Writing Bilingually in Early Modern Europe: A Symposium on Philosophical and Scientific Self-Translation

Writing Bilingually in Early Modern Europe: A Symposium on Philosophical and Scientific Self-Translation
14 Jun 2019, 10:30 to 14 Jun 2019, 18:00
Conference / Symposium

Organizers: David Lines (University of Warwick) & Sara Miglietti (Warburg Institute).

Co-sponsored by: Society for French Studies; Society for Renaissance Studies; British Society for the History of Science; Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick.

Self-translation (the practice of translating one’s own works from one language into another) was a widespread phenomenon in early modern Europe, yet one that still remains largely uncharted in modern scholarship. While there have been isolated studies of important figures – mainly literary authors such as Leon Battista Alberti, Joachim Du Bellay or John Donne – we still do not know enough about the activities of self-translators in other domains, including those of philosophy and science. ‘Writing Bilingually in Early Modern Europe’ will begin to fill this gap by investigating the practice of self-translation in fields such as natural and moral philosophy, medicine, politics, and religion. Prominent European thinkers from this period will be studied comparatively in order to identify similarities and idiosyncrasies in their respective self-translative practices, but also with a view to addressing more general questions: What functions did self-translation fulfil in producing and disseminating knowledge among different reading publics? To what extent did self-translators engage theoretically with contemporary debates on language (questione della lingua, querelle de la langue)? Why did they translate themselves, for whom, and in what contexts (institutional sites, intellectual networks, economy of the printed book)? And how did self-translating affect the reception of their works?


NB: NEW VENUE: Room CLO B01, Clore Centre, Birkbeck College

10:30 - 11.00 Registration and coffee 

11.00 - 11.15 Bill Sherman (Director of the Warburg Institute), Welcome 

Session 1. Chair: Sara Miglietti (Warburg Institute)  
11:15 - 11.45  Sietske Fransen (Max Planck Institute for Art History, Rome), ‘Translating a Bilingual Medical Author: The Case of J.B. van Helmont’  
11:45 - 12.15 Mario Turchetti (Université de Fribourg), ‘The Bilingual Political Vocabulary of Jean Bodin's République / De republica’ 
12:15 - 12.45 Discussion 

12:45 - 14.00  Lunch break    

Session 2. Chair: John Tresch (Warburg Institute)
14.00 - 14.30 Dario Tessicini (Durham University), ‘Giordano Bruno’s Cosmological Poems between Self-Translation and Reuse’ 
14:30 - 15.00 Cecilia Muratori (University of Warwick), ‘The Physiognomic Corpus of Giovan Battista Della Porta: A Web of Translations and Translators’ 
15:00 - 15.30  Discussion 

15:30 - 15.45  Tea and coffee 

Session 3. Chair: David Lines (University of Warwick)  
15:45 - 16.30 Jean-Louis Fournel (Université Paris 8), ‘Tradursi o non tradursi: Tommaso Campanella e le frontiere dell’autotraduzione’ (‘To Self-Translate or Not to Self-Translate: Tommaso Campanella and the Boundaries of Self-Translation’) [NB: this paper will be delivered in Italian] 
16:30 - 17.00  Discussion and concluding remarks by David Lines (University of Warwick) 

17.00 - 18.00 Wine reception

This event is free and open to all. 


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