conference programme as a PDF file here.

Visit the event page at the IMLR here; please note that registration for the conference is now closed.

Institute of Modern Languages Research, London (UK), 31 Oct-1 Nov 2019

Authors and translators in conversation:

Author Négar Djavadi (Disoriental, 2018) and translator Tina Kover.

Author Ariana Harwicz (Die, My Love, 2017; Feebleminded, 2019), and translators Carolina Orloff and Annie McDermott.

The author-translator evening sessions are free and open to all, but registration is essential. Book your place here.

*We are pleased to announce that representatives from Europa Editions and Charco Press will be present before the evening events with copies of their books for sale*

Négar Djavadi (1969-) fled from Iran at the age of eleven, arriving in France after crossing the mountains of Kurdistan on horseback with her mother and sister. Her debut novel, Disoriental (Désorientale), is a partly autobiographical account of displacement and survival, has won six literary prizes in France since its publication in 2016, and has been described as an accomplished example of ‘the art of storytelling’ (Le Monde). The translation by Tina Kover (Europa Editions, 2018) was longlisted for the inaugural National Book Award in Translated Literature in 2018, won the Albertine Prize and a Lambda Literary Award in 2019, and has been celebrated as ‘a sophisticated debut’ (The Guardian) and a ‘remarkable novel’ (The New York Times).

Ariana Harwicz (1977-) was born in Buenos Aires and studied in Paris. She is a highly acclaimed figure in contemporary Argentinian literature: her debut novel, Die, My Love (Mátate, amor) pulses with brutal energy, and the English translation by Carolina Orloff and Sarah Moses (Charco Press, 2017) was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize and shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize in the same year. Harwicz’s follow-up novel, Feebleminded (La Débil Mental, which on its Spanish-language release was described by El País as ‘intensely poetic’), was published by Charco Press in May 2019, translated by Carolina Orloff and Annie McDermott.

Keynote speaker:
Dr Margaret Carson, co-founder of the Women in Translation tumblr

Dr Olga Castro (University of Warwick), co-editor of Feminist Translation Studies (Routledge, 2017).
Dr Helen Vassallo (University of Exeter), principal investigator of the Translating Women project.


Thursday 31 October

9.15-9.45            Registration
9.45-10.00          Welcome
(Olga Castro and Helen Vassallo)
10.00-11.00        Keynote paper (chair: Olga Castro)
Margaret Carson (City University New York): Snap! or The Whys and Hows of Women in Translation

11.00-11.15        Break

11.15-12.45        Session 1: VISIBILITY OF WOMEN IN TRANSLATION (chair: Richard Mansell)
Nicky Harman (freelance literary translator): Getting heard, getting translated – A look at what Chinese women writers are saying
Rosalind Harvey (freelance literary translator): Women in translation – a triple absence?
Aysun Kiran (Marmara University): Translating Ece Temelkuran: The Insane and the Melancholy

12.45-14.00        Lunch

14.00-15.30        Session 2: TRANSLATION AS ACTIVISM (chair: Helen Vassallo)
Jean Anderson (Victoria University of Wellington): Translation as activism: resisting borders and building bridges between cultures
Aviya Kushner (Columbia College Chicago): Women Who Don’t Follow the Rules:  On Translation, Activism, and Individuality
Clémence Scalbert Yücel, Yaser Ali, Farangis Ghaderi & Rinat Harel (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter): Bridging activism and scholarship: translating Kurdish women’s texts into English

15.30-16.00        Break

16.00-17.30        Session 3: WOMEN WRITERS IN AND ON TRANSLATION (chair: Catherine Davies)
Eva Moreda (author, University of Glasgow) Singing a song in a foreign land: diaspora, invisibility and (self)-translation, Galicia to UK
Éva Cserháti (writer and literary translator): A Foreigner Navigating the Industry: My Journey to Self-Translation as a Female Crime Writer
Anna Menyhért (author, University of Jewish Studies, Budapest) & Anna Bentley (freelance literary translator): Five Hungarian Women Writers: Their Reception and Publication

17.30-18.00        Break
18.00-19.00        Welcome drink
19.00-20.00        Author/translator session with Négar Djavadi and Tina Kover
(chair: Helen Vassallo)

Friday 1st November

9.45-11.15         Plenary session: INITIATIVES PROMOTING WOMEN IN TRANSLATION (chair: Olga Castro)
Godela Weiss-Sussex (University of Cambridge and IMLR) & Heike Bartel (University of Nottingham): the ‘Encounters’ seminar series
Chantal Wright (University of Warwick): the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation
Margaret Carson (City University New York): the Women in Translation tumblr
Meytal Radzinski (founder of #WITMonth): Women in Translation and #WITMonth
Salwa Benaissa (founder of literary initiative Project Plume): Project Plume
Helen Vassallo (University of Exeter): the Translating Women project

11.15-11.45         Break

11.45-13.15           Session 4: NETWORKS OF TRANSLATION (chair: Nicky Harman)
Nadia Georgiou (University of Surrey): Translating women: Gender politics and literary translation from Modern Greek into English
Oisin Harris (independent scholar): Women in translation and causes of underrepresentation: an examination of interrelated factors.
Muireann Maguire (University of Exeter): Climbing the Mountain and Crossing the Wall: Translating Politically Sensitive Post-Soviet Women’s Literature

13.15-14.30              Lunch

14.30-16.00              Session 5: THE GEOPOLITICS OF TRANSLATION (chair: Chantal Wright)
Şule Akdoğan (University of Warwick): A Transnational Feminist Engagement with Translation: Contemporary Turkish Women Writers in English Translation
Corine Tachtiris (University of Massachusetts Amherst): Allyship and Intersectional Feminism in Translation
Olivia Hellewell (University of Nottingham): Supply-driven translation and the geopolitics of translating women

16.00-16.30              Break

16.30-18.30             Session 6: IDEOLOGIES OF TRANSLATION (chair: Godela Weiss-Sussex)
Pâmela Berton Costa (São Paulo State University (UNESP) and São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP): What makes a book worth reading? Analysing paratexts of the translation of La casa de los espíritus (The House of the Spirits)
Monica Manolachi (University of Bucharest): Contemporary Romanian women novelists: from invisibility to translation and self-translation
Mohammad Shafiqul Islam (Shahjalal University of Science and Technology): Women Writers of Bengali Literature: Transcending Borders through Translation
Leticia de la Paz (University of Almería) & María Ayete (University of Salamanca): Political literature and the need for translation: ideology and power in Sara Mesa’s narrative

18.30-19.00              Drinks reception
19.00-20.00              Author/translator session
with Ariana Harwicz, Carolina Orloff and Annie McDermott  (chair: Richard Mansell)

End of conference

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at the conference email account:

This conference has been made possible thanks to the generous support of: