The NYU/NSTS Translation Conference has officially come to a close for 2018, and what a great event it was! On September 28th and 29th, fifty-seven members of the translation community—including many of CALA’s own faculty, students, and alumni—convened at the Woolworth Building to learn about the importance of publishing translations and share insights on navigating an ever-changing industry.
The Nida School of Translation Studies kicked off the weekend with their 8th Annual Research Symposium, a series of discussions and lectures that addressed the potential of translation and publishing both in traditional and emerging digital spaces. Presenters and panelists furthered ongoing conversations about the impact of technology on the work of translators; opportunities for leveraging technology to facilitate and streamline the research process; and the important role of university presses like UNC Press in acquiring and promoting works of translation.
Attendees returned on Saturday morning with coffee and conference programs in hand, eager to start the NYUSPS CALA Translation Symposium. The agenda on Saturday provided a practical complement to the theoretical perspectives of the previous day’s panels. M.S. in Translation professor Dr. Elizabeth Lowe’s keynote speech addressed the critical role of translation in global discourses in an era of rising nationalism, retrenchment, and polarization. Following Dr. Lowe, industry veterans from a range of non-fiction publications compared their approaches to translation within their specific professional contexts.
For example, Jesse Browner explained that at a multi-language organization like the United Nations, where he serves as the Chief of English Verbatim Reporting, translation lives at the center of its daily operations.
Gabrielle D’Addario, Senior Manager of International Publishing at Buzzfeed, shared a very different perspective. She explained that because Buzzfeed does not translate all of its features, they have developed a set of criteria based on the intended audience and subject matter to determine whether a piece will be translated, and into what languages.
In the final panel of the weekend, editors and publishers from HarperCollins, New Vessel Press, and Words Without Borders echoed the idea that a complicated balance exists in literary translation between selectivity and the desire to provide a platform for a variety of voices.
We would like to thank our speakers, attendees, and staff once again for making this year’s conference such a success. We are also pleased to announce that the theme of our next conference will be Translation and Social Justice, which encompasses a wide range of pertinent topics from navigating immigration systems to making healthcare information accessible. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about this event and more. In the meantime, check out some pictures from this year’s conference below!